One tip to improve your acceleration time – Instantly!

The first step when entering the acceleration phase of running is essential, within us all is a fear of falling, this fear of falling actually prevents us from moving faster.

Try this at home and you will see the results in real-time, stand with two feet together and lean forward from the ankles keeping the rest of your body straight. As you begin to lean forward gravity will take hold and you will inevitably fall forward, so to prevent this fall we will put our foot forward and prevent this, but this causes a braking motion which is usually an athlete's first step. So the first step causes the body to slow down which if fixed will lead to and increase in speed instantly.

This is corrected by allowing the body to lean forward from the ankles but instead of putting the foot out to prevent the fall, drive the foot in a backward motion pushing the ground away from under your feet. A good image is to think of pushing something heavy, like a car, if you try to push the car standing upright not a lot will happen, but if you lean forward and drive your feet back pushing the ground behind you the car will begin to move. This is the same principle that must be applied to the acceleration phase, and a great way to training this effectively is to run as hard as you can until your body is upright, this is called running through the fall which means that if you are running faster than you are falling down you are running though the fall and now you have free energy in the form of gravity and you are moving faster.

I share lots of techniques like these in my personal training, 1-1 running coach and GAA coaching sessions.

Running Coach & Personal Trainer: Jason Cafferkey

He works with both private clients and teams of athletes. Jason has 20 years experience coaching and is qualified as a: Level 3 Personal Trainer, AFN certified Diet Specialist & NSA Fitness Diploma. When not with clients, you can find him at the track improving his 800M time.