Dorsiflexion

An hour with Sharon Day

I wouldn’t call this an interview, because I’m far from the braodcast type.  It is what it is, which is a poorly recorded chat I had with the world class Sharon Day at the local Starbucks.  The background noise occasionally gets in the way; after all the whole thing is recorded on my iphone.  I stumble over my questions repeatedly…but Sharon is a pro interviewee and carries the whole thing.  It was an absolute pleasure to steal her for over an hour after a Monday workout.  I had a blast just talking track with one of the best athletes in the world.  Even given all it’s faults, I think you’ll enjoy it. Continue reading

Advertisements
Categories: Coaching, Decathlon, Dorsiflexion, Heptathlon, Sprinting | Leave a comment

Who’s Afraid of Loren Seagrave — not me (Barry Ross)

Not everyone agrees with Loren Seagrave’s sprint mechanics that I highlighted in my first post.  One of the most vocal opponents is famed strength coach Barry Ross.  And today his most claim-to-fame athlete Allyson Felix,  won the 200m at the Olympic Trials, setting a new PR of 21.69 and becoming the fourth fastest woman of all time.  It only seemed appropriate to highlight his ideas.

First, however, I need to clarify that Barry is not her current strength coach.  Nor was he ever her sprinting coach.  Barry was her high school strength coach.   Her high school sprint coach is Wes Smith and her current coach is legend Bobby Kersee.  Regardless, Ross was her high school strength coach and she did run a blistering 22.11 while in high school!!!  So, Ross deserves major “props”.

I must admit, I haven’t read his eBook “Underground Secrets to Faster Running”, but I have read much of his blog Bearpowered and his article “The Holy Grails of Speed Training” and he makes a lot sense.  Moreover, you have to respect someone who doesn’t shy away from controversy (and perhaps brings it on). Continue reading

Categories: Coaching, Dorsiflexion, Sprinting | 7 Comments

Dorsiflexion

Why in the world would my first post be about dorsiflexion.  I guess because in all my years training, I’d never heard this word.  In fact, the training in “my day” was focused on pushing off your toes.  Not until I moved to Texas and trained with Dan Pfaff did any coach ever tell me to “pull my toes up” as soon as my foot left the ground (still didn’t use the word dorsiflexion though… 🙂 ).

Now-a-days, every good sprint coach knows about dorsiflexion, which promotes “front side mechanics”.  So, this seemed as good a place as any to start.

Loren Seagrave explains the advantages of dorsiflexion is his article “Neuro-Biomechanics of Maximum Velocity Sprinting” (link to SpeedEndurance.com’s file).

“To minimise the moment of inertia of the thigh, it is critical for the athlete to make the leg as short as possible, as soon as possible. This means that high angular acceleration values must be realized at the knee joint.  Dorsiflexion of the ankle joint accomplishes both these tasks. Occurring actively at take-off, dorsiflexion facilitates the triple flexor response.  In addition, it facilitates knee flexion by the gastrocnemius.  Use of stored elastic energy in the gastrocnemius and its high contraction velocity makes it possible to generate high values of angular acceleration at the knee joint.  The result is a short lever as soon as possible.  The ankle remains in dorsiflexion, which maintains a small knee angle throughout the entire Recovery Phase.”

Continue reading

Categories: Coaching, Dorsiflexion, Sprinting | 1 Comment