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Try setting goals for the season before making a training plan.
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As one of the most highly anticipated races of the Summer Olympics, the 100-meter dash appears to be a contest of pure speed to the average spectator. In reality, obtaining the title of "World's Fastest Man" or "World's Fastest Woman" requires strategy, sound technique and perfect execution of each stage of the race. Whether you're aiming for a new personal record or shooting for something bigger, understanding the physiological demands of each stage can help you cater your training to reach your goals.
Master the Start
The start of the 100-meter dash sets the stage for the rest of the race, potentially giving you an advantage over the rest of the field or leaving you with precious ground to make up and little time. In a race where mere hundredths of a second can separate the winner from the losers, the start can make all of the difference. The quality of your start depends primarily on your reaction time, or the time it takes you to physically react to the starting gun. The start must be explosive and powerful, giving the runner momentum to reach maximum speed as quickly as possible. Renowned coach John Smith, who has worked with Maurice Greene and other top sprinters, pushes his athletes to drop their reaction times to under 0.130 seconds.
Put it in Drive
The drive phase typically occurs during the first 30 meters of the race and is marked by rapid acceleration toward top speed. After the first explosive step out of the starting blocks, you should stay low and keep your upper body forward of its center of mass. While this phase requires immense power, relaxation is key to conserving energy, which will pay off later in the race. Instead of running with jerky movements and tight muscles, you should be loose and focused on breathing so that your body stays relaxed.
Accelerate to Maximum Speed
As your body gradually straightens up, speed should continue to increase as your stride lengthens and your arms and legs move faster. After your head is lifted during the transition from the drive phase to the acceleration phase, your body should be directly over its center of mass. High knees, a vigorous arm pump and a strong kickback will help keep the body centered. A.J. Ward-Smith, writing in the "Journal of Sports Science," found that men reach their peak speed around 60 meters into the race, while women reach it slightly earlier at 50 meters. Because the drive and acceleration phases account for the largest percentage of the race, 100-meter training plans should focus on developing those aspects of the race.
Sprint to the Tape
The final phase of the race focuses solely on maintaining maximum speed for as long as possible. The body should remain in an upright position with continued focus on pumping the arms and legs, breathing properly and relaxing the muscles. While many factors affect how long a runner can maintain maximum velocity, including stride length, stride frequency and ground contact time, most elite sprinters can run at close to top speed for anywhere from 20 to 30 meters before they start to slow down.
Lean at the Finish
The final stage of the 100-meter race is unavoidable, so the goal is to minimize its negative effects as much as possible. At this point in the race, the legs are burning with lactic acid and the lungs are gasping for air, as the body resists its natural urge to slow down. You should continue to focus on maintaining speed while shifting your body weight forward in the final meters of the race and minimizing foot-to-ground contact to finish strong.