THE 100-METER DASH: Summary Training Recommendations from Start to Finish
Developing a complete training program for the 100-meter dash is a much more complicated task than meets the eye. At first glance, it appears that it is merely an all-out sprint as athletes attempt to reach maximum speed as fast as possible and maintain that speed throughout the race. In reality, the race involves five different phases, each requiring special training techniques.
Based on a 10.0 second 100-meter dash time, famed sprint coach, Tom Tellez provides a breakdown of these factors in Figure 1 with an estimated percentage of their contribution to the race.
|PHASE||PERCENT OF RACE|
|Reaction Time (RT)||1|
|Block Clearance (BC)||5|
|Speed of Efficient Acceleration (SEA)||64|
|Maintenance of Maximum Velocity (MMV)||18|
|Lessened Degree of Deceleration (LDD)||12|
Figure 1. Contributions of Five Key Components of the 100-meter dash
A complete training program for sprinters evolves around the following five factors: Proper Block Clearance allows the desired Speed of Efficient Acceleration to maximum speed to occur over the longest possible distance. As Coach Tellez indicates, “the block clearance sets up the acceleration and really contributes much more than only 5 percent of the race.”
Efficient acceleration continues at a decreasing rate until it reaches zero. The fastest rate of acceleration occurs at the start and slowly decreases as maximum speed is attained. Acceleration is held at zero for 20 meters or so (Maintenance of Maximum Velocity) before shifting to negative and producing slight slowing as fatigue occurs.
As shown in an early article in the September, 2009 issue of Sports Speed News Bulletin, only a slight slowing affect may occur in highly trained sprinters such as was the case during Usain Bolt’s world record 9.58 100-meter dash. Bolt reached 99% of his maximum velocity at 48.18 meters and 100% of maximum velocity at 65.03 meters (12.27 mps). Very little slowing took place for the remainder of the race based on 10-meter split times. After completing the 60-70 meter segment in 0.81 seconds, Bolt ran the 70-80 meter segment in 0.82 seconds, 80-90-meter segment in 0.83 seconds and the final 10-meters in 0.83 seconds. This was a phenomenal example of anaerobic fitness by the Olympic sprinter. Such minimum Lessened Degree of Deceleration (slowing) would be impossible for team sport athletes whose anaerobic or speed endurance training focuses on much shorter distances.
Coach Tellez adds further clarification to understanding the forces needed to complete the five phases of a 100-meter dash. A combination of vertical and horizontal force is applied. As the race begins, vertical and horizontal forces are equal due to the 45 degree angle of projection. Horizontal forces are big at the start of the race and get progressively smaller as speed increases, reaching zero at maximum speed. Vertical forces continue for the entire race. As we know from research reviewed previously, it requires approximately 2.1 lb. of vertical force per lb. of body weight to overcome the force of gravity, clear the ground, and propel the body forward. Clearly, a comprehensive program is needed to help sprinters reach their maximum potential. Form training in the start, acceleration, maximum speed, and finish phases is critical and allows athletes to apply forces at the right time and accelerate over a long distance. Power output training (speed-strength) increases ground contact force and not only improves the start and acceleration phase but maximum speed as well. Speed endurance training minimizes slowing at the end of the race. And, finally, Neuromuscular training contributes to fast stride rates to aid top speed.