Basics of Using Starting Blocks

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How to Start Out of the Blocks....5

When using starting blocks, make sure they are facing straight and determine which foot is your power foot. Set up your starting blocks with help from a track coach in this free video on track running tips.

Part of the Video Series: Track Running Tips
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Brian Blake from Shaper: E. Movement and track coach in Wilmington, North Carolina to share some tips of how to start off setting up your blocks for a sprint race. For this clip, you will need starting blocks, good shoes or spikes and a track. The first thing to know is that blocks have been well studied by scientists. They found a couple of different things. One, a bunch start where your feet are really close together and up close to the starting line, is quick out of the blocks but slow further down the track. The next one is if your legs are really far back, you are slow out of the blocks, even though you start getting your speed faster. What they have found is what I am about to show you, called the intermediate. The first thing you can do, have your blocks here. Here's my starting line. I'm going to measure one of my feet back to the front of the block here. That should give me enough room to set up my pedals. Make sure your block is facing straight. If it's facing crooked in 100 meters or facing the wrong way at 200 meters you would be running in the wrong direction. The next thing is to figure out what foot is your power foot. A lot of us who are right handed it is the left foot that should be in front. So, for me that's true. What I'll do is from the starting line I'll measure out two of my steps to the first pedal. I like to keep my toes just barely up on the edge of the pedal like I have right here. That's where my first pedal will be placed. To get the back pedal, I'll go three steps, again with my toes coming up on the pedal. This should be a good starting point. From here you can kind of tinker with it and find what's more comfortable for you. The important thing to remember though is that if you've never come out of the blocks before, it will never feel comfortable at first. So, you have to keep coming out and getting used to it. It's always going to feel a little awkward. At this point, you are ready to go ahead and get in the blocks and start your race. These were tips on how to set up your blocks for a sprint race.

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