T Nation

Sprinting on Your Toes

while getting ready for football ive been doing some light-moderate speed/conditioning on non-lifting days.

now that im getting back into the swing of things im noticing that im not sprinting on my toes as much as i used to, and its really starting to slow me down.

anyone have any good drills to improve my form other than push-up starts and falling foward starts?

thanks for any input

It could just be because you’re doing “light-moderate speed”. Trying doing some short sprints at 100% and see if it makes a difference.

Sprinting on your toes (well really, the balls of your feet) is pretty much a voluntary thing. If you try to do it while sprinting, you probably will.

Is your problem that it is hard to hold that position (your heels “sag”)?

Really “Claw” at the ground as your foot strikes teh ground, think about diggin in and ripping back. I dont even think about springtin on the balls of my feel, just ripping the ground (note, i use sprint spikes too, so this helps actually grip into the track and not just tear the ground out from under your feet.)

[quote]smallmike wrote:
Sprinting on your toes (well really, the balls of your feet) is pretty much a voluntary thing. If you try to do it while sprinting, you probably will.

Is your problem that it is hard to hold that position (your heels “sag”)?[/quote]

Yea, it’s voluntary, if you want to be on the balls of your feet, then you will. Once you start to get tired, it will be harder, but not impossible.

I wouldn’t say you’re too lazy to not do it. Maybe it’s a different problem and you are not describing correctly.

oh sorry forgot to add some drills.

High knees for 30-40m and repeat

butt kicks for 30-40m and repeat

A-skips for 30-40m and repeat

Power skips for 30-40m and repeat

Just make sure you don’t keep on your toes in a full stride, like after 50 yards or something. I tore the arch of my foot doing that 3 weeks ago and it still hurts

[quote]smallmike wrote:
Sprinting on your toes (well really, the balls of your feet) is pretty much a voluntary thing. If you try to do it while sprinting, you probably will.

Is your problem that it is hard to hold that position (your heels “sag”)?[/quote]

I disagree that it is voluntary. Someone with terrible reactive plantar flexion strength trying to run on their toes is a recipe for disaster. Working on running form is important, but your body has to have the functional capability to carry out the technique as well.

It’s just like box squatting. Somebody with terrible hamstring strength ain’t gonna be able to “sit back” with heavy weight no matter how hard you try.

[quote]SamuraiWannaBe wrote:
Really “Claw” at the ground as your foot strikes teh ground, think about diggin in and ripping back. I dont even think about springtin on the balls of my feel, just ripping the ground (note, i use sprint spikes too, so this helps actually grip into the track and not just tear the ground out from under your feet.)[/quote]

NO running is not a “clawing” motion. That puts you at a bio mechanical disadvatage. Any sprint coach who knows what he is talking about will tell you this. I personally find wall drills the best for improving form to keep me on the balls of my feet not toes. The wall drills involve hands outstretched to a wall and body at about 45 degree angle to the wall. You can start with basic marching focusing on dorsiflexion and then to 1,2,3,… stride combinations.

Thanks for all the replies guys.

I realize it is a voluntary action, atleast it is at this point, while getting back into the swing of things. Once ive been playing for a few weeks I dont even have to think about it, but im trying to make some gains before the season starts…

thanks again for the replies

When you sprint, you should not think about clawing the ground. This will cause a breaking action and result in overstriding, which could lead to injury eventually.

Sprinting is not something that you should over analyze really. Paralysis by analysis! Over thinking while you sprint is just going to make you confused and frustrated. Just stay relaxed and focus on maintaining your posture throughout the sprint cycle.

It is something that you must do over and over, this doesn’t come over night. Just like staying on the balls of your feet, it may be you just aren’t strong enough yet. Keep at it. Get a video maybe, that will help out a lot more for people to analyze you.

A skips, B skips, basic marching drills are good places to start. Sprinting is an up and down motion, not front and back.

[quote]dyeguy1212 wrote:
Thanks for all the replies guys.

I realize it is a voluntary action, atleast it is at this point, while getting back into the swing of things. Once ive been playing for a few weeks I dont even have to think about it, but im trying to make some gains before the season starts…

thanks again for the replies[/quote]

I’m a miler dude, the only thing you gotta worry about is this:

  1. Toes UP
  2. Drive your arms chin to hip
  3. Head relaxed, look 5m ahead
  4. Feet land underneath you and EXPLODE off the ground

Quite simple.

So toes touch the ground first to build up speed and then you run with heels touching first after that initial part?