Countdown week 5

As usual the last few days of week 5 got away from me.

Yes, I got to the swim.  Purchased a ‘pull buoy’ hoping to elevate my ‘sinking legs’.

Certainly did the trick.  Made swimming soooo easy.  Almost pleasant.  Now, how do I convert that position
(level) without the floatie?

I’ve decide not to put the swimming pressure on myself until World’s in Adelaide (see previous post) is over.  I will still have two
proficiency days to get it done.

One of my challenges in coaching is to prepare a lady for World’s sprints and flags.  Her sprinting is improving but I was able to watch her flag starts at a recent competition and knew we had to make a change.  I now have her using her knee as the prime mover in the get up process and it’s starting to look 100% better.

It has only occurred to me last season that the hip flexor provides more power than arms, and when used in combination virtually propels me toward the flags.  I’m using this also for the ‘nippers’ who do not as yet have strong arms.

For my own training I’ve decided to keep my fitness level at 80%.  The choice was to back off training for a week then ramp up over the next three.
Problem is, as I get older, recovery takes longer and I might not get back to peak fitness by November 7th.  So I’ll stick with my training philosophy to always be at 80% and put in two hard weekends before the final comp.

Finally, to round out the week, I’m 90% sure I have two of my beach competitors in the Branch team.  The final list is not out yet but they would be hard to omit.


Fast legs? Snap to it.

Fast legAbsolutely the hardest drill for begginers to get their heads around is the ‘fast leg‘.  Keeping the support leg straight while bringing the other leg high so the foot is higher than the support leg knee, then planting the foot to ground contact directly under the hips imitates the tall running action in ‘stride length’.

As Barry Ross explains in “Underground Secrets to Faster Running“, the more vertical force you apply to  the ground the faster you will run.  This has improved my speed to the point of holding a National record for the 60m sprint.  I usually teach this drill from a ‘march’, counting 1, 2, 3 and raising the foot over the opposite knee on ‘3’.  When the athlete can coordinate that we concentrate on the ‘stiff’ leg and go faster.  Once again this drill is taken from Speed Dynamics, mentioned in an earlier Blog.

Click here to watch the video

Fast leg video



Drill this Inta Ya….

Well, here’s a bunch in full flight and you can take your pick as to what you want to start on as far as technique goes.

Obviously this is not their first training day but we still have a long way to go to bring them to “elite sprinter” stage.

Over the next few posts I’ll share 9 drills to correct things like foot placement, arms control (already mentioned) stride length and timing.

As always I look forward to any feedback or questions.


PS You can view a slowmo video on

copy & paste in your browser.  I’ve yet to figure how this works automatically.

Running without Arms?

Sprinters are lined up. Moment of truth. Evaluation time.

Each sprinter has a Name, Phone, Address on a card or page.

Communication is vital in coaching. Note strengths and weaknesses,

document the lot. As someone once said “you can’t manage

what you can’t measure”.


The most common mistake in novice sprinters is ARMS.


I have tried many different ways of correcting arm movement

and can’t drill in enough the simple movement; 90 degrees at the elbow,

hands from hip to shoulder, elbows in, don’t cross the mid line.


The drills I’ve used include; Arm race – standing or sitting, 30sec

at half pace, 20sec at ¾ pace and 10sec at race pace. 10Sec recovery

between each.


For homework; stand in front of the bathroom mirror and practice

with very light weights.


Anyone with a good idea to fix this most common but vital movement?