Quick Sand

Lifesaving beach sprint start 56

Photo: Lauren Allott

WHOOOSH! While we marvel at those who twitch fast (see Brett Bodill’s Which Twitch Are You? in the September/October 2012 issue), it doesn’t mean we should ignore our own terminal velocity. It might seem magical, but according to Bolt “There are no secrets. You just have to develop strength, power, acceleration and technique”. 
Time to work hard.

The Arena
Once you’ve warmed up and ready to rumble, make sure the training area is free of debris. Check just under the surface of the sand for any hidden dangers too. A five-minute scan will save you nine stitches.

Power
Bunny hops were cute when you were a toddler. Now, with your body-weight strength ratios flipped, they will transform your quads into powerhouses.

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Squat, swinging your arms backwards. Pause and explode upwards, driving from your heels and hips, swinging your arms forwards and leap as far forward as you can. Repeat.

How to do it really well Do your jumps in quick succession with a full squat and quality leap.

Strength
A fireman carry requires you work in teams of two; preferably with similar body weights. Set up a track of 50m and sprint up the track carrying your partner over one shoulder. On the other side, swop onto the other shoulder and carry them back. Then it’s your turn to be carried. Repeat.

How to do it really well Do a race with other pairs to add incentive and drive the focus on speed.

Acceleration
Design a zigzag run course with a change in direction every 20m. Naturally, you will slow at each point and accelerate out of the turns in short bursts.

How to do it really well Mark out two similar courses side-by-side and run relay races if you have enough people, otherwise head-to-head battles with a training partner.

Technique
There’s a ton of varying information available for sprint techniques. Find out what works best for you and put that to the ultimate test in a good old-fashioned 100m timed sprint. Ready. Steady. Go!

How to do it really well Use each run to focus on one thing at a time; it could be leg drive, swinging arms, breathing or stride length. Bring it all together in one quality sprint at the end of the session.

Sprinting is a raw showcase of your athletic ability. Don’t be intimidated. Just go out and have fun; run fast! No equipment required. In fact, you can even do it in nothing more than a speedo.

Originally published in the November/December 2012 issue.

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About Bryan Allott

Bryan has competed in lifesaving and triathlon since 1992 and is the current Around the Rocks open water swim champ. Unable to love just one sport, you'll find him out on a beach, near an ocean, mountain, the trail or the bush

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