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For 100m: Good Start or Top End Speed?

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  • For 100m: Good Start or Top End Speed?

    Is it important to have a good start or good top end speed, and is it even possible to improve your top end speed or do you just have it all along? Also could you have both? From my observations it always seems that a 100m runner either has a good start and no top end speed or vice versa; a bad start and amazing top end speed. What do you think causes that?

    Examples of Good starters are: Asafa Powell, Shelly-Ann Fraser, Gail Devers, Sherron Simpson, Maurice Green, Torri Edwards, Chandra Sturrup etc.

    Examples of Good top end speed are: Tyson Gay, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Kerron Stewart, Yohan Blake, Allyson Felix, Muna Lee, Carmelita Jeter etc.

  • #2
    Re: For 100m: Good Start or Top End Speed?

    Asafa Powell has a great start and very good top end speed. Tyson Gay has a good start and great top end speed. Usain Bolt has a good start and great top end speed. Maurice Greene had a great start and very good top end speed. Those guys have the top 31 runs between them.

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    • #3
      Re: For 100m: Good Start or Top End Speed?

      I would venture that speed maintenance is as important as the other two. Every time we see someone 'surge' in the last 30m, it means s/he has the superior speed maintenance.

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      • #4
        Re: For 100m: Good Start or Top End Speed?

        This has been studied many times. Maximum effort can be held for about 6 seconds. After that it is who slows down the least.

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        • #5
          Re: For 100m: Good Start or Top End Speed?

          A couple (especially one) VCB race shows what can happen when a great top-end/maintenance type gets a good start also (although we are waiting to see if she can repeat it, but she did the same indoors). Gay also has shown what the implications of a fast finisher who gets a pretty good start as well.

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          • #6
            Re: For 100m: Good Start or Top End Speed?

            Top end speed is far more important than a blitz start. Herb Washington, Houston McTear,Mel Pender, Jon Drummond, Leonard Scott all had a great burst out of the blocks yet none ever ruled the 100m. Those who can come on in the latter stages of a 100m have the advantage. Donovan Bailey winning the 96 Olympic 100m a great example.

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            • #7
              Re: For 100m: Good Start or Top End Speed?

              With today's sprinters employing the "drive phase" I would say the combination of efficient block clearance mechanics and minimal accel jerk with a seamless transition (0-40) to max sustainable speed (50-70+) would offer the optimal opportunity for something very fast. However as was stated that athlete would also need to have a better than average rate of finishing velocity capacity (80-100).

              I thought I saw some of those qualities from last weekend's races. I believe we saw these with Fraser's major races as well. Though I realize this goes with what each athlete brings to the line!

              And then there was Jeter's 10.64 and Bolt's 9.58 where several aspects were in place - including the highest rates of Vmax in the middle. I just think that all which preceded it had perhaps a larger significance.

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              • #8
                Re: For 100m: Good Start or Top End Speed?

                Originally posted by Avante
                Top end speed is far more important than a blitz start. Herb Washington, Houston McTear,Mel Pender, Jon Drummond, Leonard Scott all had a great burst out of the blocks yet none ever ruled the 100m. Those who can come on in the latter stages of a 100m have the advantage. Donovan Bailey winning the 96 Olympic 100m a great example.
                Ben Johnson was ridiculous out of the blocks.

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                • #9
                  Re: For 100m: Good Start or Top End Speed?

                  If you don't have the top end speed you can't be competitive.

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                  • #10
                    Re: For 100m: Good Start or Top End Speed?

                    With male athletes now running mid-9's, "speed maintenance" is becoming less of an issue; the athletes are running nearly .5 seconds faster - an eternity in 100m sprinting. Also, what do you mean by start? Do you mean reaction? Do you mean acceleration phase? Do you mean first x-# of steps? It matters in the sense that the start is only about 10% of the race, but acceleration is much more. (see: Yohan Blake. Horrible reaction times, but executes his acceleration phase very well so he makes back the time "lost", relative to competitors, from his reaction)


                    Below are links to the biomechanical data from Berlin for the 100m and the last one is for the throws.

                    http://berlin.iaaf.org/mm/document/deve ... _13529.pdf

                    http://berlin.iaaf.org/mm/document/deve ... _13666.pdf

                    http://www.iaaf.org/mm/Document/Develop ... _19909.pdf

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                    • #11
                      Re: For 100m: Good Start or Top End Speed?

                      Originally posted by 7-sided
                      With male athletes now running mid-9's, "speed maintenance" is becoming less of an issue;
                      Tell that to Asafa Powell, who has an awesome start, acceleration and superb top-end speed. What he doesn't have, and is the reason he always gets beat in the end if the race is close, is speed maintenance.

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                      • #12
                        Re: For 100m: Good Start or Top End Speed?

                        Other than the 60, sprinting is all about top end speed/speed endurance/speed maintenance. Those with it win the big races and set the records, those without it..................

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                        • #13
                          Re: For 100m: Good Start or Top End Speed?

                          Originally posted by Marlow
                          Originally posted by 7-sided
                          With male athletes now running mid-9's, "speed maintenance" is becoming less of an issue;
                          Tell that to Asafa Powell, who has an awesome start, acceleration and superb top-end speed. What he doesn't have, and is the reason he always gets beat in the end if the race is close, is speed maintenance.
                          I didn't say it was NOT an issue, I said it was less of an issue. And, it is. With athletes getting further down the track from their initial use of ATP; energy use is diffrent after that point. Anyway, its kind of crazy to say that Powell doesn't have speed maintenance when you actually look at his NON-CHAMPIONSHIP splits. Championships-time you are talking about something else, but I think his maintenance is fine; I just think he happens to be the 3rd best sprinter in the world right now, and THAT is why he is getting beat in "close" races.

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                          • #14
                            Re: For 100m: Good Start or Top End Speed?

                            [quote=7-sided]
                            Originally posted by Marlow
                            Originally posted by "7-sided":19zixnzq
                            With male athletes now running mid-9's, "speed maintenance" is becoming less of an issue;
                            Tell that to Asafa Powell, who has an awesome start, acceleration and superb top-end speed. What he doesn't have, and is the reason he always gets beat in the end if the race is close, is speed maintenance.
                            I didn't say it was NOT an issue, I said it was less of an issue. And, it is. With athletes getting further down the track from their initial use of ATP; energy use is diffrent after that point. Anyway, its kind of crazy to say that Powell doesn't have speed maintenance when you actually look at his NON-CHAMPIONSHIP splits. Championships-time you are talking about something else, but I think his maintenance is fine; I just think he happens to be the 3rd best sprinter in the world right now, and THAT is why he is getting beat in "close" races.[/quote:19zixnzq]

                            He's third because he doesn't have the finish that Bolt and Gay possess.

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                            • #15
                              Re: For 100m: Good Start or Top End Speed?

                              Originally posted by Avante
                              He's third because he doesn't have the finish that Bolt and Gay possess.
                              QED

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