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How can you run a fast time but "feel" slow?

Jack - “Well done that’s your fastest rep and a PB !!!”

Athlete - “Oh, that didn’t feel fast, are you sure ???”


This is so common. Have You ever “felt” fast but not run a fast time? Athletes can misinterpret their kinaesthetic feedback because they have a misunderstanding of sprint concepts, this means that the information that the athlete is getting from their movement isn’t being interpreted correctly because they don’t understand the fundamentals of sprinting.


Here’s a common example, athletes think that to have a fast start at the beginning of a run, REALLY FAST strides and extreme flexion at the hips may lead the athlete to think the total effort is faster. However, these concepts and feedback will most likely lead to rapid deceleration and extreme over rotation of the body contributing to a much slower time for the whole sprint, that can FEEL fast and powerful when it’s most definitely not.


The common problem I get from team sport players and especially footy players is exactly that scenario. Not being taught to sprint properly leads to a misunderstanding of HOW to run fast and they interpret the feedback they get from their movement wrong and then just dig themselves a deeper hole of bad technique and feeling “good” from feedback.


I then teach them how to execute their sprints better and improve their understanding of how to run fast, BUT, because they have run a certain way for so long, even though they have started to run faster times, they will still tell me that the rep felt SLOWER because of the way they naturally interpret the kinaesthetic feedback hasn’t yet improved, so that even when they run a faster time than before they don’t FEEL like they’ve run a faster time just yet.


This is why it’s so important to be consistent and to actually learn from a coach that not only has sprinted before but also understands the scientific and practical ways to explain how to sprint fast. You want your coach to help you develop how you interpret your kinaesthetic feedback, because they know how you should be feeling and accurately explain the fundamental concepts of running to make you FEEL FAST and GET FAST.


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