Insights to Jamaican Sprinting Success

Stephen Francis & Glen Mills Training Philosophy Written by Jimson Lee,
Copyright 2011 by Jimson Lee, Page 26
Usain Bolt Stack Magazine Interview (September 1, 2008)

STACK magazine interviewed Usain Bolt after he broke the 100m world record at the Beijing Olympics. In this interview Usain imparts some very good advice, that we all could take notes from.
Original Source:

Here are some key points from that interview:

What is your warm-up routine?

We do stride-outs, not laps, to start. We usually do 10 to 15 stride-outs to get warm. Then we move onto some dynamic drills, stretching, then a few more drills. We finish with more stride-outs.

What are you focusing on once in the starting blocks?

Instead of up, I try to focus on driving forward, keeping a straight back, driving from the hips, getting full extension and putting some arms into it. Make sure you don't focus on the guy next to you because that can really throw you off. Another guy can be very quick out of the blocks, which can make you lose focus. You have to stay focused on what you are going to do and run your race at all times.

How do you execute the Drive Phase?

Hold and Transition. Make sure you hold your drive phase for 30 to 35 meters.  Then you have to get the transition right so you don't come up quickly. Come up gradually from the drive phase instead of popping up. That transition is so important, because it helps you get from your drive phase to full speed much easier. If you pop up and try to start running too soon, you really have to work to get to top speed. That transition takes about 15 meters, from 35 meters to about 50 meters.

Just like with the start, stay focused and don't think about the guy next to you. He may have gotten a fast start and might be out in front of you, but you can't panic and pop out of your drive phase.  If you do, you'll lose your whole race plan and the race is pretty much over.

When you are at full speed you are untouchable. How do you run so fast?

Relax and Execute. If you do your training, it should all be okay come race time. So, I get into the blocks, take a deep breath and just remind myself to get a good start, hold the drive phase, relax and execute. Your muscles get tight when you tense up; they start getting heavy and you begin losing speed. The more relaxed you are, the smoother and faster you will run.  Just focus on turnover and using your strides.

Any tips on nutrition?

I mix Gatorade with water and drink it consistently throughout the day.  I've been doing this since I was young.  When I'm feeling especially tired during training, I drink it straight to get a burst of energy. And after training, it really helps me recover from a hard workout.