Where Your Dreams Become Reality
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Subject: RE: Question for the MASTER coaches visiting the boards: How do you develop that blazing finishing speed in a miler?????????
well i'm not sure i should give away my secret, but so few people ever listen that i'm not too worried anymore.
i am one of those people who could kick a final 200 or 400 faster than i could run an open one. I know that contradicts reason, but it is true and there is a reason for it - i practiced kicking (very few runners actaully do this). I think you develop a kick by developing speed as Guppy just said (and i needed but did not do his method = which is way my open 200/400 was slower than my kick) - but another way it to actually practice kicking.
what i liked to do as a very young runners was kick at the end of my steady runs (even easy days) - if i were running 3-6 miles at whatever pace i would almost always bring it home strong. This does 2 things: 1) it creates the mental side of kicking - kind of like that horse racing movie "seabiscut" where you learn to kick by some type of promt - the sound of the bell etc. For me, the kick became such an automatic response that i almost had no control over it - it happened, when it happened.
i once kicked in a high school 2 mile race for the last 800 not because i planned to but because that's when the leaders let me take the lead - once i went i realized i went too soon, but you can't unring a bell and i was off and they never caught me.
So you have to psychological develop a kick (first): By thinking about it - practicing it and then developing it.
2) how do you develop it (the pyhsical side)...by doing it...for me i might kick the last 100 m one day (i lived in the country so that might be 4 telephone poles) the next time i try 5 and so on. Each time leads to more confidence that i can go earlier and earlier and the body adapts to it.
not every runner will develop a blazing kick - that is why racing stategy comes into play - a slow twitch runner quickly learns that to win they have to get the lead in the middle of the race and widen it to take the kickers out of range. The kickers know if they can stay close, they win...so the real race happens in the middle - long befoe the bell lap unless there are equally matched kickers in a race.
practicing kicking on intervals days is a little trickier. if you are going to try this, i would recommend breaking the distance runners into groups of 2 with equally matched kickers - so you are not developing kicking confindence in one runner while destroying it in another. Kicking at the end of intervals is still somewhat tricky...you don't want them overdoing it since the intervals themselves are tough enough and sometime the goal is not to see how fast you can finish but how well you can hold the pace. i would not want them kicking every interval either...only a few pre-selected ones. unless i had them intentionally holding back for part of the interval.
finally i would say it will not happen overnight...most of your runners without kicks now will not suddenly have one by the end of this season (unless they are just going out too hard - and need to learn to control their pace early on).
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