Method of the Sprinter's Cycle
Sprinting is just one aspect of running that requires solid fundamentals to excel in it. People that run fast have absolutely no proper fundamentals and do not realize that they could be even faster with them. Fast people with great fundamentals are the people who go to college to run and then on to the Olympics.
If you slowed down a video of Bolt running in the Olympics you would see that he uses the same fundamentals that I am about to describe. It is a three step process that can be practiced step by step. It will make you faster if you do it properly, and it will help you build more leg muscle off of sprinting because you will be using your legs in the most natural way possible.
The first step is to raise your heel to your butt. Most warm-ups consist of a drill titled butt-kicks. It is pretty much the same drill. The only difference is that when you do it for sprinting you should get in more reps. Also, be sure to think about this as the first step in the sprinter’s leg cycle.
The second step is to raise your knee up so that it is even with your hip. Your foot should be directly underneath your knee with your toes pointing down a little bit. This can be practiced individually by doing skips. On every rep, make sure your leg and foot are in perfect unison and form. This part is very important for the next step to happen.
The third, and final step, is to land with your leg almost locked out in a straight position. Your feet should be parallel to the ground, if not pointing up a little bit. When your foot touches the ground, you should be able to easily push yourself farther than you’re used to. To practice this in a drill, you do walking scissor kicks, or a straight leg jog, making sure that every time your foot touches the ground you get a solid push-off.
When you put all three of these together in a run, you should start by bringing your heel to your butt then throwing your knee up and your foot underneath your knee, then landing with an almost straight leg to give yourself a maximum push-off. The purposed of pulling your heel back while running is to avoid a tangle between your legs, then the purpose of throwing your knee forward helps carry your body through the stride and then give you a good angle to put your foot back down. Obviously, putting your foot back down is used for a push-off to start another stride.
These fundamentals will take hours to perfect, but once you perfect them; you will be able to outrun almost everyone who doesn’t use them. Like I stated earlier, if you watch a slowed-down video of Olympic athletes, you will see this step by step procedure done at its best.