This is PART 2: The pre-race routine getting into your starting blocks.
PART 1: The pre-race routine before getting into your starting blocks.
If you watch PGA golf, there’s one thing that you probably noticed but never paid any attention.
From the minute they stand behind their shot, to the minute they strike the ball, the time it takes is amazingly consistent to the nearest tenth of a second on a stopwatch.
It’s the same with a sprinter getting into their starting blocks when the starter calls “On your marks”.
At the 2010 Rome Golden Gala, I was watching Jeremy Wariner get into his blocks. It’s a routine I’ve seen him do several times over the course of 6 years. It’s so consistent it’s implanted in my head, and I’m not the one down on the track racing!
When the starter calls “On your marks” his routine goes like this:
- jump up
- straight legged touch toes
- squat down
- backup for leg stretches
- downward dog (yoga pose)
- left leg high kick into block
- right leg high kick into block
- knees down
- wipe hands on thighs
- get in position, wait for the set command
Your pre-race routine for getting into the starting blocks should be repeated over and over that it’s totally automatic. It’s a “hind brain” activity after countless of hours at the track.
My pre-race routine involves stepping on the rear of the blocks to “set” the spikes onto the track. I know the blocks are secure, but it’s just a superstition that I’ve engrained in my brain over the years.
You do whatever you have to do to stay focused and relax. It’s automatic, even when it’s raining.
Here is a good amateur video from the 2004 Indoor 400 meter NCAA Finals showing that routine. He hasn’t changed in 6 years.