Today’s guest is Chris Korfist, owner of Slow Guy Speed School and track coach at Montini High School in Lombard, Ill.
I’m happy to have Chris back a third time on this podcast series. Chris is the epitome of a lifelong learner, and is continually honing his craft in developing athletic speed. I’ve learned a lot from Chris, and the podcast you’ll be listening to was no exception for me.
For today’s podcast, we recap Chris’s season (where he sent 2 boys to state in the 100m dash and finished 2nd in the 4x100m), and go into a variety of speed related topics with questions ranging from resisted sprinting and special strength work, to overspeed training, to reducing crossover gait.
This episode has numerous gems for speed and power training, where Chris dissects his season of training, and provides insight into his training, technical assessment and thought process.
Today’s episode is brought to you by SimpliFaster, supplier of high-end athletic development tools, such as the Freelap timing system, kBox, Sprint 1080, and more.
- Recap of Chris’s last track season
- Dropoff and planning schemes based on the environment and weather
- Addressing AN-2 bracket (20-40 second) speed work if you can’t do it via sprinting
- Ideas on the importance of the lower leg, how to train it, and related sprinting styles emphasizing footstrike
- Chris Korfist’s use of the 1080 this past year
- Overspeed training, and using overspeed on the 1080 Sprint
- Foot width, push power out of the blocks, and relationship to the big toe
- Dynamics of a force based training day for sprinters
- Foot plant and foot spin dynamics
- Correcting crossover gait in sprinters
- How Chris’s ideas on bounding have changed over the years
“Sitting on the 1080 gave me interesting insight as to how people accelerated”
“(For replacing longer sprint work in small space) We used to do tramp runs, where we would get out a mini trampoline, and you get down into a half squat and sprint in that position for 40 seconds, we used to do that a lot at York and it worked pretty well”
“If we’re truly looking at how we are training, we spend 80% of our training time working on everything above that knee, how strong can we make our hamstrings, how big can we make our butt, and spend very little time on that lower part. Some people may argue that you don’t need to, you just need to sprint, but I think there’s something more to it then that”
“What we saw this year at the state track meet was that the two kids that were first and second didn’t have that (big knee drive), they literally skipped across the track”
“Most of the work is happening on the 1080 Sprint at a 20-25kg pull (about 50% velocity decrement in powerful athletes), that’s where we’re seeing the biggest results”
“Overspeed training is a great way to get some great fly times, the potentiation is incredible”, “What I’ve found about overspeed training is that if you’ve got a kid that’s got a lot of pelvic tilt, they can’t stabilize their pelvis, then it’s not a good time to do overspeed training… if you’ve got a kid that’s solid and they got a really good footstrike, it’s magic”
“One thing we worked on this year was really creating a lot of force on that first step to get your body moving as fast as possible”
“The faster you push out, the better you can get your legs wider, and when you get your legs wider, you have a better ability to get to your big toe”
“The Shuttle MVP kickback is the best for developing first step accelerating. I hook my Gymaware up to it. That magic number is 3.5 meters per second, that’s how fast you gotta go to not wobble like a slow bike”
“Most of the business end of a contact in force takes place in that front part (early stance) 70-80% of what’s going on happens when you hit the ground, but that tail end, when you come off the side of your foot you are going in another direction, and you have to counterbalance that with your arm”
“If you go off the side of your foot, it will disappear behind your stance leg. If you push off your big toe, your foot comes up behind your butt”
“Getting to the big toe, you can see that as early as the crawl pattern”
“I don’t do much bounding anymore, it’s too much heel striking, getting out in front. The person who really turned me off is when Chris Brown was here the Bahamian sprinter… and Chris Brown who is one of the fastest people in the history of track and field couldn’t bound to save his life. His form was horrible.”
“Dribbles look more usable for sprinting to me then bounding”
2017 IHSA State 100m Final (Note foot strike in two leaders)
Step Width Research
About Chris Korfist
Chris Korfist has been coaching track for over 20 years in Illinois. He has coached at Montini High, Hinsdale Central, Downers Grove North and York HS, producing over 60 All-state track athletes, 3 individual state champions, 2 team state champions, 3 second place team finishes, and 2 3rd place finishes. He owns the Slow Guy Speed School which is a gym that focuses on running and athletic development from which other All-state athletes have trained. He used to run the Inno-sport website and wannagetfast.com with Dan Fichter. He also had the opportunity to work occasionally with some Olympic sprinters and other professional athletes.