Nearly everybody wants to get there too fast.

So they get hot. And sweaty. And out of breath. Some even grunt and moan much more than they need to.

Then it happens. And although it can feel damn good, it can leave a lot of people feeling unsatisfied and desiring and yearning what could be better.

In some extreme cases, it all happens before anything really goes down.

I call this premature acceleration.

In sport, we value speed. Whether you're distance running or playing golf or riding a horse, your ability to move quickly matters.

So I thought you may like to know that you may be going off early and robbing yourself of more of the speed you crave. There are also things you can do about it.

We'll use the example of something we all have experience of - running as fast as you can in a straight line.

Here are two ways how the dreaded premature acceleration can slow you down.

1) Fighting gravity. There's a basic running drill called falling starts that I've posted a clip of here. It involves allowing yourself to lean forward to the point of falling but breaking into your stride to save face-planting. By allowing falling, you let gravity do the work necessary to get you into the position most suitable for maximal acceleration (positive shin angle, 45 degree torso angle). If you don't let gravity do it, you have to and the energy you use doing so can't be used to propel you forward. Also, by not allowing the forward fall, in attempt to run fast people will make a fast leg action without their centre of mass (around their abdomen) travelling rapidly forward. This creates a "running on the spot" effect almost before you've gone anywhere. 
Don't fight gravity; allow it!

2) Going in the wrong direction. If you watch the first video back, you will notice that as the runners allow their fall, as they take step number one they round their back. In this next clip of elite sprinterS, you will see their spines in more neutral positions while taking the first step. The pro's take all of themselves forward where as the amateurs leave their spine behind all as the first step is taken! This common amateur pattern, usually present in those who compensate for poor hip mobility, isn't the only way to send oneself in the wrong direction. Another common amateur pattern is to pull the head back when beginning to run, almost as if it will fall off the neck to be left behind. Such patterns are often the results of neuromuscular imbalances (this is some of the shizzle I deal with). People can be certain of prematurely accelerating if parts of them are accelerating in the wrong direction.

Fighting gravity and having parts going in the wrong direction doesn't just happen within running.

I see it in golfers' swings, footballers' kicks, horseriders' weight shifts while riding. The stains of premature acceleration can be seen in all directions.

Being in a hurry to be fast will leave you unsatisfied. Take your time and savour some sensual speed instead.

 

Arton "Hold it" Baleci
Float Sting - Sports Injury Rehab and Performance, Harley Street, London W1