Field Events (Video): How to Determine the Runup Distance for the Long Jump & Triple Jump
Field Events (Video): How to Determine the Runup Distance for the Long Jump & Triple Jump

Field Events (Video): How to Determine the Runup Distance for the Long Jump & Triple Jump

Dick Moss, Editor, Physical Education Update.com

The traditional way to determine the starting point for a horizontal jumps runup is for the jumper to begin at the takeoff board and run backwards down the runway. The coach watches where a foot lands after about the 10-15 strides and marks that spot.

Unfortunately, few jumpers will perform this backwards sprint at the same intensity as in a competition. So when you get to a meet, the runup requires large adjustments.

Here's a better way to estimate the runup distance. It's better, because it measures the jumpers' stride pattern in a full-out sprint and determines the point of maximum speed based on that stride pattern.

As a result, it produces a more competition-specific runup.

Better Method
Wet the jumpers' spikes, then instruct them to walk in the sand pit. They immediately run a maximum 50 metre sprint on the track or runway. Your athletes' spikes will leave sandy marks on the track that will be visible.

Measure your athletes' strides, starting at about 10th stride. After three footprints in a row are about the same length, it's an indication that the athlete has reached the point of maximum speed. The start of the third of these three identical strides is the takeoff point.

Measure backwards to the starting line and you have your runup distance.

Example
In the PE Update video demonstration below, our athlete's 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th strides were:

Field Events (Video): How to Determine the Runup Distance for the Long Jump & Triple Jump

The start mark was placed at the start of the 14th stride (1.83). At this point, the athlete has reached her point of maximum speed, which is what you want when she reaches the board on her runup.

To see a 2-minute demonstration of this technique, featuring coach,
Jim Taylor and jumper Caroline Ehrhardt, watch the video below:



Reference: Jim Taylor is the jumps coach for Sudbury, Ontario's Track North Athletic Club, July 2008.


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