The Approach

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The Approach

Unread postby EIUvltr » Sat Mar 06, 2010 3:02 am

I was wondering about some of the science behind a controlled approach or run. Since in the vault we aren't concerned with the rate of acceleration, it is assumed that a vaulter doesn't need to accelerate as fast as possible like a football player running the 40. However anything less than 100% effort has the issue of inconsistency. An athlete may use 74% effort to accelerate in one run then 76% the next. It is comparable to asking a golfer to hit 10 golf balls all the exact same distance.

So what is the basis of a consistent, efficient run that culminates at top speed at takeoff? Are we emphasizing 100% amplitude of movement (aka Knee seperation or stride length) in the drive phase followed by 100% effort around a 3 left midmark?
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Re: The Approach

Unread postby Barto » Sat Mar 06, 2010 8:57 am

Running and jumping is a cyclical patterned movement. It is very difficult to drastically increase the intensity of cyclical movements in a short period of time. This means that in order to put maximum force into the takeoff the vaulter must be running at close to full speed immediately before the takeoff. If you look at the length of approach and compare it to the distances needed to accelerate on the track you will see that it is very difficult to attain anything close to max velocity in under 30m (100'). So, given the biomechanical/physiological demands of the takeoff, it is not suprising that the average approach length of accomplished vaulters comes out between 110' and 130'.
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Re: The Approach

Unread postby baggettpv » Sun Mar 07, 2010 2:24 am

Give 10 kids a stop watch each. Put cones at 10 foot distances starting at 30 feet from the start, for a total of 130 feet. Each kid times an athlete thru a certain 10 feet distance. Viola. the fastest 10 foot distance is as far as they need to run.
You can use left foot contacts also instead of 10 feet.

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Re: The Approach

Unread postby altius » Sun Mar 07, 2010 2:46 am

"Viola". You mean that they are playing musical instrument as they run -surely that would slow them down??
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Re: The Approach

Unread postby VaultPurple » Sun Mar 07, 2010 4:15 am

Give 10 kids a stop watch each. Put cones at 10 foot distances starting at 30 feet from the start, for a total of 130 feet. Each kid times an athlete thru a certain 10 feet distance. Viola. the fastest 10 foot distance is as far as they need to run.


I think they did this with the high school kids in reno to see how far they needed to run from. I really think most people run from too close because they think they can hit full speed in 5 lefts or even 7. Where I know from speed traps that my speed increases significantly from 7 to 8 lefts, then another big jump from 8 to 9.

But as far as run up and acceleration, one thing some people can do from 9 is count in sets of 3. Like 1,2,3,1,2,3,1,2,3 (jump on last 3). First 3 lefts should be fast, next 3 should be still accelerating but more controlled like bigger strides, and the last 3 should be a fast turn over. This allows you to pick up speed in the first 3 lefts, Keep a fast controlled run over the next 3 lefts, then really get feet down and quick over the last 3.

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Re: The Approach

Unread postby superpipe » Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:31 pm

I think the approach run is the most under trained element of the vault, at least prior to the collegiate level, and even then, still not focused on enough. The fact is, most young athletes have no idea how to sprint correctly, and by correcting sprint mechanics alone, could take a solid second off their 100m times. This same problem exists in the pole vault. I too was caught in the thinking of EIUvltr. You absolutely go 100% out of the back. The issue that is poorly documented everywhere, is the difference between a sprinter's block start and a vaulter's upright start. They are much more similar than they appear to be. The main difference is the starting posture and lack of blocks, but otherwise it's the same. Vaulter's don't have the luxury of using extreme forward lean and thus must "bound high" to attain powerful increasing stride lengths in the acceleration phase until around the mid mark where frequency takes over to set you up for a powerful take-off position. There's more detail to it than this, but that's the basic concept. It all starts with the first exploding step into a "high bounding" acceleration. You've got to keeps the hips as high as possible throughout the approach run to maximize efficient sprint mechanics. Just as with an elite sprinter, the key is stay relaxed, but yet go at 100%. Very hard for young athletes to comprehend. Staying relaxed allows the body to attain full range of motion and maximize the stretch reflex of the leg muscles and joints. Intensity must be 100% to insure you are firing the muscles 100% during push off. The ideal is in the following video clip of Bubka's full run-up. Note the oscillation of his COM during his approach run. This is one of the best indicators for athletes to feel when performing correct acceleration mechanics in the pole vault approach run.

http://www.mansfieldathletics.com/pole_ ... Video1.mov
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Re: The Approach

Unread postby baggettpv » Mon Mar 08, 2010 2:58 am

A very nice Melody.

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Re: The Approach

Unread postby baggettpv » Mon Mar 08, 2010 3:05 am

Vault purple,
Try a 4, 3 , 2 approach for a 9 stride. Accelerate, speed and plant/Jump concept. I played with this back in '93.

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Re: The Approach

Unread postby KirkB » Mon Mar 08, 2010 3:31 am

Speaking of The Approach ... I once knew a guy that Fiddled with his approach ... and it didn't slow him down any.

Do you know who I'm talking about? ;)

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Re: The Approach

Unread postby KYLE ELLIS » Mon Mar 08, 2010 4:00 pm

baggettpv wrote:Vault purple,
Try a 4, 3 , 2 approach for a 9 stride. Accelerate, speed and plant/Jump concept. I played with this back in '93.

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Can you explain this in better detail, I am not sure what you are talking about.
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Re: The Approach

Unread postby xjoeyx » Mon Mar 08, 2010 10:04 pm

VaultPurple wrote: Where I know from speed traps that my speed increases significantly from 7 to 8 lefts, then another big jump from 8 to 9.


I get a big gap going from 5 lefts to 6 alone. I think my mid moves back around 2 or 3 feet and my step goes back about 13 feet or so? I want to say my 5 left approach is about 59' and my 6 lefts as of a few hours ago was 72'4".


But as far as run up and acceleration, one thing some people can do from 9 is count in sets of 3. Like 1,2,3,1,2,3,1,2,3 (jump on last 3).


The 1,2,3,1,2,3 thing is something I was introduced to this year. It's actually helped quite a bit with consistency imo. Of course doing pole runs has helped too ;) The only variation is I count 1,2,3, 2,2,3 3,2,3, then the last three after that are the plant, 2, 3 in which you jump on. And just for the 6 left approach it's had a lot of benefits. It's a good way for counting steps as long as it follows evenly.
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Re: The Approach

Unread postby altius » Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:25 am

There should be NO counting in the run up!
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