Short Distance Running: Definition, Benefits, Basic Techniques and Regulations

Short distance running is one of the elements of physical and health education that needs to be learned in terms of terms, techniques, benefits and basic rules. Simply put, a runner athlete uses his feet at the highest speed to reach the target time in a short time.

A. Definition of Short Distance Running

So here it is, Sprinters (sprinters / short distance runners) like Mohammad Zohri (National Athlete, 3rd Champion in the 100 meter race at the Olympics, Golden Grand Prix Osaka 2019, Japan) perform this type of running technique that he masters at full strength and speed throughout a predetermined track line from start to finish in order to achieve victory based on the shortest time record. Short distance runners are called sprinters

Zohri specializes in running 100 meters, although there are 200 meters and 400 meters as alternative tracks that are contested in short distance running. Here are some literature reviews regarding the theoretical description of the nature of the 100 meter sprint :

In his book Happy Yoyo (2000: 11) states that running is included in the gliding phase, which is a body movement where both feet are in the air (both soles off the ground), in contrast to walking where the feet are always in contact with the earth or the ground.

Mochamad Djuminar explained that a runner will do an accelerated step frequency, so that at one time the tendency of the body to float when he runs. This means that when the two pegs float, at least there is a peg that supports the ground. (Mochamad Djuminar A. Widya, 2004: 13)

Wikipedia defines running as a body movement (gait) where at one point there is a flying phase, all feet are off the ground. So, in contrast to walking, where one leg must remain as a support and in contact with the ground, running is a body movement in which both feet are present when they can float in the air or not in contact with the ground.

Walking and running are part of basic athletic training which includes practicing, compiling a physical training program, techniques, tactics, and much more. For Sinaumed’s who want to learn more, a book entitled Walking and Running Athletic Coaching from Dr. Suratmin, S.Pd., M.Or.

B. History of Short Distance Running

Based on historical records, short distance running began to appear in the 7th century BC or in the days of Ancient Greece and originated from an Ancient Greek warrior. At that time, a soldier wanted to announce the victory of Greece from Persia and he ran with a message to convey to the King.

However, unexpectedly, after conveying the message of victory to the King, he died. The king who heard the news wanted to pay homage to the soldier’s death by holding a short distance race.

The era that continues to develop makes short distance running increasingly recognized by the world community. Until finally, in 1912 there was an organization that overshadowed short-distance running athletics, namely the IAAF ( International Association of Athletics Federation ). Currently, around 212 countries have become members of the IAAF.

C. Benefits of Short Distance Running

Not only humans, even animals use running as the fastest way to move using their feet. At one time the running movement of all feet off the ground, in sports terms as body movement (gait). Running is a form of aerobic and anaerobic exercise.

In the Journal of e-Biomedik (eBm), Volume 3, Number 1, January-April 2015 it is stated Aerobics, is a sports activity that is carried out continuously with low to moderate intensity, such as: walking, running, cycling and jogging. In contrast to anaerobic sports, this sports activity requires high intensity with fast energy in a short time, but not for a long and continuous duration.

For a professional runner, especially at short distances, they will use special techniques for both Aerobic and Anaerobic exercises. This training technique will be useful in shaping their bodies so that one day they are ready to run fast.

Biomechanical analysis (mechanical method with the study of the structure and function of the mechanical aspects of biological systems, at the level of the whole organism to organs, cells and cell organelles) of runners shows changes in their bodies, including, when carrying out running movements there is a large angle of their knees.

Mentioned by (Riyadi, 1982), to improve the performance of a runner requires the formation of maximum muscle strength and power, because in short distance running it is influenced by the following factors:

  1. Speed
  2. Power (Muscle Explosive Power)
  3. Strength
  4. Coordination (Movement Coordination)
  5. Flexibility (flexibility)
  6. Agility
  7. Stamina

On The Sprint Project, a Youtube channel that discusses knowledge of sprints or short distance running, it is conveyed that there are 7 Benefits of Sprint according to Science, including:

1. Development of muscle strength

As we know that Short Distance Running is included in the type of anaerobic sports activity. Anaerobic activity can formulate glucose into energy without using oxygen. As a result, the body will be more powerful because it absorbs more energy and uses energy sources stored in the muscles.

2. Increase Fat Oxidation or fat burning

Fat oxidation is basically the process by which your body burns fat and uses it for energy. A 2018 study examined the effects of just one training session and showed a significant effect on post-workout fat burning and total energy expenditure in your muscle tissue. ( Biomedical Human Kinetics 10(1):118-126 – august 2018)

3. Increase protein synthesis, maximum muscle development without fat

Protein synthesis is the process by which your muscles build and repair, this means your body will more effectively use the protein you consume to build lean muscle. The protein system involves DNA in the process of forming proteins.

Deoxyribonucleic acid, better known by the abbreviation DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) is the genetic material found in living cells, which has inherited properties. In a 2010 study it was found that when protein and carbohydrates were consumed immediately after a sprint session, there was an increase in protein synthesis. This is similar to the anabolic window right after a weight training session.

4. Increase aerobic capacity, the body becomes fitter

Aerobic capacity is the maximum amount of oxygen our bodies can take in and deliver to our muscles during high intensity exercise, also known as V02 Max.

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Mike Boyle is head strength handling and conditioning coach for the Boston Red Sox in his book, An Advance in Functional Training, Mike Boyle discusses sprinting, in his writing “Interval training develops aerobic capacity better than aerobic training.

The fastest way to increase VO2 Max, our standard measure of aerobic fitness, is through interval training.” So that means our bodies will be fresher because the amount of oxygen in our muscles increases.

5. Maximizes the ability of muscle fibers

Several basic components such as character, psychology, body proportions, red muscle, white muscle and ethnicity are often considered in the selection of athletes (Widhiyanti 2013) . Genetically, an average person’s body is composed of 50% slow type muscle fibers and 50% fast type muscle fibers in muscles used for movement (Quinn, 2013).

Muscle fibers are very small, the part of the muscle that gets tired quickly but they are very strong, in one “jump” they generate a lot of power in a short time. Sprinting can increase the amount of fast twitch fiber to then train existing fibers to recruit more quickly to produce a greater number of power benefits.

Joe McConkey, an exercise physiologist in Boston and a certified running coach, said that by running, most of the muscles work or experience eccentric contractions, which are the heaviest loads on the body.

We will tend to notice changes in muscle mass and real strength when the intensity of running is increased. However, we will get excellent results, if we have a good distance record in running.

6. Increase insulin sensitivity, good for diabetes healing exercises

Insulin is a hormone that determines how our body responds to carbohydrates. In a 2010 study examining the effects of sprinting on insulin, they found that sixty minutes of high-intensity exercise for 14 days improved insulin sensitivity.

Lowering HbA1c in patients with type 2 diabetes can be through structured physical activity consisting of resistance training, aerobic exercise, or a combination of both.

In the writings of Umpierrez et al., 2011, structured exercise with intervals of more than 150 minutes per week can reduce HbA1c, this time interval is more effective in the process of decreasing it. Moreover, combining physical activity and a perfect diet will be very beneficial with lower HbA1c values. (from Husada Mahakam Journal Volume III No. 6, November 2013, pp. 263 – 318).

According to (Peirce, 1999) exercise is often recommended in the management of healing type 1 DM and type 2 DM and can increase the absorption of glucose into energy by increasing insulin sensitivity and reducing body fat accumulation.

7. Improve heart health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in America, there are 610,000 deaths per year, enough to give us information that heart disease is 1 in 4 causes of death.

Sprinting not only gives our stomach a six pack shape but is able to make our heart stronger and more effective in doing its job. in 2012, a study conducted with 4840 participants suffering from coronary heart disease concluded that the benefits of high-intensity exercise are very positive, so they highly recommend even for people suffering from coronary heart disease.

There are many more benefits of sprinting or short distance running, but hopefully the 7 points above are sufficient to represent the benefits of short distance running.

D. Techniques or basic knowledge of Short Distance Running

In every sport, it is important to know the right techniques and physical training for their needs and demands, in the book entitled Training of Physical Conditions from Dikdik Zafar Sidik, Dr., M.Pd. et al. Proper training will be discussed for each existing sport, including short distance running.

A runner must know the basic knowledge of sprinting or running short distances before he steps into sprinting techniques. Bompa (1999) explains, some basic things that must be understood by sprinters, are as follows:

  1. Leaning forward slightly while running, the angles of both arms slightly flexed 90 degrees then while running swing the arms in the same direction.
  2. Relaxed condition in the muscles of the front and both arms.
  3. The lower leg is pushed firmly until it is straight, and the lift in the front is attempted until it is parallel to the ground.
  4. Try to keep the position of the waist level the same while running.
  5. Body leans forward abruptly as you reach the finish, so your chest can reach the ribbon.

After we understand Bompa’s (1999) description of the basic short-distance running techniques above, it’s a good idea to also learn the next few techniques in order to maximize results in short-distance running. Here are some short distance running techniques:

1. Technique Start Running Short Distance

As a beginner runner before the “start” you are required to warm up your body first. According to (Purnomo 2007: 23) a runner must make initial preparations before running, it is called a start, the main goal is to optimize the sprint pattern.

There are three kinds of starting techniques in sprinting or running short distances, which are as follows:

  • Short Start (Bunch Start). The left foot is in front and the knee of the right leg is placed parallel to the left foot, spaced about one fist. Fingers together and thumbs apart, both placed behind the starting line.
  • Medium Start. Left foot remains in front, right knee is placed on the right, parallel to the heel of the left foot, give a distance of about one fist. Fingers together and thumbs apart, both placed behind the starting line.
  • Long Start. Like the two techniques above, the left foot is placed in front of the knee of the right leg which is behind the left foot, give a distance of about one fist. Fingers together and thumbs apart, both placed behind the starting line.

There are three sequences or steps in the short distance running start technique explained by Bompa (1999), including the following:

a. Be ready

When the starter has given a ready signal, the runner will be ready to place both feet touching the block that has been prepared front and back, the knee of the back leg is placed on the ground, parallel to the left foot, shoulder-width apart. The fingers form an inverted V and are behind the starting line then the position of the head is flat with the back, while the eyes must still look straight down.

b. Bet ready

After the signal is ready to be sounded, the position of the body has begun to change, the body begins to lean slightly forward, raise the waist a little higher than the shoulders, because the position of the shoulders is slightly forward from the two hands.

Then the knee is pressed back, the knee of the front leg is in a position to form a right angle of 90 degrees, while the runner’s back leg forms 120-140 degrees.

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c. Aba-aba Yes

After a starter gives the signal “yaak”, then this is when a runner starts exerting all his strength. The position of the body is straightened and lifted then the feet become a hard pedestal on the start block to hit the thrust.

Both hands are lifted from the ground and then swing in rhythm with the running motion. The back leg starts to push stronger, the front leg pushes little by little, but soon the back leg is swung forward quickly while the body condition is leaning forward, the position of the knees and waist is fully straightened, like forming a 45 degree angle to the ground at the end of the push.

2. Short Distance Running Techniques

In this phase a runner exerts power and speed with the fast running techniques he has learned. Purnomo (2007:33) conveys, there are two stages in sprinting or sprints, including the following:

a. Support Phase

The support phase aims to minimize resistance when it hits the ground and maximize forward thrust. The support phase consists of the front support and the thrust support. The technique is as follows:

  • Land on the soles of the feet.
  • The bent support leg knee must be minimal at the time of amortization.
  • the swing leg is accelerated, the hip, knee joint and ankle of the supporting leg must be straightened firmly when taking off.
  • The thigh of the swing leg rises quickly to a horizontal position.

b. kite phase

The gliding phase is basically the goal of this phase to maximize forward thrust and then prepare for effective foot placement when it hits the ground. The technique is as follows:

  • Swinging the knee of the leg, moving it forward and up.
  • In the recovery phase The knee of the supporting leg is bent, the rhythm of the arm swing is active but relaxed.
  • Then the supporting leg moves backwards.

3. Technique of Passing the Finish Line

This is one of the determining techniques when a runner tries to win, namely the Finish Line. A runner who, if the parts of his body are in a vertical plane from the side closest to the finish line, is said to have made it to the finish line, in accordance with the rules and lines that have been provided. The body part in question is almost all parts of the body, such as: head, neck, arms and legs.

Muhtar (2011: 14) explains, there are three techniques when crossing the finish line in sprinters, namely:

  • Leaning the chest then dropping it forward.
  • One shoulder is dropped forward.
  • Run as fast as possible, until a few meters of the finish line is passed.

The technique that is often used is technique no. 2. If there are several runners competing simultaneously across the finish line, then the runner whose limb touches the ribbon or line first is the winner.

E. Short Distance Running Rules

1. Race Rules

  • The start and finish lines are 5 cm wide, right angled to the inside edge of the track. The edge of the start line and the edge of the nearest finish line is the measure of the race distance.
  • “ready”, “ready” and “yes” or the sound of a gun are the signals used in short distance races.
  • When the signal “yes” or the sound of a gun being fired into the air, all the participants in the race start running.
  • Warnings are given a maximum of 3 times for participants who make mistakes at the start.
  • In the big short distance race, there are four stages, namely the first round, second round, semifinal round, and final round.
  • The first round will occur if the number of participants is large, the first and second winners of each heat have the right to advance to the next round.

2.The following are Disqualifications or Things That Are Considered Unauthorized

Things that are considered invalid are:

  • Three times made a wrong start.
  • Pass or enter another runner’s track.
  • Cheating interferes with other runners.
  • Get off the track.
  • Proven use of doping or stimulant drugs.
  • Short Distance Running Equipment and Facilities

3. Tracks

Each track or short-distance running tire is formed in a field, between 1.22 meters wide with a total of 8 pieces.

4. Equipment

Spikes, starting blocks, finish poles, stopwatches, and start flags or pistols are the tools commonly used in short distance running competitions.

5. Dividing the distance

  • Short distance running: 100m to 400m running motion which is done by maximizing all techniques starting from the start speed, when running sprints and techniques entering the finish line, thus determining whether the time taken is good or bad. In general, short distance running uses a squat start. So, Squat Start is a starting technique commonly used in short distance running.
  • Middle distance running: 800 ms/s 1500 m.
  • Long-distance running: 3000m to 42.195 km because the distance is quite far, both use a standing start, it requires very high skill, because it consists of exerting or utilizing maximum energy in a relatively very short time (Agung, 2013).

F. Short distance running numbers

Running is a simple sport, one of the numbers contested in athletics, both at regional, national and international levels.

This athletics branch consists of several numbers, namely fast walking, running and jumping and throwing. As explained above, running consists of short distance running (Sprint), middle distance running, long distance running and marathon. At the points of distance distribution, the classification of short distance running based on the number of runs includes running 50 meters, running 100 meters, running 200 meters and running 400 meters.

G. The difference between short and medium distance running

The website of the Ministry of Education and Culture (Kemdikbud) explains that the main principle difference between these three athletics sports lies in the level of speed. Because the distance from the short distance race track is relatively short, up to 400 m, sprinters must exert their energy to reach the finish line as quickly as possible.

In contrast to long-distance running, the speed factor is not the main thing. Likewise with middle distance running, the difference in distance is very decisive. Using energy-saving techniques and running as efficiently as possible are the main factors that must be considered when running long and medium distances.

The key performance and power capabilities of the long-distance runner. Because considering the distance traveled is farther than the middle distance running. In addition, there are many differences in principles and techniques between the two. The runner’s foot rest is the next difference.

Sprinters use more of the forefoot, the forefoot is very influential on speed. Not only on the footstool, it is the difference between the three types of running. In short distance running , training muscle strength and speed is very important to do.

The sole of the forefoot is the main factor of this running number. The right start technique is also very influential because it requires a strong repulsion at the squat start. Meanwhile, all parts of the soles of the feet are used as a foundation for medium-distance running and long-distance running. The frequency of training to increase endurance and stamina is preferred in medium and long distance running.

So, that’s an explanation of short distance running, starting from the technique to the things that need to be prepared when doing it. If Sinaumed’s likes sports then short distance running can be a choice of daily exercise that is easy to do but can still maintain our fitness and health.