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Kendall Baisden Interview: Tips for Young Sprinters

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Kendall Baisden Interview: Tips for Young Sprinters

Kendall Baisden

At age 14, Kendall Baisden set U.S. youth records in the 100 meters (11.73 seconds) and the 200 (23.69). As of 2011 Baisden also held five AAU age group sprint marks. A five-time state champion in Michigan through her first two high school seasons, in July 2011 Baisden shared her thoughts on running the 100-, 200- and 400-meter events.

What are the key differences between the 100, the 200 and the 400?:

“I would say the 100, you have to focus mostly on your start and, remembering to keep that drive phase (going), and pumping your arms; just keep in form. Form is key. If you break down at any point that allows people to catch up with you. In the 200, I would say, focusing on working the curve and being able to finish. The curve can really decide where you are by that last 100. And then the 400, I would just say, you have to find your own running style, your own way to stay with the pack, and being able to finish at the end.”

Are there any differences in starting block technique between the three sprints?:

“The 100 definitely you need to make sure you drive out and be out of the blocks with everyone else, not be the last one. The 200 you can kind of get away with not being out first, but you still need to focus on that. And the 400, it’s really not about block starting, it’s mostly about how hard you get out for the first 200, I think.”

What’s the key to learning how to run the curves in the sprint events?:

“You have to make sure that your body is healthy enough to run hard on a curve, because I know sometimes people run on a curve and that upsets your hip alignment, and that can cause some problems. But you have to be able to pump your arms the right way and lean into the curve and still stay in your lane, I think, in the 200, or any other sprinting event that has a curve.”

How important is it to get a good lane?:

“I think in the 100 it doesn’t matter as much, even though if you are in lane eight it’s kind of hard to see where you are in perspective to everyone else. But I believe in the 400 and 200 it’s hard because if you’re in lane eight or seven it’s kind of hard to see if you are actually getting out hard enough. But I think it means a lot, with the 400 and 200, what lane you have.”

Do you devote more training to any one of the three sprints?:

“No, I have a workout that accomodates each sprint event, mostly.”

What do you do between events?:

“I make sure that I take some cool-down laps, to get the lactic acid out of my legs, and maybe snack on a banana and drink plenty of water and try to stay out of the heat.”

Do you have a favorite drill?:

“I like the drills that I do, and after each drill I make sure to do a burst-out or something that turns on my leg speed. I like doing that part at the end. I don’t like just doing a drill and being done with it. I like to do some kind of power-up with my legs afterwards.”

What advice do you have for young sprinters?:

“I’d advise them to be humble, first off. Sprints, anything can happen throughout the year. You can’t always be the best or stay at your best ability. Injuries do happen. So you have to make sure that you stay focused and make sure you do your warm-ups and your warm-downs. Be conscious of how your body feels throughout every race, and make sure that you’re eating healthy and getting the rest you need. If you’re going to do sprints you have to make sure you take care of your body, because it’s a lot of wear-and-tear on your muscles.”

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