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Running Guide

Track is a sport that requires a great deal of perseverance, athleticism, and speed. The starting block is a tool that provides assistance to the athletes by contributing to the runner?s acceleration upon the start of the race. Sports Unlimited offers only the best starting blocks from brands such as Blazer, Champion and Gill Athletics.

Starting Blocks
What Are Starting Blocks

The purpose of starting blocks is to protect the track and allow track runners to have a forceful acceleration at the start of a race. Starting blocks are used in any race that goes up to 400 meters, but no further than that. It is a valuable tool that generates a stretch reflex which is generated by the calf muscle, resulting in a greater force output. Additionally, it allows sprinters to develop a great deal of speed at the start of a race.

What Types of Starting Blocks Are Right For Me?

When purchasing starting blocks, it is important to find the right balance. It is also important to test your ?mark? and ?set? positions to make sure that the blocks do not rock. The shorter the distance, the more important your start is at the beginning of the race. Your first step could determine how you finish.

There are a variety of starting blocks that come in all different sizes and most are purchased based off of the buyer?s personal preference and what they are comfortable with. Sports Unlimited understands how important it is for our athletes to purchase equipment that is suitable to their needs and we are here to provide our customers with the proper guidance and information they need before purchasing a product.

When trying to find a starting block that will compliment your strategies and skills, it is important to be informed about the variety of products that are available and how they can affect your performance. Consider this:

High Starting Blocks became very common again and returned to competitions in 2008. These starting blocks are much narrower and longer and allow the competitor to adjust their pedals accordingly so that each competitor can perform forcefully and confidently. This style allows for a longer and more dynamic stance.

Short Starting Blocks came into style during the 1996 Olympics and are still used to this day. These starting blocks are typically much shorter in length and have wider foot pedals that allow for a wider stance if it is preferred. They also permit hip-width spacing between feet, which can create a more efficient acceleration.

Indoor Track and Field Starting Blocks made of heavy duty rubber that ensures durable traction and is harmless to all floor surfaces. This product is primarily used for training on gym floors or for indoor races and it is very accommodating and convenient when the weather is poor.

Every style is very efficient and is adjustable to specific angles depending on the brand and most importantly, your preference. Typically, aluminum starting blocks are more expensive than steel, but prices do vary depending on the model. To get you started, check out some of our products that are available for you now:

Blazer All-Surface: Appropriate for all ages. This product comes with gauge steel construction with chrome finished runners that make it easy to adjust. Measures out to be 36? long for easy adaptation to the tall or short runner. The powder coated pedals and zinc plated rail ensures maximum durability and traction on any track surface.

Gill Athletic Collegiate: One of the most popular of its kind, the Gill National Starting Block was specifically designed for high-level collegiate competition for more advanced runners. These starting blocks are made out of thick aircraft aluminum with wide cast aluminum pedals that adjust to four different angles: 45?, 55?, 65?, and 75?. The ?? needle spikes, which are used on synthetic tracks, are included, as well as anchor pins, which are used on cinder tracks.

Gill Athletics Indoor: Appropriate for all ages. This product is designed specifically for indoor use, without nails, pins, or holes, making transportation very easy. Each block contains a non-skid surface offering maximum footing that will leave you racing to the finish line in no time!

Tips On How To Use Starting Blocks
  1. Position your hips correctly:: your hips should be above your shoulders because the degree of height above the shoulder will have an effect on your knee and hip angles, which will have an influence on your acceleration.
  2. Don't raise your head too fast. When you look up, it causes your torso to rise and your hips to drop, which causes a delay.
  3. Don't over-stride and overreach once you push off the blocks
  4. Don't just focus on your front foot that initially pushes you. Worry about your back foot because that brings your hips forward.
  5. Don't move backward in the starting blocks
Batons

In track and field, a relay race is an event that requires a great deal of coordination, speed, and teamwork. In order to perform properly, the use of the baton is necessary. Sports Unlimited provides this tool for its athletes so that they can train and compete to their greatest potential.

What Is A Relay Baton

A relay baton is a hollow cylinder that is carried by each team member during a relay race. They are used specifically for handing off to teammates, in which the receiver grabs the baton and either sprints to the next receiver or to the finish line.

Batons are available in packs of six or more and offer a variety of colors that come in both light-weight aluminum and foam.

What Is A Baton Pass? - Relay Races and the Use of the Baton
  • The two standard relays are the 4x100, which signifies four runners per team who sprint 100 meters, and the 4x400, which also signifies four runners but rather, they run 400 meters.
  • The first runner starts off with the baton, and hands it off to the second runner, then on to the third runner, and lastly, the fourth runner sprints to the finish line.
  • Sprint relays usually practice ?blind handoffs?, meaning that when each runner hits a predetermined mark on the track, the player in front of them begins running and the runner with the baton must hand off the baton. The front runners are forbidden from turning around at any point and they must extend their arm in back of them so that the runner catching up can hand off the baton. Because of this, many runners shout a signal such as ?Stick? several times to let the runner in front know that they are about to hand off the baton.
A Team is Disqualified If:
  • The baton is dropped
  • An improper baton exchange is made
  • A competitor makes a false start
  • A competitor prevents another competitor from passing or tries to interfere with other runners