Week 1 - Assessment

Video analysis

Welcome to Week 1 of Building Resilient Athletes. A nine week training program for athletes of all sports to become faster, stronger and more robust.

Before beginning your training it’s good to first perform a baseline test to understand what your current technique looks like for a deeper understanding of your natural tendencies. This can be achieved simply by video recording your running technique. While this program will work on all aspects of athletic ability, running serves as a master skill, so will be a big focus throughout.

Scroll down to learn about the best method for recording and analysing your running technique.

If you haven’t already, download the workbook here.

How to film sprints

First warm-up as you normally would prior to a sports practice session, take your time and make sure you are feeling warm and ready to go. Once you are feeling good, run three accelerations over a 20 metre (22-25 yard) course, increasing intensity on each effort walking back to the start on each sprint.

  • 1×20 metres @65%
  • 1×20 metres @75%
  • 1×20 metres @85%

Now it’s time to film.

Have your camera-person (a training partner, parent, coach or a tripod) set up holding the recording device in landscape mode perpendicular to the running lane. Once the camera is in position and recording, sprint the entire 20 metre course at 95% intensity through the shot. The video below contains instructions to help you do this effectively.

Video analysis

Now that you have your footage, it’s time to analyse your technique, in the video below coach Jacob breaks down the stages of sprinting technique using coach Meg and coach Pat as examples. Below the video you will find screenshots for these stages with good and bad comparative examples for your reference.

1. Initial Foot Strike

Where and how you first strike the ground with your foot has huge effect on speed, efficiency and how load is spread through the shins, knees and lower back. You should be aiming to strike the ground on your mid-foot just slightly in front of, or directly under your centre of mass.

This video from our YouTube channel goes into more depth as to why.

The two most common flaws we see are a reaching heel strike with a straight leg or a weak toe first ground contact with the foot hanging limp.

Pat with a near perfect foot strike. Mid-foot just in front of the body
Heel strike with a straight knee, the most common mistake slowing athletes down.
A weak toe strike, with relaxed foot. Taking the calf out of its sprung position.

2. Peak Loading Phase

Scroll forward a few frames in your video to find the point where your leg bends to the greatest degree. This is the point of peak loading.

Four things to look for at this point:

(1) The mid-foot should be directly under the centre of mass with (2) knees level and (3) trail foot tucked in with the hell close to your glutes. (4) Head and chest upright, joints should be soft.
Meg’s rear knee is trailing just slightly behind at this point of contact. She is also rounding through her upper back.

3. Peak Knee Drive/Toe Off

Scroll forward once more until you reach the point of highest knee drive. This is the point just before the back foot pushes off and leaves the ground.

At this point there are a number of factors to look for here:

Body angle – head to heel strong as steel. Creating a straight line from ankle to head.
Triple flexion of the knee, hip and ankle on the front leg.

Triple extension on the back hip, knee and ankle with arm and elbow driving back behind the body
In this poor example Meg is running with a weak technique. Low knee drive, poor body angle and no elbow driving behind he body.

4. Full Speed and Slow Motion Playback

The last thing to do with your footage is play it back a few times at full speed and in slow motion to get an overall picture of your running technique in motion.

Some things we look out for when doing this:

  • Head bobbing around all over the place
  • Too much vertical oscillation through the hips
  • Arm action: is it frozen in place, tight and bunched up? Or relaxed and swinging from the shoulder?
  • How long do you spend on the ground with each contact time? The shorter the better for contact.
  • Is your back arching and flexing, or is the core staying strong to keep your spine straight?
A wobbly up and down running action compared to a lower more efficient path

Week One Training:

How did your running stack up?

You might see some components that are similar to yours in our examples, or you might find your running wasn’t as unco as first expected. Either way, now that you have a great picture of how you currently run to keep it in mind as you progress through the program.

For training this week you will start all four training components.

  • The athletic warm-up. You will do this daily to increase your mobility, core strength and general body awareness.
  • The Skills & Drills workouts. As the foundation of this program, these running based training sessions will progressively breakdown different running technique components for you to practice and refine.
  • Running Sets. Where you put your technical work together and express your power
  • Strength workouts. A short strength program designed specifically to build the basic strength needed to support effortless, explosive running. This is crucial also to help keep your Osgood & Severs at bay.

Athletic Warm-Up

This warm up contains many of the same elements as your previous program; Foam rolling for myofascial release, Static stretching for increased mobility and Glute activation for, well, Glute activation. Perform this warm up in this exact order prior to all training sessions during the program.

For more info on each component, the links above will take you to our blog where you can learn more about the deeper purpose and mechanism behind each component.

Foam rolling:

Take your time with the rolls and be sure to get the full length of the muscle.

Static Stretching:

The crouching three stretches. These are an athletes best friend, opening up the hips for better mobility and greater speed and jumping ability.

Glute Activation:

The gluteus maximus is the biggest muscle in your body, better wake it up before we get to training hard!

Drills & Skills

There are two drills included this week, arm swings and stationary marches. Refer to the videos for instructions on how to do these and refer to your workbook for the sets and reps you will need to do this week.

Arm Swings

Are a great drill for improving your upper body mechanics when running or during agility, be sure to stay relaxed and loose through the upper body and swing the whole arm from the shoulder.

Stationary Marching

Connecting the arm swing to the leg action, marches are a slow and controlled way to feel the connection between your elbow driving back as the knee drives forwards

Tall to Smalls - This is a foundational exercise for learning how to jump higher. Developing the sense of loading into the bottom of your jump with a powerful arm drive and a strong hip and knee position.

Video coming soon

Running Sets

Each week as part of this component of the training you will also be prescribed an amount of running to be done. This running will range from 10 metres up to 30 metres and range in intensity from 70% up to 95%. Use these run throughs to focus on the new technical components that you have learnt during your Drills & Skills.

*For reference 100% intensity is how fast you would run if you were being chased by a tiger, so 50% would be a supre easy jog, 70% is moderate effort (striding powerfully) and anything 90%+ is a pretty fast sprint! The most common mistake athletes make in picking their intensities is that 70-80% is too slow and 90% is too fast!

Strength Workout

The strength workouts will start with four bodyweight exercises that you can do anywhere you have a flat surface and a little space. These should be familiar to you coming from the Osgood or Severs programs.

Ideally you would do your strength workout immediately after your running sets, making it all one big workout, but if your schedule requires it, the strength can be done on separate days.

Knee isometric holds / Calf isometrics
Mini band Glute Bridges

You can make these harder by placing a mini-band around your thighs just above the knees and pushing out against it for an extra glute challenge.


You can make these harder by placing a mini-band around your thighs just above the knees and pushing out against it for an extra glute challenge.

Calf Raises

That's it for week one

Be sure to watch all the videos for this weeks exercises and download a copy of the workbook so you can log all your exercises.

Remember, if your sports training schedule is demanding right now, feel free to just do two sessions from the workbook instead of all three, make sure you are still getting in your recovery!