Long Jump

Long Jump Run Ups

A good run-up comprises of two factors; speed and accuracy.  Long jump is primarily a speed event, 9 times out of 10 if an athlete is fast they will also be able to jump far.  The other important factor is accuracy.  A run-up is not very good if athlete either fouls all the time or is way behind the board.
How long does the run-up need to be? A good question! As a rule of thumb, I use the athlete’s age minus one to give the number of strides in the run-up.  I’ve found that up to the age of about 15 this rule works well. So for example if John is 13 his run-up would be his age 13 -1 = 12 running steps.

Measuring the run-up

Once you’ve determined the number of steps the easiest way to get the run-up is to run it out. Starting at the board, running away from the sand, get your athlete to run like they do in a race.  Simply count their steps and put a marker or water bottle where the take-off step is.  Now remembering that consistency is a key ingredient for a run-up once is never enough.  Usually 3 trials are required.  Once this is done measure the run-up.  The best way to do this is with a tape measure.   If you don’t have access to a tape measure, use the athlete’s feet or steps.

Marking the run-up

During competition measuring tapes aren’t actually allowed along the side of the runway so athletes need to mark there run-up somehow.  Every athlete received a water bottle at sign on, besides been great because they help us keep hydrated water bottles also make great run-up markers.

Remembering the Distance 

This year it is my ambition that every athlete capable of competing at Zones or States (Under 9’s and above) should have and know their run-up.  The easiest way to remember something, write it down! And what do the athletes bring with them every single week? Their Gap little A’s shirt!  If the parents of athletes could neatly write the run-up measurement on the athlete’s registered number, it would be greatly appreciated.