How to Prepare for the 100-Meter Dash

The 100-meter dash requires speed, strength and the mental readiness to outrun all your competition. A competitive sprinter spends hours every day training for the 100-meter dash, a race that's only a few seconds long. Prepare for this race by running every day, building the strength you need in your legs and core and visualizing your dash from the starting block to the finish line.

The 100-meter dash requires a burst of speed and focus on the finish line. (Image: RiceWithSugar/iStock/Getty Images)

Physical Preparation

Warm up and stretch properly before every workout and race so you avoid straining your muscles while you run. Warm up before you run by jogging a few laps around the track, skipping forwards and backwards and swinging your legs to the front and back. Practice your 100-meter sprint several times and have someone there to time you so you can set goals and keep improving. Practice with other sprinters, especially those who run faster than you, so you can motivate yourself to keep up. Build your strength by weight training. Squats, bench presses, pull-ups, abdominal crunches and lunges can help develop the muscle movement you need to sprint fast.

Mental Preparation

It's hard to focus on your 100-meter dash when you're nervous. Relax yourself mentally and physically by breathing deeply and concentrating on the race. Talk to yourself before your race. Develop a mantra or a chant you can say to yourself as you prepare to run so you can block outside distractions from interrupting your mental focus. Create an image in your head of exactly how you expect the race to go. Visualize yourself in the starting blocks, taking off at the sound of the whistle and running fast towards the finish line.

Technique and Form

Pay attention to your form and technique as you prepare for a 100-meter dash. A good push off the starting blocks will propel you into your sprint. Distribute your body weight evenly through your hands and knees as you set up. Get an explosive push by using both your legs and lean forward as you begin to launch into the race. As you run, your body should straighten. Keep your shoulders steady and your head facing forward.

Body Fuel

What you eat is important as you prepare for a 100-meter dash. Your body needs protein and energy. According to Men's Fitness, Olympic sprinters get 60 percent of their daily calories from protein sources, such as chicken, fish and lean beef. Dark fruits and vegetables -- such as spinach, bananas, blueberries and broccoli -- will give your body the vitamins and nutrients it needs to feed your muscles. Fats are important too, but make sure you eat good fats, such as olive and flaxseed oil and nuts.

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