100m sprint: is there evidence for some lanes being better than others?

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Several weeks ago I wrote a post reviewing a study on Christophe Lemiatre and what makes him so darn fast. The study was conducted by French professor JB Morin; an incredible researcher in the field of sprint biomechanics and speed development. JB was kind enough to sit down and answer 21 questions I threw at him. Understanding sprint biomechanics is not easy, and there are many different theories out there; some more evidence-based than others. Luckily we are learning more over time with excellent studies emerging on a monthly basis. This interview should help improve your understanding and confidence in sprint mechanics and the determinants of speed.

1. Hi JB, first off let me congratulate you for undertaking one of the most amazing studies I’ve ever read. You guys are coming out with some really great research! What is your background in sports and academics?

Thanks Bret. In academics I’m a Sports Science MSc, and I did a PhD thesis in Sports Science as well. In...

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Christophe LeMaitre is one fast sumbitch. As a matter of fact, he’s the fastest Caucasian in the history of track & field. At only 21 years of age, he’s the only Caucasian to officially run 100 meters in less than 10 seconds (he actually did so at age 20). To date, 80 sprinters have broken the 10-second barrier, but only one of them is Caucasian. Christophe has run the 100m in 9.92 seconds and the 200m in 19.8 seconds, and he’s faster than Asafa Powell and Tyson Gay (and possibly Usain Bolt) were when they were 20 years old.

Over the years, many theories have been proposed as to what limits acceleration, maximal speed, and 100m sprint performance. Is absolute force what’s truly important, or does the direction of force application matter? Do increased vertical force and the generation of high levels of stiffness get you on and off the ground more quickly? Is horizontal force more important to help push you further down the track? Is the resultant ground reaction force vector...

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Usain Bolt

, world record holder in 100 m and 200 m sprints

Sprinting is running over a short distance in a limited period of time. It is used in many sports that incorporate running, typically as a way of quickly reaching a target or goal, or avoiding or catching an opponent. Human physiology dictates that a runner's near-top speed cannot be maintained for more than 30–35 seconds due to the depletion of phosphocreatine stores in muscles, and perhaps secondarily to excessive metabolic acidosis as a result of anaerobic glycolysis.[1]

In athletics and track and field, sprints (or dashes) are races over short distances. They are among the oldest running competitions. The first 13 editions of the Ancient Olympic Games featured only one event—the stadion race, which was a race from one end of the stadium to the other.[2] There are three sprinting events which are currently held at the Summer Olympics and outdoor World Championships: the 100 metres, 200 metres, and 400...

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Power through the middle part of the race.

In the middle of the race (fifty to seventy-five metres), most people will start to lose their speed. This is because you spent too much of it getting a good start. To have an advantage over all the other runners, keep powering through. If you ever feel tired, look at the finish line. You'll see that it's really not that far away. Keep powering through all the way to the end, don't slow down until you've crossed the line.

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http://pad3.whstatic.com/images/thumb/b/b6/Sprint-100-Meters-Step-12.jpg/550px-Sprint-100-Meters-Step-12.jpg

http://pad1.whstatic.com/images/thumb/b/b6/Sprint-100-Meters-Step-12.jpg/300px-Sprint-100-Meters-Step-12.jpg

/6/6a/Sprint 100 Meters Step...

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The conclusions that are drawn from black athletes dominating the 100m final go a long way to explaining attitudes in wider society, argues Matthew Syed.

The 100m final at the World Athletics Championships this weekend will be won by a black athlete.

Every winner of the 100m since the inaugural event in 1983 has been black, as has every finalist from the last 10 championships with the solitary exception of Matic Osovnikar of Slovenia, who finished seventh in 2007.

Assuming that this success is driven by genes rather than environment, there is a rather obvious inference to make - black people are naturally better sprinters than white people. Indeed, it is an inference that seems obligatory, barring considerations of political correctness.

Logically flawed

But here's the thing. This inference is not merely false - it is logically flawed. And it has big implications not merely for athletics, but for the entire issue of race relations in the 21st...

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Continuing from last week, hopefully you have grasped my basic argument that while some of the differences between sprinters and endurance athletes does have to do with training it’s also partly genetic, some of which is racial (I didn’t get into detail about this and spare me the racist comments), and some of which is sporting selection for certain body types. Mostly whether or not a given individual who does one sport or the other has more to do with the presence or absence of weight training than anything else.

But let’s play a game today. Let’s ASSume that the body types of sprinters is built by their sprint work (I still see this floating around, the idea that you should run sprints to be built like a sprinter even if it’s total nonsense). It’s not true but let’s assume that it is. And I want to assume that it is to make a point that what people think sprint training is or the types of training they use this idiotic comparison to promote is actually almost never what...

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That is one really good question. Trust me on this a lot of people are thinking about the same question sitting in a couch or lying in the bed(including me).

Anyway, it really depends on your current physical activity and shape because to be an athlete and moreover a sprinter you have be as lean as possible. So these sprinters spend a lot of their time on fitness rather than the actual sprint practice. You will have to spend some time to develop your core strength. This is so important for you to run fast. Strong abdomen, gluts, hamstrings, thighs, calves.

The other important aspect about sprints is it's technique. Remember, just 10 seconds and it will bring you glory. Start!! Getting off the blocks very quickly is a big plus. You execute it well and half the race is won.

Get hold of a well experienced coach. It is very important because there is a lot of misinformation out there. And good coaches will definitely make your life easy with good training.

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The 100-meter sprint is all about speed. Any wasted movement or misstep will almost certainly lose you an event that is often decided by tenths of a second. The rules for the 100-meter are simple and straightforward, but infractions are met with immediate disqualification.

Start

All athletes in the 100-meter sprint start with their feet in the angled starting blocks and their weight balanced on their fingertips before the starting line. Starting blocks cannot overlap the starting line or touch another runner's lane. They need to be fixed to the track with pins, rigid in construction and can't give any unfair advantage to the athlete. When the official fires the competition gun, it signals the beginning for the athletes to push off the blocks and race across the finish line. A false start will be met with immediate disqualification from the event.

Track Measurements

The distance of the race is measured from the edge of the start line farther from...

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Is there a limit to how fast a man can run ?Take a look at the world record times for the men's 100 m sprint from 1912 to 2002.

Table 1 - 100 m Sprint Records

The record is being improved in ever-decreasing changes. Montgomery has become world record holder by improving the mark by barely 1 part in 1000 - and you have to wonder whether the dimensions of the track and measurement of atheletes performance is really that accurate (particularly when the effect of wind swirls etc.,. is considered, notwithstanding rules etc.,. relating to wind assistance).

If the data is taken at face value, the following graph shows the reduction in speed improvements clearly...

Figure 1 - History of the 100 m Sprint Record v Time

The dark blue line connects the individual record data points. A...

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Comparison with other studies.

Muscle fiber shortening velocity is determined by muscle fiber type composition (myosin ATPase activity) (7, 28) and muscle fiber length (the number of sarcomeres in series) (9, 27, 30). It is reasonable to predict that these two characteristics would determine sprint running performance. Previously (23), relationships between fiber type composition (percentage of fast-twitch fibers) and sprint running performance (maximum running speed and 100-m sprint performance) have been reported. However, in that study, range of the fiber composition was from 57 to 83% for a 100-m sprint time of...

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"A whole leisure day before you, a good novel in hand, and the backlog only just beginning to kindle..." - Backlog Studies, by Charles Dudley Warner

A Recap on Backlogs

A few weeks ago we took a critical look at Product Backlogs. We considered their purpose, how they are meant to be used, and why the aspirations they represent can so easily fall into a state of "Lost Remembrance". We also saw that a Product Backlog is an ordered list of requirements that are in scope, and if a project is to deliver value, then certain portions of that scope must be delivered in a timely manner.

The Product Backlog is an instrument for managing this process. In short it is a queue, and one that is constantly tended and revised by a Product Owner. It is an artifact of diligent curation in which some requirements are determined to be more important than others, and which therefore ought to be delivered first. On the other hand some requirements will be observed to depend upon others,...

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1. Please introduce yourself to the readers (how you started in the profession, education, credentials, experience, etc.).

When I went to the college for the first time, I started a BSc. on Math Sciences. In the mean time, I was practicing martial arts on a local gym for several years (I’m a Karate black belt) when, suddenly, the instructor had to left the classes and the gym owners needed to find another instructor as soon as possible. Since I was the most advanced student, they asked me to be the new instructor, and that was my very first contact with the world of training, which I became to love so much.

Maybe due to my math education, I wanted to make my trainings more scientific and research-based and, one day, I decided to quit Math Sciences to study Sports Sciences. My main interests was high-performance sports and resistance training so, when I finished my BSc. on Sports Sciences, I studied two MSc. on High Performance in Sports at the Spanish Olympic...

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This week my friend and fellow Olympic Champ boatsman, Adam Kreek made a mistake that I hope can prove to be a learning experience. While chatting with Ron McLean on CBC television, he expressed his opinion that Eugenie Bouchard may not be committed to winning, evidenced by her selfies, interest in fashion and social media presence.

You can watch the clip,

HERE

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To add fuel to the fire, when three fellow Olympians whom I admire very much; Marnie McBean, Chandra Crawford, and Annamay Pierse, expressed concern over twitter, he emphatically defended his commentary.

I don’t think Adam is an expert on tennis. I’m certainly not. So I initially questioned why he was commenting on Eugenie’s game at all. But at around the one minute mark, I realized it wasn’t a lesson in tennis Adam needs, it’s a lesson in feminism.

After Adam made a few sweeping generalizations about a woman who has gone farther and done more in the sport of Tennis than any Canadian woman...

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