sprinters

Usain Bolt vs Sean Eadie

Usain Bolt is the fastest man alive, but can a top track cyclists beat him? That was a question posed in the June issue of outside magazine. Most trackies know that a top track sprinter doing a 200M time trial will go almost twice as fast as a 100m runner ( both pretty darn close to 10 seconds, with the track rider going twice the distance), but the cyclists has the advantage of the standing start. The folks at Outside magazine went to Jim Martin, and former track racer and now one of the top cycling bio-mechanist in the world. Just do a google scholar search and you'll see. Jim has done extensive work in modeling performance, so from a theoretical perspective, he was the guy to answer this question.Jim took some power data from Sean Eadie, the 2002 match sprint world champion, along Bolt's 9.58 100M and ran the model. From a standing start, it makes sense that the longer the race gets the more likely the cyclist is to win, as the runners are already slowing down after 100M and the cyclists is just gaining speed. But it is a pretty close race at 100M. Who do you think won?

The answer is the cyclists by 0.16 seconds. Bolt pulls ahead at the start, but then Eadie Passes him at 89.7 meters. Jim's models are excellent, and can be be highly accurate, but when it comes down to 0.16 seconds, I think it could still be anyone's race. If those two men lined up at the starting line in top form, I wouldn't have much confidence in predicting the winner one way or the other. I would love to see something like this happen. It would be great or Gatorade, Red Bull, or a company like that could put on a race with Bolt and a top track sprinter.....maybe Chris Hoy or Gregory Bauge...Jaime Staff is known for heaving a blistering start, so he might be a good candidate. What do you think?

Strengths and Weaknesses

One of the hardest things to access as an athlete is what part of training you should focus on. I have my athletes spend the majority of their time working on their strengths. If they are a talented sprinter, we work on making their initial jump stronger and their top end speed faster. If they are a talented time trailist, we work on pushing their threshold power or threshold heart rate up gradually.That is not to say that you shouldn't work on your weaknesses. For example, it is always good to work on your sprint. If you are a time trialist and you are in break up the road, you may have to sprint with your breakaway companions. However, you shouldn't spend inordinate amounts of time on things that only produce limited benefits.

If you would like to sit down with a Crank Cycling coach to discuss your potential strengths and weaknesses, drop us a line or send us an email.

See you out on the road.

Cheers, Coach Jesse