How Usain Bolt can run faster…..using maths!
There comes a point in ones life where holding the 100m world record of 9.58s is not enough and you think to yourself I wish I could effortlessly run that bit faster. Well for many of us these thoughts are horribly misinformed and fantastical however for a certain Usain Bolt they may be far more commonplace…..maybe.
So if you are reading this Mr Bolt here are some handy mathematically derived tips to shave 0.13s off your time with minimal effort courtesy of Prof. John D. Barrow of the mathematical sciences department, Cambridge.
Improve your reaction time - Usain Bolt actually has one of the longest off the blocks reaction of any of the leading modern day sprinter, which if improved, could knock 0.05s of his record time.
Run like (with) the wind - When Bolt set his world record there was a timid tailwind of 0.9m/s, crank that up to the maximum permissible tailwind of 2m/s and another 0.05s can be saved.
Run at 1000m above sea level - By increasing the altitude at which he ran his record to the maximum permitted (1000m above sea level), Bolt could shave a further 0.03 seconds off his time. This is due to the advantage higher altitudes give to short distance runners.
Prof. Barrow believes this work highlights the insight which mathematics can give into sporting performance. Take note
Richard Branson Usain Bolt.