/ what can runners learn from cyclists?

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Rog Wilko on 19 Aug 2013
Idling away yesterday afternoon watching the athletics in Moscow I was struck by the contrast between the approach of runners and that of cyclists to minimising wind resistance. Several of the GB women's sprint relay team had big or floppy hair. One had an Afro style which was nearly as wide as her shoulders. When races are won and lost by margins of hundredths of seconds, should they not take a leaf out of the cyclists book? after all, sprinters are doing about 20 MPH - doing similar speeds (admittedly for much longer) to a bog standard Saturday afternoon time trial list who will have a crouch position, triathlon bars, skin suit and tear drop helmet.
alicia - on 19 Aug 2013
In reply to Rog Wilko:

I've thought this before too. Even for the 1500 metres or the mile, it seems strange not to try to be a bit more streamlined. Loads of the women had massive ponytails, that can't possibly be a good plan! Maybe because sponsorship money is more scarce in running, the runners have to worry a bit more about looking better, i.e. more marketable?
Batcloud - on 19 Aug 2013
In reply to Rog Wilko:

The Cathy Freeman skin suit with integral hood wasn't a great look though!
Siward on 19 Aug 2013
In reply to Batcloud:
The Fraser-Pryce woman, pink hair and all, does not need any assistance in beating the rest of the field hands down, does she? I reckon her hair must speed her up somehow!
Rog Wilko on 19 Aug 2013
In reply to Batcloud: Isn't this a rather sexist response? Surely you wouldn't suggest it was important for the male athletes to look good?
andy - on 19 Aug 2013
In reply to Rog Wilko: i'd have thought that when you're running you're (a) going slower and (b) waving all sorts of bits in the air so a true aero position is neither possible nor as beneficial as on a bike.
ablackett - on 19 Aug 2013
In reply to Rog Wilko: On a different note, but following your thread title.

I reckon decent club runners could learn a lot from decent club cyclists. The cyclists talk about training zones, recovery rides, heart rate monitors, power meters, aerobic thresholds etc. Runners just tend to go hard or go easy depending how they feel.

On the advice of a cyclist friend I have started taking my heart rate on a morning when I wake up. If it's high, there's no point going for a PB on a hill rep as I am still recovering, if it's low then i'm race ready and can go and bag some CR's on Strava or win a fell race!
ablackett - on 19 Aug 2013
In reply to Rog Wilko: Also, I have tried drafting off another runner and outsprinting them to the line like what a cyclist does. It doesn't work.
IainRUK - on 19 Aug 2013
In reply to ablackett: Not sure.. if runners were like cyclist we'd just buy more and more expensive trainers....

IainRUK - on 19 Aug 2013
In reply to ablackett: No I think drafting in running is more of a mental thing...
Liam M - on 19 Aug 2013
In reply to ablackett:
> (In reply to Rog Wilko) On a different note, but following your thread title.
>
> I reckon decent club runners could learn a lot from decent club cyclists. The cyclists talk about training zones, recovery rides, heart rate monitors, power meters, aerobic thresholds etc. Runners just tend to go hard or go easy depending how they feel.
>

I'm not sure I agree. I'm in both a running and cycling club, and the balance of members who just go out and run/ride compared to going out with a specific target distance and intensity is reasonably similar, with possibly slightly more runners achieving structure in the run up to events.

Those that do follow specific programs on bikes seem to do it with more kit though.
steelbru - on 19 Aug 2013
In reply to ablackett:
Lots of runners into all that stuff you mention ( well not powermeters, but that which is applicable to running )
plyometrics - on 20 Aug 2013
In reply to ablackett:
> (In reply to Rog Wilko) On a different note, but following your thread title.
>
> The cyclists talk about training zones, recovery rides, heart rate monitors, power meters, aerobic thresholds etc. Runners just tend to go hard or go easy depending how they feel.

I think you've hit the nail on the head regarding cyclists 'talking' about these things.

I've just bought some to new carbon fell running shoes, they've got laces made from spiders webs and koala bear tears, they're super light. Can't wait to show them off in the next cafe I pass...

;0)

Joking apart, I do wonder why sprinters adorn themselves with gold jewellery. I can't imagine a discipline where marginal gains would be more important. I remember Michael Johnson rolling his eyes when he was quizzed over this and I wonder whether the psychological influence of wearing an item of significance, religious or otherwise, outweighs the physical impact of not wearing them.


Aly - on 20 Aug 2013
In reply to plyometrics: Didn't Michael Johnson say (in his autobiography maybe?) that he asked for his golden shoes for the Atlanta Olympics partly as psychological warfare against his competitors? I think psychology plays a huge part in the short events like sprinting.
IainRUK - on 20 Aug 2013
In reply to Rog Wilko: We had a guy turned up to a cycling up hill time trial in North Wales.. best of North Wales riders were out... some guy turned up in his surf shorts... the cyclists in their lycra and 1000's of pounds worth of gear thought it funny..

He took and not only won the time trial but set a new record.. he was a GB international mountain runner..



ByEek - on 20 Aug 2013
In reply to Rog Wilko: I've had this thought too, but Bolt seems to do ok whilst still wearing a baggy top and shorts.
Siward on 20 Aug 2013
In reply to plyometrics:

I have solved the gold chain conundrum.

The flailing of the chain in the air in front of the runner creates turbulence.

Just as it is less painful to belly flop into turbulent water than it is into calm water, so it is easier to run forward into a disturbed air mass than it is still air (come on you aeronautics professors, back me up here).

Thus there is less air resistance running into air that has been stirred up by the gold chain, which is why the faster runners tend to wear them.
plyometrics - on 20 Aug 2013
In reply to Siward:

Makes perfect sense.

I'm off to Ratner's to get me some bling...
Calder - on 20 Aug 2013
In reply to Rog Wilko:

You answered your own question.

Any difference to effort that a skinhead would make would be small, and applied over a very short distance. The extreme is the 100m - a 10s race, if that. As the races get longer the speeds get lower, so there's an equally negligible effect.

Cyclists on the other hand are doing say, 30 to 50 mile TT's, or 150 mile stages, all at speeds in excess of what, 25-30 mph?

Swimmers on the other hand are in water - which obviously is more viscous than air. So again hair and knobbly knees can make a difference.
Paul F - on 20 Aug 2013
In reply to Rog Wilko:

I've leant to run through red lights and when I run with my mates, we spread out across the road so cars can't get by.
Irk the Purist - on 20 Aug 2013
In reply to Paul F:

I've rerouted all our local running races to take place on dual carriage ways, despite the large number of quieter rural roads in the vicinity.
MG - on 20 Aug 2013
In reply to Paul F:
> (In reply to Rog Wilko)
>
> I've leant to run through red lights

On the odd occasion you stop, do stand on one leg wobbling forward until you are halfway across the junction?
Rog Wilko on 20 Aug 2013
In reply to Calder: I suppose the critical question is could losing your afro make one hundredth of a second difference over 10 secs? A hundredth of a second is a mighty short time. My guess is it could, but it is only a guess.
Liam M - on 20 Aug 2013
In reply to Rog Wilko:
> (In reply to Calder) I suppose the critical question is could losing your afro make one hundredth of a second difference over 10 secs? A hundredth of a second is a mighty short time. My guess is it could, but it is only a guess.

But just think how good an Afro could be in a photo-finish!
michaelc - on 20 Aug 2013
In reply to Rog Wilko:
with discussions of relative effect, wind resistance is related to velocity squared, so a small increase in speed does bring a big increase in the relevance of the coefficient of drag
(e.g. 30kph to 60kph, the drag effect will be 4 times bigger).
elliptic on 20 Aug 2013
In reply to michaelc:

It's actually worse than that, drag force goes with v-squared but the *power* required to maintain constant speed against it goes with v-cubed.

So neglecting rolling resistance etc. a 10% increase in speed takes 33% more power, and doubling your speed takes *eight* times more...
Karl Wooffindin - on 20 Aug 2013
In reply to Rog Wilko:

A cycling blog I read frequently touched upon this, quite interesting. The debate continues in the comments (often as good a read as the article)

http://inrng.com/2013/08/monday-shorts-5/
MonkeyPuzzle - on 20 Aug 2013
In reply to Rog Wilko:

This may or may not be cioncidence, but I recall Linford Christie and John Regis both having exceptionally small ears.
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steelbru - on 20 Aug 2013
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:
> (In reply to Rog Wilko)
>
> This may or may not be cioncidence, but I recall Linford Christie and John Regis both having exceptionally small ears.
You could be onto something there, as Price Charles is not very fast I don't think


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