For readers who've gotten started in sprinting from reading my post Don't Just Run: Sprint, here's a short article about the science of sprinting. Usain Bolt, the world's fastest man, doesn’t move his legs quicker than anyone else during a race. So why is he so fast?
One year from now, the 2012 Olympic Games will begin in London, where all eyes will be on the incomparable Usain Bolt -- the Jamaican sprinter who is more than living up to his name.
Since 2008, Bolt has taken a jackhammer to the 100-meter world record, lopping off a whopping .14 seconds. That might not sound like a huge chunk of time until you consider it's twice as much as any other sprinter has shaved off the world record since the advent of electronic scoring.
Logically, one would think that Bolt did so by moving his legs faster than anyone else. Only he didn't.
Speed, as it turns out, may be completely misunderstood.
When Bolt established the current 100-meter world record in the 2009 world championships, running it in 9.58 seconds, he did so by moving his legs at virtually the same pace as his competitors. In fact, if you or I were to compete against Bolt, our legs would turn over at essentially the same rate as his. Read more