HOW BIOMECHANICAL IMPROVEMENTS IN RUNNING ECONOMY COULD HELP BREAK THE 2-HOUR MARATHON BARRIER
Keywords: metabolic cost, locomotion, speed, effiency
AbstractA sub-2-hour marathon requires an average velocity that is "only" 2.5% faster than the current world record of 2:02:57. A 2.5% reduction in the metabolic cost of running would enable a 2.5% faster velocity of 5.86 mls, i.e. a sub-2-hour marathon. Our analyses suggest that the metabolic cost of body wei 9 ht support could be reduced by running at the equator (slightly lower gravity = 9.78 mls ) and by pre-emptive, strategic dehydration of 2% body weight. Drafting and tailwinds could reduce the cost of forward propulsion. These biomechanical factors could each be exploited to enhance running economy by small amounts, and sum to save at least 178 seconds, permitting a time of 1:59:59.
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