TITLE: The Theory of Relativity, Running Style AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: September 16, 2009 5:31 PM DESC: ----- BODY: A couple of ideas that crystalized for me while racing Saturday. The Theory of Special Relativity
The faster you run, the closer together the mile markers are.
Later, this made me think of a famous story about Bill Rodgers, one of the greatest marathoners of all time. He was talking with a middle-of-the-pack marathoner, who expressed admiration for Rodgers's being able to finish in a little more than two hours. Rodgers turned the table on the guy and expressed admiration for all the four-hour marathoners. "I can't imagine running for four hours straight," Rodgers said. Those mile markers are awfully far apart at a four-hour marathoner's pace. Corollary: Relativity and Accelerating Frames
Runners who accelerate near the finish line pass no one of consequence.
Attempts to gain on competitors later in a race usually fail due to this law. As you change your speed, you find that most of your competitors -- at least the ones you care about -- are changing their speed, too. At the start of a race, beginners sometimes think that they will save some gas for the end of the race, accelerate over the last few miles, and pass lots of people with the surge. But they don't. Many of those runners are surging, too. Passing runners who don't surge doesn't count for much, because most of them have slowed down and are easy targets. It's not sporting to revel in passing a stationary object, or one that might as well be. -----