Usain Bolt

This dude is a freak! I love him.

bolt ; sudden run, as to escape; dash off suddenly

He certainly lives up to his name.

I’d swear that he continues to accelerate until the last two steps before the finish line.
Wonder what his top end is?

that’s awesome. I wonder how fast humans can be, what is the bio-mechanical limits of our muscles and bones / body structure? Many animals reach greater speeds than we do with the same carbon based materials but different skeletal structures. I remember reading a study about this. Can’t find it so this is cool too:

animatrix: world record

I’ve always thought humans could push much harder, at least the “gifted” ones. A lot of the big guys dominate in sports just because they’re so much bigger than everyone else, not because they’re more athletic. Take Shaq for instance, most of what he can do is because of his size, but he isn’t as “athletic”, or has as much control over his body as a smaller guy. But he dominates due to the size so isn’t ever really challenged to become as athletic as a smaller guy. I think that if those naturally big guys like him were pushed to their possible limits earlier on (instead of just good enough to beat all the rest of the smaller people) then the field could change tremendously.

With Bolt, he looks like an average good professional runner. His stride and pace, just the same as everyone else. But his body is scaled up 10% over the field, so even with the same mechanics and pace, he ends up 10% faster just from having that stride length. Imagine if he had the same turnover as one of the smaller guys, he’d look like even more of a superhero than he already is. But I don’t think those big guys get pushed as far as they could since they easily dominate the rest of the field, they give 80% effort and that’s enough to beat the smaller guys giving 100%.

I’d love to see what he could do if he was actually challenged and had serious competition while he trained so that he’d actually have to push himself. You’d have to almost breed someone or find a kid with the genes so that you’ll know he’ll be similar in size, but then train him as hard as a small guy. We haven’t seen anything yet! I think Bolt is the beginning.

im definitely not a physics person, but i dont think that it necessarily works that way, although it might. but i think you have to factor in that having the longer legs may give him more mass to accelerate and he has to move his feet farther from point A to point B than the smaller runners, so its not necessarily a matter of him “not pushing himself” as a reason for him not having the footspeed of a 5’10" runner, but thats just my speculation, he is very interesting and yea at his height he is a freak of the sprints. Point being i think the 10% faster he goes because of his height/stride length is also offset (somewhat) by how much effort is required to move a body of that stature.

but i definately do not agree that he is only giving 80% effort to be where he is at, if he is giving 80% then the people he is running against are only giving between 70 and 90 (wait does that make any sense?). yes we can all push ourselves farther than our brains usually let us (as shown in animatrix… which i loved by the way.) but just because someone is taller/shorter/whatever perceived advantage they naturally have doesnt mean they dont work as hard to be good.

Your shaq example i think is better, i think after shaq’s 2-3rd nba season you can tell that he no longer had a desire to work as hard on the other aspects of his game maybe? i mean thats when he started gaining the weight and relying merely on his size.

Now letting off in the last 10-15 meters and still breaking the WR… thats another story! :open_mouth:

i would love to see an indepth documentary on the physics of say michael johnson(6’1") vs usain bolt (6’4") vs maurice Greene (5’9").

I think most of it is simply based on ego. Look at his 100 performance in the olympics. He pulled up and looked back to make sure he was still ahead of everyone, even celebrating before he crossed the line. He knows he’s the fastest out there and he’s just showboating. He still needs competition though so he keeps the races close.

I have really long legs in proportion to my total body and back when I ran track, that’s what helped me. When we did standing kick drills, I couldn’t keep up a pace with everyone else but on a straight away, just having the longer stride made me win. If I exaggerate the example, if I was 20 feet tall but still the same proportionate shape as everyone else, I could probably take 3 steps and run a 5 sec 100 easily winning. I could run technically slower but by virtue of size, I can still cover more ground quicker.

I’m looking at it in terms of performance relative to size. For example, a mouse can move it’s body a distance of lets say 10x his body length in a certain amount of time. The mouse moves faster than I could using that same formula. So even though in a straight 50m dash, I’d easily beat a mouse, I’ll still say that the mouse can run faster than I can. If the mouse was scaled up to human size, it would easily beat me running the 50.

Now the size difference isn’t that extreme with Bolt, but the extra inches in leg/stride length in a competition won by 10ths and 100ths of a second does makes a big difference. I just think that most guys who are bigger and have that natural advantage at their sport end up putting out as much as they need to win, but they’re probably capable of much more. Bolt eased up on the 100 and still shattered the record. Imagine how blown it would be if he actually ran as hard as he could. But with no comparable competition, he doesn’t need to, and ends up not having to try as hard as the rest of his competitors.

i agree that he doenst have to to win, just like michael johnson didnt either, he was just that much faster than everyone, but to say that he didnt run that first 80m in the olympics as fast as he could have is not a fair claim to make imo… its possible that he didnt, but more likely that he did. last 20m, without question he let off a bit, but only because he was in uncharted territory… if i was doing high jump and sailed over the WR height by a foot i might get a little geeked before i was all the way over as well!

I want to see him get the 400m WR now. didnt he used to be a 400m runner?

the other thing that i always wonder about is how many other 6’3", 6’4" football wide recievers could have been doing near the same thing or better :open_mouth: , they are almost always state champs in HS but have no desire to run track over playing pro football so they never pursue it.

something equally and maybe even more physically amazing is what former nfl player Willie Gault is doing these days!

The bigger you are the more mass you have to accelerate, which means you have to have more muscle to accelerate it, which in turns make you heavier again. In sprinting this has a pretty big effect. I remember from watching the last summer olympics a commentator said the ideal height for a sprinter is 6’0".

I would imagine being taller has more of an advantage in long distance running as it is less dependent on acceleration.

I’m hoping I could be close to Willie when I’m 50. Luckily my body seems to age slowly so I might be on a good path. All the stuff he’s doing is incredible, very inspiring.

Spizzy. You’d want the ideal balance of strength to weight. You can gain more muscle strength without the mass if you train a certain way, and vice versa. You want the ideal balance. For instance, where I work out, people are very surprised at how strong I am in some exercises. For all of the leg exercises, I’m just as strong if not stronger than most even the ones twice my size, probably from my track days. So I have the same leg strength but half the weight to move, I have no doubt I’d destroy those guys on the track. Their workouts give them extra size and shape but not with a corresponding amount of strength.
It’s the same with me on the lat pull down exercise, I workout with the big guys in the gym, pound for pound. 200-220lbs, 4-5 sets. Except I only weigh 155lbs and they’re all 220+ with the same bodyfat. So when we do pullups, they can only do 10-12 and I can crank out 25-30 since I’m so much lighter but just as strong.

But one bad thing I’ve found being so light and tall when I run longer distance is that if it’s windy, it affects me. I’ve had wind almost bring me to a dead stop before. Maybe being heavier or having a more squat shape would’ve helped me then!

Some runners like Michael Johnson are weird alien freaks that break all reality expectations! He has atypically short legs (proportionately) for people that run in his events. I’d love to see Bolt vs. Johnson in the 200!

The legend continues… 9 point fricken’ 58

And that was INTO a headwind… I’d say that completely validates his dominance.

what happened in the 200m? is didnt see it. but after lst nights womens 100m i think it validates jamaica’s dominace in the sprints. US track & field better got out their recruiting if we want to keep up with these guys… get back to the drummund/lewis/mitchell/johnson/devers/torrence days.

ok i didnt know what the schedule was but just saw the 200m last night… wow! :open_mouth: they are talking about how its the first time he looked fatigued near the finish line. michael johnson used to kill everyone in that race, and now here he is beating MJ’s time by over a tenth… crazy. Although in my opinion michael johnson was more dominant in the 400m than he was in the 200, or at least more ahead of everyone else, wonder what Usain would do in the 400? isnt that where he started off?

There’s word running through the T&F world that Bolt is training for the 400M and has his sights on that as well.

i think that would be awesome, im pretty sure he could win the gold, if not set another WR in that event with proper training, throw him into the 4x400 and get another gold. The last talk i heard was him possibly training for long jump. he really has not much more to gain in the sprints at this point, i say go to the other events mentioned and make himself the greatest track athlete of all time.

Has there been any athletes other than carl lewis and jesse owens to win gold in 3-4 separate events?