On Monday, I posted Usain Bolt’s 20 meter splits courtesy of the IAAF.
Another biomechanical report has come out with 10 meter splits. You can download the official document here (PDF)
But First, the Disclaimer
When you want to lose or gain weight, you should always weigh yourself with the same scale, the same time of day, with the same amount of clothes. It doesn’t matter if the scale is off by 5 lbs or 2kg. What matters is the same method of measurement is used. It is the relative change or displacement you are comparing.
That being said, you should not compare the new IAAF Scientific Research study and compare that to previous results from other sources. What would be ideal is the same group of Scientists performing the same analysis on major future events.
But we’re all armchair quarterbacks, right?
That being said…
Usain Bolt 10 Meter Splits and Top End Speed
These analysis are fun to determine (1) where he improved in 2009 with his limited training (i.e post Beijing commitments, car accident) and (2) where he can further improve, preferably in Zurich next week where I am sure meet organizers are collecting Swiss Francs to pay him if he runs under 9.58.
Variability, Contradictions, etc…
A couple of alarming things spring out when you present all the facts on the same page:
- Note the difference in the 2 reports for his 60 meter split 6.31 vs. 6.29. The 20m split also varied between 2.88 and 2.89.
- His start appeared better than Beijing from the video, but you couldn’t tell that by the stats from the 10m or 20m splits.
- The first study showed a 0.805 average 20 meter top speed (60-80m), the second study showed a 0.81 (60-70m) top end speed. In any case, he still produced the fastest split ever recorded.
- Other factors include wind speed, track surface, altitude and so on.
Slice and Dice all you want – Is Bolt really better than Beijing?
Another factor for the time differences was the wind speed.
So in 2008, his 9,69 without the chest thump could be extrapolated to 9.64 or 9.63 or even 9.62 (assuming a 0.83 last 10 meters)
If the wind in Berlin was 0.0, then that could be “converted” to a 9.62 according to Jonas tables?
Does that the mean Bolt is roughly the same fitness as last year, but with a different execution of each race?
More importantly, how did he improve his top end speed (0.81 sec/10m, or even 0.805 sec/10m) given the past year conditions? (I gave clues in the previous article)
Perhaps. We know wind is a factor… just look at Tyson Gay’s 9.68 (+4.1) 0.80 sec/10m from the 2008 USATF Olympic Trials.
Does he have anything else to give? How much will he earn if he breaks the WR in Zurich? We all remember last years post-Beijing race 100 meter race. He still won, but not in the same way he won Beijing. Something can be said for Championship electricity and multiple rounds.
How much does 10 races in 8 days take out of your legs, both physically, and more importantly, neuromuscularly?