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LRC Brain Teaser asks: How is Bolt’s 200m WR almost exactly twice his 100m WR?
Wejo and Rojo, you might think just doubling your 100m PB is the quick answer, but there’s more behind the story.
Usain Bolt’s PB for the 100 and 200 meters is 9.58 and 19.19 respectively.
In the 200 meters, you will never run the first 100m all out hence the importance of speed reserve.
Plus, there is always a slowdown over the final 100m straightaway, hence the importance of the speed endurance training component.
My theoretical calculations for 100m and 200m is doubled your best 100m time +/- 0.2 seconds. This is a good indicator on what you need to improve on the respective events, or to determine which is your “better” event.
9.58 x 2 = 19.16
19.16 +/- 0.2 = 18.96 to 19.36 range.
So there is potential improvement on the current WR considering his 19.19 was not under ideal wind conditions. Plus, it was after 4 rounds of the 100m and 3 rounds of the 200m.
18.99 is just an insane WR for 200 meters.
Usain Bolt’s WR splits were 5.60, 9.92, 14.44 and 19.19. That’s 9.92 and 9.27 100m splits (compared to Beijing’s 9.98 and 9.32)
From his 100m WR, his “speed reserve” is 9.58 – 9.92 = 0.34 seconds, with the curve in consideration.
If you take away 1 full second for acceleration out of the blocks, as referenced in the Valeri Borzov – Training Procedures in Sprinting article, that gives his 200m breakdown:
(1.0 + 8.92) + 9.27 = 19.19
Therefore his “speed endurance” slowdown is 9.27 – 8.92 = 0.35 seconds.
So doubling your best 100m time may look all neat and precise, but it’s really twice your speed reserve (0.34 for each 100m segment) plus your second half slowdown (0.35) that determines your 200m time.
Compared to Michael Johnson’s 19.32 from the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, his splits were 10.12 + 9.20 = 19.32, therefore Johnson still has the fastest second half ever recorded.