Last Updated on April 23, 2014 by Jimson Lee
On the eve before Usain Bolt’s 9.58 WR in Berlin 2009, the St. Kitts and Nevis newspaper The Labour Spokesman wrote about the showdown between Bolt and Tyson Gay. It was written by Peter Adrian and can be found here.
Eventually, Tyson Gay did run 9.69, the exact same time Usain Bolt ran in Beijing while showboating, so I can see how the author thought Tyson had a chance. What no one knew was how fast Bolt could really run if he was pressed all the way.
He referenced my 2008 Beijing 10 meter splits article without linking back to my site. I love how he calls me an endurance testing expert. Here is that snippet:
The conventional wisdom is that the outcome of the two-man sprint could be endurance. Usain Bolt won the 100 meters because of his speed endurance. Jimson Lee (2008), an endurance testing expert noted, “Unless you are running a 40 yard dash or 50 meter sprint, sprinting the 100, 200, or 400 meters is all about speed endurance… reach your top speed, and maintain it. The winner of two athletes with the same top end speed will be the one who decelerates the least. Most world class 100 meter men reach their top speed within 50-60 meters. Women reach their top end speed a bit earlier, so more of their race is speed endurance. I have collected 10 meter segment splits for the last 20 years. And yes, I am including Ben Johnson and Tim Montgomery because they still ran those times, supplementation included. I am looking for relative comparisons.”
With respect to Bolt’ endurance, Lee noted, “Until Bolt came along, 0.83 was the fastest top end speed recorded. 0.83 seconds per 10 meters translates to 12 meters per second (m/s) or almost 27 miles per hour (mph) or 43 kilometers per hour (kph). Ben Johnson’s time of 9.79 could be extrapolated at 9.72 if he didn’t slow down and celebrate, assuming 0.85 seconds rate for the last 20 meters (0.2 + 0.5) If you extrapolate Usain Bolt’s last 10 meter segment, without the chest thumping, it would be fair to say he would have ran 0.84 or 0.85 seconds, making his 100m World Record 9.63 or 9.64.”
At the time, I wrote Bolt won the race because of his speed endurance or the ability to maintain his top end speed. Obviously on the chart, Bolt had the fastest top end speed ever recorded based on 10 meter splits (which was highlighted, and pretty obvious). So I should have wrote, “Usain Bolt won the 100 meters because of his fastest top end speed and speed endurance”
And then in the article, he mentions this response from an anonymous professional athlete:
However, one professional athlete disagreed with Lee that the 100m is about speed and endurance. He wrote, “During my life of training I have found out that the top speed you reach is what makes you win or lose. The top speed split. It’s no use to reach 0.90 and hold it for four consecutive splits. But it is much better to reach 0.83 and drop 0.03 each split after. You would be faster than the 0.90 guy who has busted his ass trying to hold his speed. I have found that the only sessions that helped me improve my top speed splits were the endurance ones. But that I don’t understand. When I do 80-150 distances in training, my top speed becomes better and better in no time and you always get the extra speed endurance you need.”
[Tweet “Who is this anonymous professional sprinter who called me out?”]
That being said. I wonder who was the anonymous professional athlete? Any guesses?