What would Bob Hayes or Ben Johnson run on today’s new artificial track surfaces?
Mondo has been around since the 1976 Montreal Olympics for Track & Field (i.e. Athletics), but Beijing 2008 was the first time using the new “Mondotrack”. By the way, the Rome Olympic stadium is BASF Conica, not Mondo.
What’s the secret behind the new Mondotrack?
The secret is underneath the patented, vulcanized hexagonal backing track surface that is one of the keys to force reduction and hence, energy return. (see the Infographic at the end of the article)
The Mondotrack manages to do this 3 ways:
- It optimizes the force in the compression and the energy is returned to the athlete. Less wasted energy is from forces going equal and opposite directions
- the downward force causes a vertical compression providing a cushioning from the “cells”, so the pressure on the foot decreases.
- the lateral forces also provide cushioning as well as support from the “cells”
The end result is a “softer” feel results that also increases flight time, step length, energy return during ground contact area. With less pressure on the feet, distance runners will benefit in comfort from the track, but not sacrifice performance.
Thanks for another gem of information. Perhaps in a decade or so we will be able to recreate realistic virtual model movement performances of past speedsters such as Bullet Bob and Ben Johnson on any type of surface combined with the technological advances in the sport including the starting blocks which you frequently report on.
Will you consider writing a post on what preparations the sprinters are going through during the first week or so of the Olympic Games as their events have yet to commence? How does it differ than when preparing for other major track meets?
Thanks as always.
Jimson Lee says
@Fred, that’s a great idea. But I know on the day of the Opening ceremonies, Team Canada sprinters were at a meet in Germany, running the individual 100m as well as the 4x100m relay. Even 400m sprinter L. Santos ran a 300m tune up race in 32.6. Everyone has different goals. I feel a 10 day taper is ideal, and I would keep up the Olympic lifts up to 4 days out for the CNS.
There must be, I am not saying there ought to be or that there is a method in place already, to make the water in the Swimming Pool quicker to travel through, ie to swim in. If you can make a running track faster then can you not make a swimming track faster? It’s only a question of bothering to do it. A little bit of chemistry, I say.
Have you ever given any thought to looking into full pour polyurethane tracks? From what I understand Mondo essentially gives their tracks away to the Olympics as a sponsorship package, does that really mean they are the best or they just pay a lot of money to be with the Olympics? I’m curious because the article says the current track was developed in 2007 but I would think in the last five-years there must’ve been some technological changes elsewhere. Weren’t Bolt’s world records run on Regupol or something?
I am replying here to meself. Yes, if you put, let’s say a few kilos of salt in the Olympic size swimming pool that will make the swimmer more floatable, but then again I am not sure about the effects of slowing him down by the thickness ( am not referring here to meself btw) of the water occasioned by the salty water. Ok, empty some 1000 bottles of Vodka in the chlorine water too and, heureka, we’ve got a mixture that will keep the swimmer floating, the Vodka will ‘smoothen’ the swim to oily-like fastness, and if you give the swimmer male-enhancement stuff (not mentioning any names here btw), he will swim through the concrete all the way to Kensington and Chelsea. Maybe
Bolt’s records were not run on Regupol, they were run on Down Hill.
Jimson, do you know what kind of track usain bolt ran on in berlin in 2009 when he set the world records? Was it mondotrack or something else?
Okay, I just found out that the track in the olympic stadium in berlin where bolt set his records is regupol.
Jimson, which track do you think is better, regupol or mondotrack?
More information than one can shake a stick at:
I think Mondo is better than Regupol. Because of the colour.
Jimson Lee says
@AJ, I think Mondotrack is better because it returns so much energy. It’s all about specific application of force. But more so, it’s the right temperature and wind. We’ve been lucky here in London so far with winds of +1.0 to +1.7. Last night’s W 100m Final was +1.5.
Jim Hiserman says
Again, so much great info that 99% of the fans don’t take into consideration when assessing sprint performances at World’s and Olympic’s. I remember that the hardness of the Atlanta track made the response time much so much quicker than athletes were used to that a lot of them cramped up badly during the USA Trails. They tuned up for the games by training on harder tracks so their muscles adapted to the quicker response time. The new material sure makes it more athlete friendly.
It will be interesting if someone or organization will conduct an analysis of the effects of this track in London on the individual times for the sprints through the 400 meters as well as the hurdling events. And is there any disparity between the sexes when matched against their personal bests on similar tracks? Obviously it would be subjective.