Making Stuff Faster


Here’s a very interesting video from PBS by way of Scientific American.  It’s part of the 4-part Nova series Making Stuff…  This discussion is on making stuff faster. Here, the host explores how to make faster runners.

The big takeaways here are:

  • 1) Hit the ground harder and
  • 2) Keep the torso stiff.

I haven’t seen the actual episode yet but I love the analysis and advice.  A lot of runners think that simply running more will yield better running.  But if you run the same way more and more then you should expect more of the same.  In this video, the host is given a few instructions on how to run.  The result?  He gets about 2 seconds faster on a 100m sprint.  That’s a great result!

Strength isn’t discussed in this video but I think we can very safely assume that a stronger runner can strike the ground harder than a weak runner.  So squats, deadlifts, 1-leg squats and jumping should aid in this endeavor.  Also, the advice to keep the core rigid falls right in with the research and teaching of experts like Stuart McGill.

Really, though in the end, it’s the brain that’s the target here.  The runner is able to recognize faults in his running technique and alter how he runs.  Thinking and awareness are vital!