April 20, 2024
Running Performance

Optimizing Running Performance Through Mathematical Research

A recent breakthrough in the world of athletics has shed light on how to enhance running performance using a new mathematical model. This innovative model, developed by a French-British research team including two CNRS researchers, has accurately showcased the influence of physiological and psychological factors on running performance. Published in the journal Frontiers in Sports and Active Living, the research has provided valuable insights for runners seeking to optimize their training routines.

The development of this model was made possible by analyzing detailed performance data from top athletes such as Matthew Hudson-Smith (400m), Femke Bol (400m), Jakob Ingebrigtsen (1500m) at the 2022 European Athletics Championships, and Gaia Sabbatini (1500m) at the 2021 European Athletics U23 Championships. By focusing on parameters like finishing time, effort, and energy expenditure, the researchers were able to formulate an optimal control problem to enhance overall running performance.

What sets this model apart is its inclusion of the variability of motor control, which highlights the brain’s role in coordinating movement production. Through simulations, the researchers gained insights into the physiological parameters of the athletes, particularly oxygen consumption (VO2) and energy expenditure, allowing for a comprehensive analysis of their variations. By quantifying costs and benefits, the model offers tailored strategies to help athletes achieve their optimal performance levels.

The study delves into various factors impacting running performance, emphasizing the significance of a swift start in the initial 50 meters to leverage fast oxygen kinetics and minimize velocity decline in a 400m race. Additionally, it underscores the importance of enhancing aerobic metabolism and the ability to sustain VO2 levels for superior performance in the 1500m race.

This groundbreaking research marks a significant advancement in understanding the fluctuations in physiological parameters during championship races, where real-time measurements are unfeasible. By leveraging mathematical modeling, athletes and coaches can gain valuable insights into optimizing training strategies and unlocking their full potential on the track.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
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