Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Sprints are races in which the runner tries to go as fast as humanly possible. Biological factors that go primarily into a sprint are: exclusive use of fast twitch muscle, adrenaline, and anaerobic respiration.
Notice: in the context of these articles, a minimally trained runner can loosely be termed as a person that has trained consistently for over 10 weeks, and is running the race while in condition from this training. Results from people that have not done this do not reflect their potential.
60m and below
- This is an all-out sprint. It is mainly run indoors (it is also run outdoors in some cases). It is an interesting measure of athletic ability, as this is roughly the distance required for a human to reach maximum speed and can effectively be run without breathing. It is popular for other sports (e.g. speed testing for American football, although 40 yards is more often used as a speed test in that sport).
- This is the classic sprint distance. It is the premier sprint event on an outdoor 400m track. It takes place on the straight-away section of the track (there are no turns in this race). Many 60m prodigies lose to seasoned 100m runners, as training needs to be done in order to maintain form and power through this race. Beginners can actually become winded after running this distance. Often, the world-record holder in this race is considered "the world's fastest person". Indoors, this race would holds little importance as the curvature of the track takes away from the athletes' ability to perform and is never contested.
- World Record progression 100 m men
- A very informal distance. Used as common training distance. Often races between top 100m and 200m runners are staged on this distance. The last famous duel was held between 1996 Olympic Champions Donovan Bailey (Canada) and Michael Johnson (USA).
- A very interesting distance. It begins on the curve, and ends on the straightaway. A combination of highspeed curve and straightaway technique are needed to successfully run the race. To most trained runners, this is a pure power race. A trained sprinter will typically run 200m in little more than double his 100m time. A slightly shorter race (but run on a straight track) was the first recorded event at the Ancient Olympics.
- Another informal distance. Also used as a common training distance
- Exactly once around the track on the inside lane. A successful runner will need an efficient stride and superior speed, and a small amount of slow twitch muscles to be competitive. The fact that a runner's 400m is considerably more than four times their 100m time demonstrates this. For career 400m runners this becomes a prolonged high speed sprint.
- More popular than 300 and 150. Strict 400m and 800m runners face off at this distance and come away satisfied.
The most common distance for rowing races (2 km) are also called sprints.
- athletics training
- athletics competition
- athletics middle distances
- athletics long distances
- sprint (cycling)
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