The Art of Sprinting

By Ian Grosch

Throughout the 21st century, countless numbers of runners have broken world records deemed scientifically impossible. However even the greatest sprinter to ever live, Usain Bolt, still had barriers stopping him from reaching a sub 9 second 100m dash. The National Center for Biotechnology Information stated, “Almost the totality of the positive work done during the first second from the start is found as an increase of the kinetic energy of the body.” In other words, the majority of acceleration is done at the start of a race. This is due to the low levels of air resistance and friction. However, as the speed of the run rises, “air resistance and particularly the deceleration of the body forward” exponentially increase upon each stride in the race, limiting the maximum velocity of the sprinter. 

In order to achieve his greatest top velocity, professional sprinter, Usain Bolt, must force 900 pounds of force into the ground. This is deemed to be the best possible time by a human in the current years. Since 1999, “the world record improved by 0.16 seconds in 31 years, but since then the record has been improved by 0.21 seconds in only ten years.” Scientists believe that both human evolution and training techniques are great influencers to the huge decrease  in time. However with the top sprinter having retired, there has been no successor to try for the time deemed impossible in our time. The sub 9 second 100m remains undefeated by the human race.