Just in case:
In most competitive swimming circles, the season is a fall and winter sport. That means coaches all around the world are getting their athletes at their most buoyant time. That extra buoyancy makes it more efficient for a swimmer to stay on top of the water and, consequently, easier to flow through the water. Contrary to popular belief, coaches hate this. Granted, they won't tell you directly. You have to pay attention to the indirect methods of communicating their disdain. They called it "drag".
Here are just a few ways that my swim coaches over the years have forced additional drag onto me and my swimming mates:
Wrong type of drag suit, coach
- Second, and sometimes a third, swim suit
- Speedos with large mesh pockets (conveniently called 'drag suits')
- Shoes in the pool
- Boots in the pool
- Swimming with someone holding your legs
- Tying a bucket to your waist
- Tying a bungee cord to your waist and the other to the end of the lane
- Anyone got another favorite they'd like to add?
The concept was that if they could make your swimming
Cyclists are much better at playing the drag game than runners. They have race wheels for competitions and training wheels for the rest of the year. Training jerseys are the cycling drag suit equivalent. They have one helmet for daily use and fancy, aero-helmets for the show. Some go so far as to shave their arms and legs to save watts (a concept they stole from the swimmers, I might add). I could go on.
Most runners suck at the drag game. Perhaps Olympic level sprinters engage in considering aerodynamic clothing options. Some runners will train in their "normal" shoes and race in their "flats", citing weight differences as their reason. Note: the weight difference is about 4 total ounces. I've yet to read the impact of 100 grams of rubber might have on the overall speed. The problem with runners is that the move at relatively slow speeds to make any gains potentially gained by aero-tech virtually moot. Even worse if you have the run speed of a comatose box turtle; I.E. me.
Well, I haven't been running much lately. I have this annoying achilles tendon issue that's got some extraordinary hang time. I learned, from a hamstring issue last year, that coming back from an injury too quickly yields in yet more injury. So I'm taking it cautiously and waiting until I'm sure that training won't cause this particular issue to worsen.
|My most recent selfie|
See- running is a weight to power ratio driven sport. Here's where the Extra Gravity Drag Theory takes form. As bipedals, for each stride of the run, the human body is launched from the ground and quickly falls back. In order to perform this task, the runner must overcome the force of gravity. Gravity, being one of the four fundamental forces of the universe (the others being the strong force, the weak force, and the call of a bag of chips), is an ever present bastard that continuously pulls a mass towards its center. Gravity doesn't care how much you weigh, it pulls you down just the same. But, your legs care a lot. The more body you carry, regardless of muscle or fat, the more your legs have to work to overcome the pull. That means it's easier for a lighter runner to cross the earth on 2 legs than it is for a heavier one.
Since there isn't much in the form of external drag for runners, I'm resorting to adding internal extra resistance in the form of blubber. In the near future, hopefully, I'll get back to logging miles. And when I do, I'll have to cart around all this extra luggage. Conveniently, I'll have all of the extra stored energy I could ever want. There'll be no excuses for being lazy, right? Come spring, which hits in early July in these parts, the days will get longer and warmer. If things go as planned (which they never do), I'll lose some pounds and running will magically become easy. That's the theory. Anyone want to join me in testing this idea?