No one has ever published his exact stride lengths at top end or has anyone see actual figures of Bolts SL at Top End not approximations. The 16’6″ was a hypothetical figure in comparison to a 15’6″ so basically a 1 foot separation. What would you assume Gay’s SL is at TOP End? According to steps taken he averaged out to around 15’3 so Gay is probably near 16′ so you saying Bolt stride is 2′ longer? Go mark off 18′ on the track and really look at that. Is Bolt closer to 17′ strides probably but that was merely an approximation to make the point that if as a sprinter your strides are in fact a foot less you will need to have a turnover rate that is around .025 per stride faster frequency on average to hit the same speeds as bolt. How do you acheive this comes down to the running technique utilized for recovery of the legs, GCT mechanics or a combination of both.
The tapping comment is a visual appearance obviously there needs to be leg extension on contact. Take a look at the leg of Bolt on touchdown and notice how straight and stiff the leg is. There is not a tremendous amount of time needed to perform extension of the leg; therefore in essence he is merely tapping his foot on the ground in a spring like action. Can this be classified as a push technique? The term push is very vague and open to wide interpretations. When I think push I think leg extension and stick to the ground much like what occurs in a vertical jump it is obvious Bolts foot doesn’t push and stick it recoils back under the hips.
Try this experiment and with correct position of the body on contact it is as simple as the feel of tapping the ground. When you jump rope do you spring back off the ground (visual: tap your foot on the ground) or do you come to a stop and physically push on each contact. In order to jump rope fast you need tall hips and quick extensions of the legs like a spring. Next time try this while jump roping. After correctly jump roping for 10 seconds move your hips and chest forward at the same time and tell me what happens. Maintain the same actions with the legs that you were doing prior to moving your trunk forward. I will put money on it you start moving forward while you jump rope. At this time speed is not the issue, but do you in fact move. Did you have to even think or attempt to push behind you to move forward….. NO, but in reality does that occur…. YES, the trick is to many think push and perform the action too far behind the COM causing a sinking of the hips on the next ground contact, which puts them out of position to efficiently apply force into the ground (perform leg extension) in the least amount of time possible. The idea of vertical based extensions allows for the hips to remain tall and straighter legs on contact which allows for quick extension of the leg (push… tapping… spring) and faster GCT. Plus just like the jump rope experiment even though the thought is vertical based extensions the reality is the force is applied slightly behind you causing a trajectory of the body to cover X SL based of force applied in the quickest time possible.
I hope you would agree the lower the GCT the greater the potential is to run faster. Are the running mechanics being taught putting the runner into the best position to apply that force quickly and not sacrifice SL or SF in do so.
Sorry I wasted peoples times. I’ll see some of you at the US Indoor and Outdoor Championships.