Mathematical Model Helps Runners Achieve Peak Performance

French researchers have developed an equation that, after accounting for specific variables, can inform runners and coaches of the optimal strategy for winning a race.

Imagine if understanding how best to do your job was as easy as inputting a few numbers into an equation that would then spit out results detailing your ideal strategy. A pair of French researchers have developed such an equation for runners and are hoping to apply their model in software designed for athletes and coaches.


One of the researchers is Amandine Aftalion, who has an interesting piece up at the Huffington Post right now about the mathematics of athletic optimization. Aftalion, who is a research director for the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), explains that modeling running in the form of equations can predict the optimal strategy needed to run a race in the shortest amount of time.

Aftalion's model was first introduced in a paper she co-authored last year. She explains how it works in the Huffington Post piece:

"Our model takes into account physiological parameters such as maximal oxygen uptake and total available anaerobic energy and involves several differential equations coupling the unknown variables of the runner: velocity, propulsion force, and anaerobic energy, which the body uses when in oxygen deficit. The equations rely on two basic principles of physics: energy is preserved, and acceleration (or velocity variations) is equal to the sum of all the forces. This second principle is also called the fundamental principle of dynamics."

Aftalion is now on the lookout for software developers to help her take the next step with the equation. (In fact, the final paragraph of her HuffPost piece is a fairly bold-faced sales pitch.) She stresses that her model could prove to be incredibly valuable to distance runners and coaches. Plus, with a little extra support, she could even adapt it to work for cyclists, rowers, and other competitors in endurance sports. No doubt, if the match checks out, there's going to be high demand for her work.

Read more at The Huffington Post

Photo credit: Warren Goldswain / Shutterstock

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

What’s behind our appetite for self-destruction?

Is it "perverseness," the "death drive," or something else?

Photo by Brad Neathery on Unsplash
Mind & Brain

Each new year, people vow to put an end to self-destructive habits like smoking, overeating or overspending.

Keep reading Show less

Can the keto diet help treat depression? Here’s what the science says so far

A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.

Photo: Public Domain
Mind & Brain
  • The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
  • Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
  • Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
Keep reading Show less

Douglas Rushkoff – It’s not the technology’s fault

It's up to us humans to re-humanize our world. An economy that prioritizes growth and profits over humanity has led to digital platforms that "strip the topsoil" of human behavior, whole industries, and the planet, giving less and less back. And only we can save us.

Think Again Podcasts
  • It's an all-hands-on-deck moment in the arc of civilization.
  • Everyone has a choice: Do you want to try to earn enough money to insulate yourself from the world you're creating— or do you want to make the world a place you don't have to insulate yourself from?
Keep reading Show less