Athletes in inner lanes may be disadvantaged during athletic sprint races containing a bend portion because of the tightness of the bend. We empirically investigated the veracity of modelled estimates of this disadvantage and the effect of running lane on selected kinematic variables. Three-dimensional video analysis was conducted on nine male athletes in lanes 8, 5 and 2 of the bend of an outdoor track (radii: 45.10, 41.41 and 37.72 m, respectively). There was over 2% (p < 0.05) reduction in mean race velocity from lane 8 (left step 9.56 ± 0.43 m/s, right step: 9.49 ± 0.41 m/s) to lane 5 (left step: 9.36 ± 0.51 m/s, right step: 9.30 ± 0.51 m/s), with only slight further reductions from lane 5 to lane 2 (left step: 9.34 ± 0.61 m/s, right step: 9.30 ± 0.63 m/s). Race velocity decreased mainly because of reductions in step frequency as radius decreased. These unique data demonstrate the extent of the disadvantage of inner lane allocation during competition may be greater than previously suspected. Variations in race velocity changes might indicate some athletes are better able to accommodate running at tighter radii than others, which should have implications for athletes' training.
- track and field
- 200 m