Quantifying the Benefits of Drafting for Runners
For a brief moment back in 2017, drafting for runners was a sizzlingly hot topic. Eliud Kipchoge had just narrowly missed the two-hour barrier in Nike’s Breaking2 marathon, and speculation was rampant about the supposed aerodynamic benefits of the big digital clock mounted on the pace car in front of him.
In the end, an independent analysis concluded that the car probably didn’t make much difference. Instead, it was the runners themselves—rotating teams of six pacemakers in an arrowhead formation—who eliminated most of the air resistance. At least, that’s what a couple of studies from nearly half a century ago suggested. But how much difference did the pacers actually make? No one could agree, and there was surprisingly little scientific data to shed light on the question.
Researchers apparently took note. A new study in the Journal of Biomechanics, from a group led by Fabien Beaumont at the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne .... Continue Reading at Outside Online