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The Confusing World of Running Terms.

11 watchers
Jan 2020
1:05pm, 14 Jan 2020
30720 posts
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♪♫ Synge ♪♫
So we're going to have a WR, a WR in a mixed race and a non-Vaporfly WR ... ?!
Jan 2020
2:58pm, 14 Jan 2020
35631 posts
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These guys have done several (at least 3 I can think of) podcasts which focus on the shoe, the impact of tech in sport generally but prompted by the shoe development, and the Marathon sub-2 hour project and how the shoe affected that.

I think the finding was that almost everyone runs faster in the Vaporfly, and it makes about 4-6% difference (eg 4-6% less energy at a given speed) meaning less fatigue later int he race and less drop off in pace, or a more positive split.

Discussions are taking place over how that is legislated for, but Nike obviously, want it not to be legislated for at all and have some money behind them to defend that position.
Jan 2020
3:25pm, 14 Jan 2020
33864 posts
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*less positive split?
Jan 2020
3:27pm, 14 Jan 2020
10007 posts
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Road WR for 10k was just set in Adidas shoes...
Jan 2020
4:11pm, 14 Jan 2020
35632 posts
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That's what I meant G. ;-)

larkim, that probably will last until one of the top names in Vaporflys gives it a go (although I don't know much about the depth of the field obviously).

The testing seems to show that vaporflys reduce the energy required for a given speed for almost everyone. If the same runner makes the same effort in the same conditions they will (almost always) go faster in the Vaporflys.

I think the stats the Science of Sport podcast were listing were that the number of sub 2:10 and sub 2:08 marathons had gone up dramatically in 2019, and most of the fast runs were in Vaporflys. When they filter down to the shorter distances I'd guess the same effect will be seen.
Jan 2020
4:42pm, 14 Jan 2020
10016 posts
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There's no guarantee that VFs are as effective over shorter distances as over long ones, especially if one of their main impacts is to reduce fatigue late on in the race, though I'm sure that won't stop them trying. Other brands have shoes which are reputed to be excellent for shorter distance road running (e.g. New Balance 5280s for 1 mile to 5km).

There's undoubtedly an effect for marathons, and the disappointing thing is that for people like me who just want to see my own progress from one race to the next, or one year to the next, my performances will seem relatively less effective and might even result in things that were previously potentially achievable (e.g. VLM good for age) moving out of reach as others fill up the places with VF-boosted times.

There was talk of them limiting the stack height of VFs to 36mm I think, accepting to an extent that so long as only passive materials are inside the shoe (i.e. no "battery" or external power source) there isn't much that regulators can do to stop shoe manufacturers tweaking the balance of softness / firmness in a way to improve running performance.
Jan 2020
5:09pm, 14 Jan 2020
35633 posts
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The way it was explained was that oxygen requirement was being reduced by using the shoes so in marathons the effect was primarily reduced fatigue. I'd guess, and they didn't really talk about shorter distances, that the reduced oxygen need could result in faster average speed over shorter distances but the effect would be smaller.

Agreed that this isn't just going to affect the medals at major champs though. If people are going for a GFA place and they can knock a minute or 2 off their time with a new pair of (pretty expensive) shoes then there's plenty who will.

They do talk about potential rules to manage this in the podcasts and stack height looks like the most likely one.

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