Run the Tangents
Even though race courses are accurately measured and certified to be the correct length, many racers run a longer distance and thus increase their time for the race. Learn to "run the tangents" so you will run the shortest but still "legal" distance for the race. A tangent is a line that just touches a curve. It doesn't intersect the curve, and it doesn't miss the curve. When a race-course is measured and certified, the course follows the tangents to the curves, and by running those tangents, you run the measured distance. If you don't run the tangents, you run a longer distance. To visualize this, look at the following diagrams.
In the first diagram, the runner is running the tangents by running a straight line from the inside of a curve to the inside of the next curve. In the second diagram, the runner is following the curves by always running on the same side of the street. Depending on the number and size of the curves, a runner that runs the tangents can decrease his or her time by several minutes without running faster. Pretty cool.
As you run the tangents, keep the following suggestions in mind.
Watch the latest videos on YouTube.com
The information in this site is for informational purposes only; it does not constitute medical or physical therapy advice. For medical advice, consult a physician. For physical therapy advice, consult a physical therapist.
Copyright Allen W. Leigh 2003, 2008