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(Dis)Advantages of Lane Draw

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  • (Dis)Advantages of Lane Draw

    Forgive if you feel like we've done this to death, but recent posts have muddied the waters a bit.

    PHYSICS FACT: the further outside your lane is in the 200/400 (200 moreso), the better, because you're fighting less centrifugal force.

    PSYCHOLOGY FACT: Being inside your main competitor is best, because you 'feel' you have better control of the race (you see what your opponent is doing). If everyone just ran his/her best pace the whole way, this advantage would not exist, but human beings are cursed with consciousness, so it is a BIG deal. This is why seeding starts in the middle lanes.

    If you know exactly how to run your race, always choose the most outside lane you can. But . . . the problem is - if you see your opponent come up on you, you will most likely abandon your plan and run hard to keep ahead. That may be precisely what your opponent wants you to do.

    Lane draw is paramount at the highest levels, and slightly different strategies are required.

    . . . . unless you're John Akii-Bua* and then you just run a WR and win Oly Gold from Lane 1. It can be done!

    * Fun Fact: He was raised in a family of 43 children from one father and his eight wives.

  • #2
    While there are no physical advantages to being in the extreme outside lane (8 or 9) in a 100, being there could allow someone to avoid tightening up when another runner draws even 20-30 meters from the finish. If 2 or 3 runners were locked in a battle several lanes to the left, I can see how someone in 8 or 9 could "run their own race" and finish more relaxed.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by trackCanuck View Post
      If 2 or 3 runners were locked in a battle several lanes to the left, I can see how someone in 8 or 9 could "run their own race" and finish more relaxed.
      Good point and we've seen races 'stolen' from the outside as the higher seeds cause each other to lose focus in the last 30m. Happens a lot too in the short hurdles.

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      • #4
        I agree with just about everything Atticus said in post #1 in this thread. Those were some of the points I was trying to make in that other thread.

        All I am saying is, sprinters and hurdlers have to learn to run in all lanes because what happens when you don't end up in one of the "middle lanes"?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Atticus View Post
          Good point and we've seen races 'stolen' from the outside as the higher seeds cause each other to lose focus in the last 30m. Happens a lot too in the short hurdles.
          Well, I will not use the word "stolen" because I think that is too strong a word. But I think this is exactly what happened in the finals of the men's 100 meters at the 2017 World Championships. Bolt, (in lane 4) and Coleman (in lane 5) were so focused on each other until they forgot about Gatlin out in lane 8.
          Last edited by The Klingon; 05-21-2019, 10:48 PM.

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          • #6
            I love this topic!

            All of my daughter's best times are on the outside lane(s) in the 400. Two things I think: First is that in lane 7-8-9 she runs "scared" and that just so happens to play to her 400 style. Another is that she does seem to fair poorly when chasing someone. I don't know if she tightens up or just gets demoralized but when the stagger makes it appear to her that she's "behind" (even when she might not be) something about seeing people in front of her ties her up.

            Really, it goes back to what many have said: if she just ran HER race, it wouldn't matter as much what lane she's in.
            You there, on the motorbike! Sell me one of your melons!

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            • #7
              If the track has some age on it, lanes 1 and 2 have the physical disadvantage of more wear and tear than other lanes, caused by the clustering of distance runners in those 2 lanes.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by 18.99s View Post
                wear and tear than other lanes, caused by the clustering of distance runners in those 2 lanes.
                %$#@&!ing distance runners - always ruining perfectly good meets!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by scottmitchell74 View Post
                  I love this topic!

                  All of my daughter's best times are on the outside lane(s) in the 400. Two things I think: First is that in lane 7-8-9 she runs "scared" and that just so happens to play to her 400 style. Another is that she does seem to fair poorly when chasing someone. I don't know if she tightens up or just gets demoralized but when the stagger makes it appear to her that she's "behind" (even when she might not be) something about seeing people in front of her ties her up.

                  Really, it goes back to what many have said: if she just ran HER race, it wouldn't matter as much what lane she's in.
                  Exactly!!!!!!!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Atticus View Post
                    %$#@&!ing distance runners - always ruining perfectly good meets!
                    Now you wrong for that. LOL!!! LOL!!!

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