Weyand’s work on Running Mechanics

Misha Filipovic,Belgrade,Serbia asked me: What is your opinion about Dr.Weyand’s work? We just had a conversation about this with Dr Jesus Dapena, noted biomechanist from Indiana University, at the USA Track Field Coaching school. I think the work of Dr Weyand is basically sound. Faster top running speeds are achieved with greater ground forces not more rapid leg movements by Peter G. Weyand, Deborah B. Sternlight, Matthew J. Bellizzi, and Seth Wright J Appl Physiol Vol. 89, Issue 5, 1991-1999, November 2000

I really do not see that much different from the work of Ralph Mann. I think people are trying to make too much of the differences and not looking enough at the similarities. One major difference is that Weyand’s work has been mainly done on the treadmill at velocities that are slower than sprint velocities. Mann’ work has been done in competition with world class athletes. To better understand sprint mechanics I think their work with the synthesis provided by Bosh and Klomp give a truer picture of what is happening at top speed. Nobody has done a good study of acceleration mechanics since Betty Atwater in the late 1970’s.Unfortunately to my knowledge this work was never published. This is where work needs to be done.

As an aside Dr Weyand was protégé of Thomas A. McMahon who did much pioneering work on track surfaces and muscle stiffness. His book is a classic work, but you better have your math and physics skills sharpened to understand it in depth. As a history major I was able to glean some key points. By the way McMahon was a very interesting who tragically died in his fifties. He was also a novelist and held academic appointments in several departments at Harvard University.


At 7/16/06, 2:32 PM, Blogger Joe P. said...

In the Bosh and Klomp book they emphasise that vertical displacement of the body is necessary to eccentically load it. Before I read this book, it seemed coaches & biomechanists were trying to keep the body closer to the ground, trying to copy Michael Johnson's style. This is a great book, even if you are on the rehab end of the spectrum. I really have good feelings about Vern's trip out to the Netherlands this fall.

At 7/16/06, 4:36 PM, Anonymous misha said...

Thank you,Vern.Misa


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