Data for Discussion - Is this the impact of evolving spike technology?

galesxc

Active member
Trial Conclusions...

> Benefit increases with the length of the race... benefit is small(negligible) for the 800M
> Benefit is greater for faster runners
> Earlier adoption by 3200M runners
...
 

psycho_dad

Well-known member
My personal opinion based on observations in practice and meets is that we have kids running much faster in races in the new spikes than you would expect based on what they are capable of doing in practice compared to kids in the past in the 1600 and 3200. No question in my mind that the spike technology is a 5-7% improvement.
 
Trial Conclusions...

> Benefit increases with the length of the race... benefit is small(negligible) for the 800M
> Benefit is greater for faster runners
> Earlier adoption by 3200M runners
...
I'd say it's most likely because of you, coach... considering all those Gales recently running under 4:20, 4:30, 2:00, 9:35, etc.!
 

mathking

Well-known member
I think it is still too early to tell how much is the spikes and how much is random chance. At least in central Ohio, where I pay more attention to the middle school results, the current group of juniors and seniors were really good MS runners. So I would expect there to be a lot more fast times right now. Racing against lots of fast people tends to produce fast times. @galesxc, maybe we could do some analysis of MS to HS times over the past couple of years to see how much difference there is in improvement. My gut feeling when I look at my own team's data, is that you are correct that there is little to no effect on the 800 so far. And that the effect on the 3200 is greater than the 1600.
 
It's the shoes..

But it's also the availability of training information. The ability of kids to connect with remote coaching year round. The influx of opportunities for kids to run on FAST courses in XC. The growth in high level opportunities on brand-new tracks indoors. The increase in year-round training. The "Milesplit effect" where every kid is obsessed with times, leading to more willing to push their limits to run fast. The increase in attention to high-level performances that social media provides. More connected coaches with more access to information than ever before. . .
 

CC Track Fan

Well-known member
It's the shoes..

But it's also the availability of training information. The ability of kids to connect with remote coaching year round. The influx of opportunities for kids to run on FAST courses in XC. The growth in high level opportunities on brand-new tracks indoors. The increase in year-round training. The "Milesplit effect" where every kid is obsessed with times, leading to more willing to push their limits to run fast. The increase in attention to high-level performances that social media provides. More connected coaches with more access to information than ever before. . .
That is all true if comparing improvement to 10+ years ago but the recent spike from just 2-3 years ago is almost completely due to the shoe technology. New training/coaching and indoor tracks and other things has been around for a few years or more.
 
I don't doubt that alot of it is the shoes. I do think that year-round training and competing has increased in a huge way in the past couple of years...

I know that this is not at all scientific, but Milesplit listed 57 events on its calendar in the month of January in 2019. 83 in Jan. 2023 if I counted correctly.

In the last handful of years, Ashland, Wittenberg, Muskingum, Mount Saint Joe, Logan, Mt. Vernon, Norton (Louisville) and probably a few others I'm missing have opened facilities and started hosting meets (and in some cases weekly practice opportunities) for kids in the winter.
 

Newton's Third

Active member
I saw something last summer that since the carbon fiber shoe/spikes introduction the number of college sub 4 miles has exploded. I forget the specifics but it was something like more in one year than the previous 5-6 combined. The article finished stating that due to the spikes, 4:05 is the new 3:58 and gets more pronounced the longer the race.
 

CC Track Fan

Well-known member
I saw something last summer that since the carbon fiber shoe/spikes introduction the number of college sub 4 miles has exploded.
Penn State meet tonight perfect example of this with 6 at this indoor meet. Villanova had 3 go not just under 4 sub 3:58. We all know what shoes they were wearing. It reminds me so much of the tech suits swimmers were wearing 15(?) years ago when all records were being crushed weekly and then they ended up banning them.

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JAVMAN83

Well-known member
I agree. These shoes are making a mockery of trying to compare this era's runners to others. The same argument was made when the fiberglass pole came into being, but it became obvious that an entire new technique of vaulting would be required to utilize the poles well. No such change is happening with runners. Same technique & training, yet major improvements in performance. Sorry, but shoes are making a mockery.
 
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