Sprinters that raced with Usain Bolt in the 100-metres dash described the feeling of defeat overwhelming them and believing that winning against the legend was next to impossible. One second they are shoulder-to-shoulder with him and the next second they just get a view of his back facing them, watching his hands float in the air as his signature wave of triumph, shooting to the finish line.
Bolt, who is 6’5 tall, has won all Olympic and World Championship 100-metres race since 2008. The only exception being the 2011 World Championships, where a faulty beginning got him disqualified.
According to a mathematical outlook that has been proposed, Bolt’s record of 9.58 seconds in the 100-metres dash in Berlin was achieved because of his speed which was 12.2 metres per second which is equivalent to 27 meters per hour. Super-fast, isn’t it?
Could the secret behind his ravishing speed be his lanky legs? Let’s take an insight into what makes Bolt the fastest man alive:
- It was found that he is rather less energetic in the initial stage of the game. This is mostly due to drag which is also known as air resistance. It was also found that less than 8% of energy was produced by his body muscles. Rest of the energy was all absorbed by the drag force.
- Bolt’s drag coefficient which is a measure of the drag per unit area of mass, that is configured by Bolt’s body mass, the height of the track and the temperature of the air, it was less aerodynamic than that of an average man.
- A professor at the Cambridge University studied about Bolt’s speed and credited it due to his “extraordinarily large stride length” despite having a slower approach at the start of the game. He also mentioned how Bolt has many fast twitch muscle fibers that can respond quickly, together with his vast stride.
However the man himself credits his speed mostly to his hard work and days and nights of intense training and partly to his tight diet. He says, initially, he ate what he liked and didn’t put much thought into his diet, until recently. He is now a veggie-maniac and tries to take in lots of protein as part of his diet plan.
When asked about his most common craving, he says “Hot wings,” with a wistful sigh. “That’s the biggest craving that I have, all the time,” he adds. Besides his cravings, he tries to keep it healthy all throughout the day by munching on fruits and going easy during lunch and dinner.
Although the secret behind Bolt’s speed isn’t his lanky legs, it’s definitely things that are much more astonishing. A slow starter he is, but a man to always make it to the finish line before all others, waving his hand in pride and doing his signature pose with the fingers pointing towards the limitless sky! Perhaps to help us realize, the sky isn’t the limit, aim for the moon, and you’ll earn the stars!