The Physics of Track/Sprinting?

For school, we have to do a research paper in physics. I pretty much detest the subject, but I figure since I have to do the paper I should do it on something that might actually inform me of something or be useful to me in training.

So the question is, does anyone know of any good topics in physics that could relate to track or sprinting/hurdling of some kind? Have there been any articles/abstracts published concerning the science (physical, not biological) behind sprinting/hurdling? The topic needs to be something that I can run an experiment on at a later date, so that would factor into the decision.

Any pointers in the right direction would be much appreciated, thanks.

What level of physics are we talking about? There are some interesting analysis that you can do, but most of them require a bit of math. What level of math are you confortable with?

One hurdling topic that might work is the difference between trying to snap down the lead leg vs. allowing to come down without forcing it. I’ve heard many coaches over the years talk about snap down but a few others who say that it causes a negative effect to the torso in coming up prematurely in response to the snap down. I think that is a legitimate concern because you want to keep “on top” of your lead foot on touch down. If you snap down, you likely would land with your cg slightly behind the touch down foot.

Look up Peter Weyand on Google and pull up some of his stuff. Some of the conclusions are being batted around on the Barry Ross thread that’s up now.

Hi Mister C,

Analysing the sprint start would offer you the most practical experiment and also the most to write about. Force application, impulse, exit times, etc, etc.

There used to be an article based on scientific research on but the website seems to be down at the moment. Just search for ‘sprint start’. Good luck.