Youtube - Big Ben's Zurich wins (1986 & 1987)

Is a little ‘new’ at the moment in terms of video-uploads. Nevertheless, I have put up two of Ben’s Zurich wins (1986 & 1987) that I got from these forums though I can’t remember who’s videos they are as it was such a long time ago.

Normal race footage + Commentary

Slow-motion replay + Commentary

Close-ups of Ben’s technique (See his breathing pattern also and that awesome arm-action)

Yes, finally the 1986 clip. I lost that one a while back.

Charlie, what do you think about the straining on BJ’s face?

He’s blowing out slowly under pressure- valsalva, though his face quickly relaxes.
Seems to be working don’t you think?

The commentator says you never run the 100m at 100%, but at 99% (relaxation). How would this be done when doing maximal speed work or when aiming for a world record? Or is it simply 99% effort = 100% maximal speed?

Well, it’s likely that the max speed work you do in practice is of a higher top speed than you normally hit in a race because of the energy you save from the relaxed run-in. As you can see in the Zurich 86 video, ben hits a much higher top end than normal because he took it easy at the start.

I thought you said a sprinter should never take it easy at the start.

i think he means a relaxed accel. like john smith says.

so is it the so call delay acc?

Either way the finish time would likely be the same. Whatever he gave up at the start he gained back with a higher top speed and vice versa.

More than likely that is true, but with the wind being a factor the gains/losses would definitely vary

No, I mean fooling with the field at the start and then taking off- not my idea of relaxed viewing for a coach!

How do you perfer for your athletes to run the 100m?

From the start- more particularly, the way they normally run it- nothing different.

So from a race strategy it would be no diff from running a 60m race?

Keep going for another 40m relaxed. I don’t think it’s that different for most if you look at the 60m splits in the 100m vs the 60m indoor times.

I agree thats how i try to think of it, nothing more nothing less.

Is this the case for most athletes? Even with the stimulus of the meet situation you’re still able to hit higher speeds in practice under a submax accel?

This race really does answer those who are fixated on the notion that Ben wins from the B of the Bang! His superior top-end speed is evident in this flick!

I’d say yes.
First off; you go into the zone fresher. Second; you have many more opportunities in practice.
Third; you have the ability to always adjust to the conditions to get the most fasvourable wind etc.
If I look at Ben’s individual parts of the race, I can say that he never was able to put them all together at one time. For example, I thought I either screwed up or had lost my mind when he ran a PB over 60m in practice before Seoul. I was converting my hand recorded, first motion time to something on the order of 6.29. He went 6.33 on the way through. Likewise, his Zurich 86 top speed was higher than in Seoul.

Interesting as always. Then again what athlete ever puts together their best race all at once ? Perhaps the best put-together I can think of was Tim in Paris 2002 with his 9.78.

Charlie when do you think that Ben was at his best ? His '86 form was outstanding all year. Quick times on slow tracks, into headwind, etc. Although, I recall you saying something along the lines of ‘he got better every year’ …