FTC: Affiliate Disclosure Links may pay commission
Drafting – Runners need to do it on race days and for PBs/PRs
New research suggests that a solo runner could use over 5% of their gross metabolic power to overcome air resistance and could save at least half of that power by drafting.
The tests were conducted under laboratory conditions and based on real-world running speeds of between 12km/h and 16km/h (5:00/km to 3:45/km). The authors make the following general observation
Combining our findings with those of previous aerodynamics studies, we estimate that for a solo runner (52 kg) at 2-hour marathon pace, overcoming aerodynamic drag force (1.39% BW) comprises 7.8% of their gross metabolic power and drafting can save between 3 min 42s and 5 min 29s
Source: physiology.org (Edson Soares da Silva, R. Kram and W. Hoogkamer. 2022)
Probably you weigh more than 52kg, definitely, you won’t be running a 2-hour marathon and maybe your running efficiency is different to mine. There are lots of variables involved but it’s clear that any of us will save notable amounts of energy that will, for sure, translate to savings of seconds or 10s of seconds in our next race.
If you’ve trained for years then in order to improve your running race time by 1%, you are going to need a lot of dedicated training. Cyclists know that 1% gains are easily possible by buying more aero kit. But runners have only really considered the option of free speed by buying super shoes.
Now all you have to do is closely follow the person in front and hope they are aiming for a time slightly faster than you’d otherwise achieve!
Of course, you probably already knew that drafting when running helped a bit but now, it seems, science has quantified that ‘the bit’ that can be saved is probably bigger than we’d previously imagined.
Related science: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33933863/
Related science: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34872462/
Stryd’s running pod is the only running tool which claims to properly take into account the effects of wind speed and drafting.
This content is not sponsored. It’s mostly me behind the labour of love which is this site and I appreciate everyone who follows, subscribes or Buys Me A Coffee ❤️ Alternatively please buy the reviewed product from my partners at their regular price. Thank you! FTC: Affiliate Disclosure: Links may pay commission. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.