Could You Beat Bolt?

In a fit of apparent egomania, RW's Kerry claimed he could outrun Usain Bolt over 10K. But is it as absurd as it sounds?



In Jamaica earlier this year, after interviewing the living-legend Usain Bolt [RW August], I made a flippant comment: ‘Yeah, he might be fast – but could he beat me over 10K?’ To my surprise, the answer from Bolt’s manager, several Jamaican coaches and, later, Bolt himself, was no.

He may be able to win sprints with his laces untied and his mind on fast food, but ask him to up the distance and Average Joe/Jodie could beat him.

It seems incredible when you compare the combatants: an amateur marathon runner with poor biomechanics, a patchy training record and lengthy injury history, and a professional athlete of supreme pedigree with a lifetime of elite training benefits, medical access, finely honed sprinting form and boundless self-confidence. To run faster for longer you need to understand where speed and stamina come from, how to develop them and when to use them.

Here are the expert predictions for how a 10K race between me, a 42-minute 10Ker (representing you, the reader) and Bolt would pan out – how even an average runner has the expertise to defeat a man whose sprinting prowess will be the very factor that comes back to haunt him.

Plus, we show you how to take the best bits of sprinters and endurance athletes, get the balance right between fast and long, and become a more powerful runner.


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