The Science of the finishing kick


Kicking it into gear.

I’ve explored the phenomenon of the kick a little before but with recent research and with the fact worlds has just happened, let’s explore the kick phenomenon a bit more.  First, let’s look at what actually happens physiologically, and then what we can do about it.

The physiology of the kick:
Energy systems dynamics:
An interesting new study sheds some more light on why we might be able to run faster, particularly at the end of a race.  You can read about it here (LINK) but they took cyclist and had them do either solo time trials or against a computer which was really their previous selves.  What they found was that when racing someone, they were able to increase their speed and the sole reason was the anaerobic energy component.  In other words, the cyclists used the same amount of energy aerobically, but in the faster trial they were able to tap into more of their anaerobic capacity.  This has implications in regards to motivation which we’ll discuss shortly, but for now lets look at what this and other research means for the kick in terms of energetic.

If we define the kick as the last 100-400m or so of the race where the pace is increased you have to look at two factors in terms of what effects the kick.

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