People have been getting faster and faster over the last few decades. Usain Bolt shattered both the 100m and 200m world records at the World Championships in Berlin, knocking tenths of a second off each. Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie’s world marathon (42km) record of two hours, three minutes and 59 seconds is nearly 23 per cent faster than it was in the 1920 marathon.

In all other competitive races, the running speed for men and women is significantly faster today than it was some years back, and as running performances continue to improve, the limits to human performance remain the subject of much debate.

Are there are absolute limits to the speed at which man can run? Legged locomotion is a complicated process. As it walks or runs, man or animal periodically accelerates both the limbs and centre of gravity. These accelerations require the co-ordinated application of forces by muscles and skeletal ‘springs,’ and the mechanical and co-ordination of these forces can be complex……Read More

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