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A Computer Model of Drafting Effects on Collective Behavior in Elite 10,000 m Runners

Trenchard, H. and Renfree, Andrew and Peters, D.M. (2017) A Computer Model of Drafting Effects on Collective Behavior in Elite 10,000 m Runners. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 12 (3). pp. 345-350. ISSN Print: 1555-0265 Online: 1555-0273

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Abstract

Purpose Drafting in cycling influences collective behaviour of pelotons. Whilst evidence for collective behaviour in competitive running events exists, it is not clear if this results from energetic savings conferred by drafting. This study modelled the effects of drafting on behavior in elite 10,000 m runners. Methods Using performance data from a men’s elite 10,000 m track running event, computer simulations were constructed using Netlogo 5.1 to test the effects of three different drafting quantities on collective behaviour: no drafting, drafting to 3m behind with up to ~8% energy savings (a realistic running draft); and drafting up to 3m behind with up to 38% energy savings (a realistic cycling draft). Three measures of collective behaviour were analysed in each condition; mean speed, mean group stretch (distance between first and last placed runner), and Runner Convergence Ratio (RCR) which represents the degree of drafting benefit obtained by the follower in a pair of coupled runners. Results Mean speeds were 6.32±0.28m.s-1, 5.57±0.18 m.s-1, and 5.51±0.13 m.s-1 in the cycling draft, runner draft, and no draft conditions respectively (all P<0.001). RCR was lower in the cycling draft condition, but did not differ between the other two. Mean stretch did not differ between conditions. Conclusions Collective behaviours observed in running events cannot be fully explained through energetic savings conferred by realistic drafting benefits. They may therefore result from other, possibly psychological, processes. The benefits or otherwise of engaging in such behavior are, as yet, unclear.

Item Type: Article
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Uncontrolled Keywords: pacing, endurance, running, modelling
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QP Physiology
Divisions: Academic Departments > Institute of Sport and Exercise Science
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Depositing User: Andrew Renfree
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2016 10:25
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2017 14:30
URI: https://eprints.worc.ac.uk/id/eprint/4516

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