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Machine-Learning Algorithm Calculates Fair Distance for a Race Between Usain Bolt and Long-Distance Runner Mo Farah


Machine Learning Algorithm Calculates Fair Distance for a Race Between Usain Bolt and Long Distance Runner Mo Farah MIT Technology Review

Source: http://www.technologyreview.com/view/537...

Having discovered and tested this model, Blythe and Király use it to gain insight for the first time into a number of important questions for athletes. For example, one question that marathon runners have long pondered is whether it is better to develop a higher maximum speed or to build endurance.

Blythe and Király say their model gives a clear answer: “There is only one way to be a fast marathoner, i.e., possessing a high level of endurance—as opposed to being able to coast relative to a high maximum speed,” they say.

The model also suggests that a runner who is not world-class over 10 kilometers is unlikely to be world-class over the marathon distance of 42 kilometers.

The researchers are even able to make predictions about individual athletes. One of these is Kenenisa Bekele, an Ethiopian long-distance runner who holds the world records at both 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters. Blythe and Király say their model predicts that Bekele should be able to run a marathon in 2:00:36, almost three minutes faster than the current world record.

And what of the original question about a fair distance for a race between long-distance runners and sprinters? Blythe and Király have an answer here too. “We predict that a fair race between Mo Farah and Usain Bolt is over 492m,” they say.  Now that’s a race worth waiting for.

Stashed in: Olympics!, Turing, Walk Jog Run Sprint Bolt, RUN!, Michelle Jenneke, Sport

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Yes, but can if find the perfect race distance for a Nissan GTR and Michelle Jenneke?

Any distance is the perfect distance for that race!

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