# Thread: Effect of lane allocation

1.
Originally Posted by gh
... having him run 100s around the curve (no need to run a full 200). Each one full out, with multiple iterations.
While seemingly obvious, I am not sure that his is true. Specifically, trying to run the curve very hard (fighting with constant acceleration inward) might lead to fatigue effects later in the race. Conversely, because running faster in the tightest lanes is so hard, some might take a strategy of going just a little easier on the curve and then being able to push harder. I suspect that this is more important in the 400 than the 200 due to the greater effect of fatigue, but the 200 is not completely a full-out blast with the same energy used, per meter, as the 100m.

2.
There is surely a lot of noise in the system, but there are advanced statistical techniques available to deal with such data. And you have piles of observations . . .
I do think you can - and should - use real race data, finals only, identifying and statistically compensating for each athlete and each location, and consider wind as well. In allowing for the ability to run the curve, you'll have to allow your estimator to calculate different curve effects for different runners, and then test to see if those adjustments improve the fit of the equation or not.

To do this, you will need multiple observations of each athlete you include in the data set, and preferably multiple observations for each athlete running in each lane.

Should be an interesting project.

3.
This thread conjured up in my mind a little anecdote which is only peripherally related. I had a training mate who was not so durable, and he wanted to do some of our repeats clock-wise as opposed to the usual counter clock-wise. Well, we would start and finish on the usual start and finish line. Consequently, you'd essentially be finishing the repeat 400, for example, on the curve (using the term loosely) instead of the straight. If the 800 and mile were run this way (finishing on the curve), it might have an interesting effect on strategy.

4.
Originally Posted by DecFan
There is surely a lot of noise in the system, but there are advanced statistical techniques available to deal with such data. And you have piles of observations . . ....
What you don't have is an athlete of Bolt, Gay, etc (or before them MJ) caliber running in anything but the middle lanes. Unless you know what the same athlete would do in 1 and 8, compared to normal 4-5-6 I don't see how all the data in the world can be brought to bear.

Your "piles of observations" would be fraught with bias from the get go because of the way lanes are assigned to begin with.

Not to mention the fact that using data from different races is going to bring wind into the equation (something that can't adequately be factored out because of the vectoring problem), and the fact that not all curves are of the same radius. Your usable data gets whittle down rather quickly.

5.
Originally Posted by gh
What you don't have is an athlete of Bolt, Gay, etc (or before them MJ) caliber running in anything but the middle lanes.
If you don't have enough lane variability on Bolt and Gay, leave them out. The Shaun Crawfords of the world will provide sufficient information. Athletes numbered 5 to 40 on the annual list for the last 20 years will provide plenty of data.

6.
I think part of gh's point is that the runners in the middle lanes are in some respects "a self-selected demographic based on merit." Thus, you will have a harder time distinguishing whether they are faster in the middle lanes because they are in the middle lanes or because they were faster and thus in the middle lanes.
Another factor I thought of which might be difficult to account for is the impact of having other runners in the other lanes in terms of your visual field on how that effects performance. In other words, how much of the ostensible advantage of a certain lane could be physical and how much could be a potentially superior vantage point from which to assess others and benefit from their relative positions?

7. Re: Effect of lane allocation
Originally Posted by loverarge
MENS 400m:
1 Mark Richardson GBR 44.37 1 Bislett Oslo 9Jul98

2 Larry James USA 43.97A 2 OG Mexico City 18Oct68
Michael Johnson USA 44.17 1r1 Athl Lausanne 10Jul91

3 Michael Johnson USA 43.65 1 WCh Stuttgart 17Aug93

4 Butch Reynolds USA 43.29 1 WkZ Zurich 17Aug88

5 Michael Johnson USA 43.18 1 WCh Seville 26Aug99

6 Michael Johnson USA 43.66 1 USATAF Sacramento 16Jun95

7 Butch Reynolds USA 44.13 2 WCh Stuttgart 17Aug93

8 Antonio Pettigrew USA 44.45 5 USATAF Eugene 19Jun93

9 Butch Reynolds USA 44.43 1h1 NCAA Baton Rouge 4Jun87
I couldn't care less how you're conducting your research - I'm interested in these lane world bests, so here are some updates on the 400m:
3 Jeremy Wariner USA 43.62 1 GG Rome 14Jul06
6 Jeremy Wariner USA 43.45 1 WCh Osaka 31Aug07
8= Chris Brown BAH 44.45 4 WCh Osaka 31Aug07

8. Re: Effect of lane allocation
Originally Posted by loverarge
WOMEN 400m:
1 Olga Vladykina UKR 48.27 2 WCup Canberra 6Oct85

2 Marita Koch GDR 47.60 1 WCup Canberra 6Oct85

3 Jarmila Kratochvilova CZE 47.99 1 WCh Helsinki 10Aug83

4 Cathy Freeman AUS 48.63 2 OG Atlanta 29Jul96

5 Valerie Brisco USA 48.83 1 OG Los Angeles 6Aug84
Marie-Jose Perec FRA 48.83 1 OG Barcelona 5Aug92

6 Jarmila Kratochvilova CZE 48.61 1 WCup Rome 6Sep81

7 Chandra Cheeseborough USA 49.05 2 OG Los Angeles 6Aug84

8 Marita Koch GDR 48.60 1 ECup Turin 4Aug79
No updates on the women's 200m. Just one update for the women's 400m:
7 Sanya Richards USA 48.70 1 WCp Athens 16Sep06

Originally Posted by loverarge
WOMEN 400m HURDLES:
1 Yulia Pechonkina RUS 53.38 1 ECup Annecy 22Jun02

2 Janeene Vickers USA 53.71 2 Wkz Zurich 7Aug91

3 Tonja Buford USA 52.62 2 WCh Goteborg 11Aug95

4 Yulia Pechonkina RUS 52.34 1 NC Tula 08Aug03

5 Kim Batten USA 52.61 1 WCh Goteborg 11Aug95

6 Sandra Farmer-Patrick USA 52.79 2 WCh Stuttgart 19Aug93

7 Kim Batten USA 53.17A 3 WCup Johannesburg 11Sep98
Sandra Cummings Glover USA 53.33 1 USATAF Sacramento 17Jul02

8 Nezha Bidouane MAR 52.96A 1 WCup Johannesburg 11Sep98
Ionela Tirlea ROM 53.48 4 WkZ Zurich 12Aug98
Latest:
6 Melaine Walker JAM 52.64 1 OG Beijing 20Aug08

9.
Originally Posted by DecFan
Originally Posted by gh
What you don't have is an athlete of Bolt, Gay, etc (or before them MJ) caliber running in anything but the middle lanes.
If you don't have enough lane variability on Bolt and Gay, leave them out. The Shaun Crawfords of the world will provide sufficient information. Athletes numbered 5 to 40 on the annual list for the last 20 years will provide plenty of data.
I don't think they will. Athletes 5-40 will "never" be in the middle lanes in a big-meet final. (and if you're not using big-meet finals then you're not getting full-out efforts, screwing the sample)

I would comfortably hazard a guess that any use of raw meet data would lead to the inescapable conclusion that lanes 7 and 8 are slower than the ones in the middle of the track, which--particularly on a modern big-radius track--just isn't true.

10.
https://trackandfieldnews.com/world-records-lanes/
Page updated Sept 16, 2019 and I see new 400H records.

Fred Kerley was in lane 7 when he ran his 43.64 in Iowa to get that 'WR'.

And...