Maybe you just got done watching the Olympics, or at least there a few weeks ago now. Or you’re watching the Prefontaine classic and something dramatic happened there. I don’t know. I’m recording this prior to the pre-classic. Or maybe you are a sprinter looking for an edge. In any case, you’re trying to figure out, is it legal, is it legal to dive in track and field?
Most videos at the beginning tells you to basically subscribe, this is going to be a short video. So, if you want to know more about endurance, running long distance running, all that kind of stuff, stick around with me, hit subscribe. But the short answer to your question, so you’re not spending five minutes to get the answer is, yes, it is legal to dive in track and field. But it’s a little more complicated than that, because we’ve actually looked at the mechanics and the situation of diving in track and field. And you often see it in these very dramatic finishes, where it’s going to be this person, the other person and somebody dives, and then they end up edging out the other person.
But the evidence as we go back to try to study these situations, suggests that diving actually slows you down, compared to just continuing to run. So, there’s a weird little situation where we have to figure out why are these people diving and then consequently, winning when otherwise they’re like edge in edge. I would suggest that it’s possible or probable that they dive because of their desire to win. And that desire, pushes out just a little bit more power to propel them forward and compensates for that dive. I don’t know that. We don’t have enough information and kind of data to suggest, hey, this is actually what’s happening. But I think you can’t rule out the human spirit when you’re trying to figure out why did this person win.
We can look at the mechanics of it, we can look at all that stuff. But at the end of the day, it’s our minds that control our bodies. And if you’re equally matched physically, but somebody else has a slight mental edge on you, then they’re going to be able to perform to a higher level because they can get more out of their body. And that’s my, I don’t know, that’s my educated guess as to why the people that diving often end up winning.
I’m sure there are cases of people diving that did not win, but they’re not as dramatic and they’re not as retold because it was like oh, he dove and he still lost. Okay. Let’s move on. Versus like, the Superman dive back from 2019 at the SEC championships. It was super dramatic, everybody shared it. It’s like, these big moments, it’s what we watch sports for, these big dramatic moments. So, I’m hoping to see more information on whether people should dive or not.
I don’t think it’s going to be a coached strategy anytime soon. But yes, it is legal. You can do it. As long as you don’t impede another runner, then it is perfectly fine to dive, even if it doesn’t make sense by physics, and it may not make sense safety-wise, you can do it. So, if you have any questions for me about track and field, about running, about long distance running, about who knows what, let them down in the comments below. I’ll make a video just for you here in the future. I’ll see you next time on the next episode of Runner’s High.