View Full Version : Manoeuvrability when Sprinting

Mr. Mask
09-29-2013, 04:45 AM
I was wondering how much a person can reasonably turn while running at aproximately top speed You can't turn at all when really running as fast as you can, of course.

What I was wondering, is if you turned tightly to the left while running about as fast as you can, how far would you have to run before you eventually circles around to where you started?

As a bonus question... running with heavy equipment. Does it slow you down, or merely sap your energy faster? I heard soldiers can't sprint while wearing their armour and carrying their packs.

Thank you to anyone who can give me an approximation of this.

Charging Boar
09-29-2013, 04:52 AM
I sadly can't answer your original question other then to say it may depend on how agile a person is.

However, for the bonus question, I can tell you with certainty that running with heavy equipment not only saps your energy, but you do run much slower. It is a bit like running up a hill.

09-29-2013, 05:07 AM
Head outside and try it out yourself?

You can turn pretty fast while sprinting; watch some soccer . The biggest problem is not slipping or injuring your ankle or knee.

A heavy pack will both slow you down and sap your energy.

09-29-2013, 05:50 AM
First factor is natural ability.

Second factor is how much training you've done on lateral moves. A lot of the drills for football and soccer involve lateral movement. A runner, on the other hand, rarely trains for turning. Normally we naturally adjust our speed to the turn. In other words, we slow down to make tighter turns.

Heavy gear saps your energy, your speed, and your distance. Depending upon the gear, you can kiss running goodbye.

Remember that the clothing you wear can also limit this a lot. For instance, try running in boots compared to sneakers.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

09-29-2013, 06:21 AM
The faster you run, the wider the circle. Also, more weight/mass, the harder to get moving and stop moving.

Side note: Parkour and freerunning come to mind--changes the physics a bit. If you've got something to springboard from, you can keep a better speed up (sort of the way race cars move on the curvature of the track).

Edit: Specifics really depend on the individual.

09-30-2013, 03:27 AM
You can do pretty much a 360 on the spot if you swing around a goalpost :)

Other than that, if you're running at top speed when you try to turn, you're going to either slow way down or be making a pretty wide turn - probably your circle would be several meters in diameter, larger if you don't have good traction. If you watch soccer players, when they're trying to manuever they pretty much come to a dead stop as they switch directions or dart back and forth. By contrast, when they're sprinting, it's pretty much straight lines.

Extra weight will slow/widen your turn even further - it's like the difference between cornering a sports car and a van. Not that, um, I've ever taken a van up onto two tires trying to go around a corner too fast. Definitely not.

09-30-2013, 03:31 PM
One thing to note is that turning sharply at speed puts a huge amount of stress on the joints and bones in the leg. There's a real risk of injury.

King Neptune
09-30-2013, 03:49 PM
I remember having jumped up and turned in mid air, but I never did they carrying weight.

10-01-2013, 10:29 PM
Depends a lot on the person's training, fitness, clothing, motivation, etc. I know a woman who joined Greenpeace and went up to a research station in Alaska to study polar bears. It was a 20'x20' block house in the middle of nowhere.

One time she walked out the door. It closed behind her. She turned around and was face to face with a very hungry polar bear, with an empty shotgun and a pocket full of shells. Oops.

It turns out a reasonably fit in human in heavy winter gear can out turn/run a big hungry bear if they're scared enough. The bear would almost catch her by the end of a wall, but she managed to get around the corners fast enough to keep just ahead of it.

I have no idea if she injured herself turning corners like that. She stayed alive long enough to load the gun and stop the bear.

10-01-2013, 11:01 PM
Turn on a baseball game and watch or record a batter running out a triple. He will round second base at top speed and from that second base, trace his path to third base. That will typically be the tightest arc possible while running at top speed because his cleats will rule out any (most?) issues with potential slipping while leaning into the turn. You can do the same when there is man on second base and the batter hits a single. The second-base runner will typically score, but he has to run full speed rounding third base, so trace that arc to home plate.