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The Physics of Running

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Bailey Hakala

on 5 June 2015

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Transcript of The Physics of Running

Gravity can be used as a tool while running. Leaning forward allows your body's weight force to pull you downward, which makes running easier which is especially helpful while sprinting.
Gravity can also help with hills, by leaning forward you allow gravity to pull your body down the hill which means your muscles have to do less work to move forward.
Around a Track
Just as any other object in a circular motion, a runner's Net Force and acceleration are center seeking and his or her velocity is perpendicular to that.
Forces Explained
Runners have approximately five forces acting upon them at all times
The Physics of Running
Newton's Third Law
In addition with an increase in air resistance, means the runner has to work harder to go the same speed.
The weight force: the runner's mass multiplied by g

The normal force by the ground: this is equal in magnitude to the weight force, but in the opposite direction

The friction force by the running surface: this force is parallel to the runner/ground and acts in the opposite of the direction of motion

The normal force by air: also parallel to the runner however can be in either the left or right direction.

The normal force by the ground: an equal and opposite force of the weight force.


Newton's Third Law
The way that runners propel themselves is because of Newton's Third Law. The normal force by the feet on the ground create an equal and opposite force to propel the runner forward.

In order for the runner to move at all, his or her push force must be greater in magnitude than that of the air force (if it is in the opposite direction of the runner) and of the friction force
Because the air force can be in either direction, it can both help and hurt the runner.

If the force of the air is directly opposite of the runner's direction of motion, it will make it harder to run faster.

If the force of air is in the same direction as the runner's motion it essentially gives the runner an "extra push."
June 1, 2015

June 1, 2015
Full transcript