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Running Tips - Running The Tangents In A Road Race

April 12, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 176

You may have been around runners talking about road racing and heard the term "running the tangents" and wondered what exactly they meant by that. This is a term that describes actually running the shortest distance in a race - which in turn can help you to have a faster time.

Race directors take great pains to make sure that they are accurately measuring the course of their race. And, if they are certified courses, the directors have gone through all sorts of hoops to make sure that the distance is correct. However, the race courses are measured and certified, but some runners may be running a longer distance than they need to. This is where "running the tangents" comes in.

If you watch a road race, you'll see runners just stay in a lane like they are travelling in a car. They will follow every curve in the road. Or you will also see runners run the center yellow line without budging. These are the ones that are running the longer distances.

Running the tangents that you hear experienced racers talk about is an imaginary straight line that runs from the inside corner of one curve to the inside corner of the next curve. Doing this will cause you to run a shorter distance (and a lesser time) - but still be within the parameters of the legal race course. Also, you want to run as close as possible to the inside turn in the road - watching for loose gravel, dirt, etc.

Watch a national race with professional runners. You'll see that they do just that. And, they hug the inside corner of the curve as they go around it. This is the way it should be done to run your best possible time. If you notice, it just seems like second nature to them. It can be like that for you, also.

The way to do this is to make sure that you are watching the road ahead to see what is coming up. If you see a turn coming up, position yourself to run the tangent. You can save seconds off of your race time if you can do this. However, you don't want to run someone over in trying to make the tangents. And, you may need to go just a little wider if there are several people going into the same turn at the same time. After some practice you'll be able to "run the tangents" without even thinking about it.

A road race is exciting and such an accomplishment for all runners. It also keeps you motivated to keep on running. Visit Running Tips for other tips for staying out on the roads.

Source: EzineArticles
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Running The Tangents

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