Did anyone at on course notice how the OSU men did a super long stride right before the race on the course? They probably went around 400m, and was interesting to see since no other team did something similar. Maybe this was the secret to their incredible performance?
For races that go out that fast (like NCAAs), getting your body prepared for that feels a bit weird when you do it. In your head, it's like "why am I doing a hard effort" but when you start racing it's nice because you don't have go into oxygen debt so quickly. Then, after you start doing this in practice before hard sessions, it just further builds up your tolerance for it. If you build up to it, I recommend it.
I think people underestimate how quickly you can fully recover from strides and a single hard 400, particularly when you're in post season shape. Guys have it in their heads their legs need to be "fresh" in order to run fast, this is simply not the case.
They went out that fast yesterday. It’s hard to believe, it is indeed crazy. Did you see how downhill that start was? They went through the first 1k at 2:29 and they clearly settled in…on a non downhill start they normally get out between 56-58 at this level at NCAA’s. The first 200m obviously being the fastest. This is why so many teams die hard or get out “slow” (meaning 58/59 vs 56/57)…you are indeed very lactic. The winners are just practically world class.
there's no such thing as "oxygen debt," but without explaining that, what's going on with long fast warmups is to get the muscles more acidic. Which has the effect of vasodilation, as someone else mentioned, but you need low muscle pH to get oxygen in there quickly.
It's also good to make your nerves stay in control, as they may lose it and feel weak from pre-race adrenaline. Give them something to do while they are trying to freak out.
I was considering asking the same question. I had a great view of the start for both races, and both the OSU men and women did a stride out to around where the mile marker was (probably around 400m). Both times the group was a little broken, but people all stopped at the exact same time, while looking at their watches, so it was definitely a certain amount of time. I was really curious because A.) I've never seen runners do that long of a stride-out in warmups and B.) no other team was doing it. I would love to know why they're doing it, and why the other teams are not.
Also, while we're on this topic, did anybody else notice how seemingly every guy in the guy's race had a nasal strip on? Is there noted performance benefits from those?