We like to think of ourselves as well-rounded athletes. But actually, we’re really a bunch of squares. You have a front and a back, and two sides. You’re square. I also happen to have the same inseam length as the measurement of my waist: 34″. That seems proof enough that I’m square anyway.
You might be wondering why it matters whether we’re square or rounded. Seems like being square might cause more wind resistance. And to that end, you might notice that big trucks with semi-trailers now put large panels on the back of the truck and between the wheels to act as some sort of windfoil. Apparently those panels play a role in preventing the wind from whirling around underneath and behind the truck. That creates more wind efficiency and that saves fuel.
So the same principle must apply to runners and cyclists and swimmers as well. We may be wasting our time down in aero position on the bike. What we really need are a set of winglike structures attached to the side of our body that meet in the back, creating a giant fin like the truck seen above. They’re called Freight Wings, I think.
The same thing would work for flat-bodied runners as well. With four sides to our bodies, we need to re-think how we try to cut through the air. So, rather than running behind a wedge of fellow distance runners, we might need to wear some kind of vest that can be projected out the back when we’re running into the wind. The reverse wind pressure would propel us forward. It works for sailboats. Why not us?
The same strategy would work in swimming. Pull on a vest that forms a sharp ridge on the back and you can swim along like a human shark.
Do you doubt this would work? Then tell that to those big trucks with the fins out the back. There must be some reason truck companies are investing millions of dollars installing freight wings on the back and sides of their trailers. There are four sides to every runner. It’s time to get real about these things.