Shorten the race, legally.
This article will be short, it won’t take you long to read because I will go directly to the point. If you want to run your fastest time in a road race or trail race, you cut the course. 😉 Just kidding – you cut the tangents. Running tangents is a strange trig term meaning run the shortest legal distance in the race.
You run the tangents by running the straightest line legally possible from one corner to the next. See diagram below.
The most common mistake runners make when they run tangents is crossing the street or trail all at once and therefore not taking the straightest line possible to the next corner. See diagram below.
In the above diagram, the runner following the green path is traveling further than the runner following the red path.
A runner running an 8 minute average mile who does not cut the tangents could be 4 minutes slower in the marathon.
If you want to run your fastest time in any race, practice the course (if possible), and focus on running the tangents.
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