Running A Better Marathon: Efficient Race Tips from An Engineer

Ford’s line of Ecoboost engines is inspired by marathon runners

To go from running 5 km every week to running a marathon is no easy feat. Strategies that work for short distances may leave you running on empty in a longer race, so how do you learn how to use your energy efficiently to last the full distance?

Map your route
Before your run, you always make sure that you get the lay of the land. It is either through researching or speaking to someone who has been through it. Similarly, when you are driving, it is crucial to map your route and be aware of the environment you will pass through. It is important to keep in mind that even the most efficient engines will use more fuel when climbing.

Start smoothly for your fuel to last longer
When you’re waiting at the starting line, it’s incredibly enticing to take off quickly. If you rush your departure, you can waste precious glycogen stores that you need later in the race. In the same way, when you start your car in a rush, your fuel tank burns the fuel faster. So, to keep your tank fuller for longer, start smooth and steady.

Drive light
Running with light weight always saves you more energy. The same technique has been used to design the EcoBoost. EcoBoost engines have won dozens of awards for their ability to deliver high everyday fuel economy in a compact package, while still giving drivers the power they want. To improve fuel economy, Ecoboost has been designed to make vehicles lighter. A smaller engine means that drivers don’t waste fuel carrying around extra weight.

Switch on your cruise control
The increase in speed generally takes up more of your energy stores, which can be extremely detrimental to your performance specially towards the end of the race. Therefore, running with a group who are at the same skill level will help maintain a steady pace that you can stick with. Similarly, switching on your cruise control while driving can save fuel over long distances.  It helps you maintain a constant speed, which means you don’t waste fuel by unnecessarily braking and accelerating.

Aerodynamics matter
Running with an exaggerated arm swing can waste a lot of energy and instead running with the arms closer to the body is the right way of running. Similar to this, when cars are designed at Ford, a great emphasis is given on the aerodynamics to help them slip smoothly through the air.