I decided to quantitatively look at this using myself (63 YO LWT) as the test subject and 500 m as the distance. I chose 500 m because I could do repetitive time trials without killing myself and I thought the advantage of the dynamic might be more pronounced at 500 m because you can rate much higher. Another erger has commented that any potential advantage might be greater at longer distances because you won’t have to haul your carcass up and down the slide repeatedly like in a marathon and there would be an energy savings there. Note that C2 doesn’t keep any records for the dynamic under 2000 m.
So I did three paired time trials at 500 m over the course of the summer. Each pair was as identical as possible. Same daily activities, time of day, warm up, drag factor, same two machines, and same amount of rest between time trials. I used the static first in trials 1and 3 and the dynamic first in trial 2.
To me, performance in the 500 m is a matter of expectations. You pick a pace you hope you can hold and then try it. It’s too short to make up for a slow target pace and you certainly can do a fly and die at 500 m if you start too fast. So I picked a pace I thought I could hold for 500 m. Most of my 100 m splits were fairly even with slowing in the last 100 m. I feel each was a maximum effort for the time.
Here are the results with the static compared to the dynamic:
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Trial Time in secs (m:s) Watts Difference Percent Difference Dynamic Static Dynamic Static Time Watts Time Watts 1 98.0 (1:38.0) 98.7 (1:38.7) 371 364 +0.7 -7 0.71 -1.92 2 96.7 (1:36.7) 97.9 (1:37.9) 387 373 +1.2 -14 1.23 -3.75 3 97.3 (1:37.3) 97.6 (1:37.6) 380 376.5 +0.3 -3.5 0.31 -0.93 Mean 97.3 (1:37.3) 98.1 (1:38.1) 379.3 371.2 +0.73 -8.17 0.75 -2.20
I think the important finding is that the dynamic was faster in each trial. For you statistical boffins you can see that this is set up to conduct paired t-tests. Due to the consistency in the results any I think any differences would eventually become statistically significant with increased sample size, so I focused on the absolute and percent differences. Average time was 0.73 secs faster and 8.17 W produced on the dynamic. These are not large differences and less than the 10% difference I remember between the static and slides. Due to the power law the absolute difference is greater in Watts. So, I conclude there is an advantage of about slightly less than 1% for this 63 YO LWT at 500 m. It is important to realize that technique is very important on the dynamic and if you get the sequence messed up you will be fighting the machine and the machine will win (well I guess it always does). A newcomer to the dynamic may not have the same results.
The only other anecdotal data I have is a comparison at 1k between the dynamic and static one week apart where I was faster on the static. However, the static test was at a competition and the difference was not that great. I would be interested in other people’s thoughts on if the difference would be greater at longer distances and if they have any data to contribute at any distances. If it turns out that the advantage for the dynamic is greater at long distances I am not going to do paired marathons.