Be it doping in sport, hot topics like Caster Semenya or Oscar Pistorius, or the dehydration myth, we try to translate the science behind sports and sports performance. Consider a donation if you like what you see here!
The latest four minute mull explores pacing strategies, physiology and fatigue. In so doing, I offer a theory for the limits to human performance existing at the point where the "reserve" that physiology maintains is no more, the endspurt disappears, and humans are at the limits of what is physiologically possible.
Athletics South Africa, the governing federation for Track and Field in South Africa, recently announced the SA squad for the upcoming World Athletics championships in London. An ambiguous mix of selection criteria and omissions has created controversy. I write an open letter to ASA calling for clarity, and a reversal of certain non-selections for the squad.
In 2015, the Court of Arbitration set aside an IAAF policy that required female athletes to have a Testosterone level below a cut-off threshold. Now, 2 years later, with the IAAF appeal imminent, new evidence has emerged, with possible implications for athletes like Caster Semenya. But will the IAAF's new evidence be enough. Here's a look at some issues.
Where do we go next? Now that Eliud Kipchoge has taken us to the brink of a sub-2 hour marathon, have the boundaries of human endurance been recalibrated? Can we expect a 1:59 soon? Or did the Nike staged event simply move some of the boundaries aside? This piece looks at potential benefits, and asks whether we should expect to see a speeding up, or a slowing down, in the foreseeable future?
Eliud Kipchoge has run a marathon in 2:00:25, coming within sight of breaking the 2-hour barrier. How did he do it, and what might we expect in future? This post analyzes the splits, the tactics and the prospects for the 1:59:59 in the future.
A proposal to recalibrate the track and field world records by removing all records set prior to 2005 has caused considerable controversy. I offer some views on the proposal, and explain why the step is probably necessary, but should not be 'abused' as a sign of a new generation.
The Nike-Breaking 2 attempt will happen in Monza this weekend. I don't think a sub-2 is possible, but what will be fascinating is to see a) how they go about pacing the attempt, and what happens if it starts to fall away; and b) what the collective advantage is of all the tactics employed. I predict 2:01:55 at best, a DNF is also a real possibility. More thoughts here.
An explosive new investigative report has revealed that numerous athletes have tested positive when their samples from Beijing 2008 were retested. They include Jamaican male sprinters, so dominant in those Games. The IOC and WADA however did not act, suggesting the cases are all contamination, not worthy of pursuing. How viable is this, and what does it mean for already bottomed-out anti-doping credibility?
Nike recently unveiled the Vaporfly Elite, the shoe it has been working on to help it break the 2-hour marathon barrier. The shoe incorporates a "spring plate", and is claimed to have significant performance implications. I think the shoe, and the incorporation of spring-like devices in all shoes, should be banned for future credibility of performance. Here's why