Sports Science  // Posts categorised as Sports Science

Pacing physiology and the limit to performance: A #fourminute mull

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.

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Team Sky and Marginal Games

UKAD sent a scathing letter to British Cycling, outlining a series of improper and sub standard processes and governance issues in the aftermath of their Jiffy Bag Investigation. The letter shatters the illusion of Marginal gains by the most professional, well run team in cycling, while the inaction by UKAD despite all the problems reveals the impotence of anti-doping bodies.

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03 Aug 2017 Posted in Physiology/Rugby/Sports management

Head injuries in Rugby Part 3: The key evidence and law change advice

This is part 3 of the 3-part series on head injuries in rugby. It explores the two most interesting and relevant findings of the research, looking at how the height of the tackle and the body position of the players influences head injury risk. These two items formed the strongest evidence that was used to change the high tackle laws in the sport. We also discuss the next steps and future application of the research.

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Head injuries part 2: What makes a tackle risky?

This is the second installment in a series of articles translating recent research I published on the risk of head injuries during rugby. This part looks at the characteristics of the tackle that increase or decrease the risk.

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The pursuit of the sub-2 marathon: Where to next?

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?

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Eliud Kipchoge 2:00:25

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.

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On the recalibration of world records: Brief thoughts

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.

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The sub-2 hour marathon attempt: The pacing strategy

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.

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The way, then the lack of will: A story of anti-doping and those who might save it

The history of antidoping can be divided into two overlapping phases. There was once a huge lack of a "way" - inadequate tools to catch doping, leaving antidoping two steps behind the cheats. Advances in science have narrowed this, creating a better "way". This has exposed a bigger problem - a lack of "will". This article describes this, and offers a conceptual solution.

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