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!
Along with two prominent scientists, we have recently called for the research study on testosterone's effects in women athletes to be retracted. This research is part of the IAAF's policy on hyperandrogenism in athletics, but we have analyzed aspects of the study, and discovered significant and numerous errors. This article describes those errors, and calls for scientific integrity and transparency from both the IAAF and the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
Boston 2018 was one for the archives. A brutally cold, wet and windy day made for incredible, unpredictable elite races, and a whole lot of DNFs! There's a theory that women did better in this regard than men, and this post explores cold physiology, and what factors MIGHT explain why women MIGHT be able to handle the extreme cold better than men
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.
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.
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.
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.
Around 100 years ago, the world's leading scientists got together to discuss "eugenics", the idea that we could selectively breed "good stock" for the benefit of the human race. This happened openly, with the support of the USA's judicial system, and looks macabre and horrific in hindsight. It made me wonder about over-confidence, and knowledge, and how experts shouldn't ever profess absolute certainty, on anything.
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