Ever wondered why some training programmes work for some athletes and not for others? Why some people are genetically gifted athletes? Why there is a fixed set of intervals for all athletes? Why certain drugs work for some and not others? Do compression socks work? What the hell does a VO2 max test tell you, is it just useless information? Is lactate friend or foe? I delve into the sport science world and try to find the answers to train smarter and hopefully become a better athlete. This page is written in my own thoughts and words with a cross-pollination from several other sites and links to the original articles. Some of it might sound like a rant but it is written to make you think. So if you read it without a open mind then your in the wrong place. Enjoy and open your mind.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Latest in fancy kit vs testing. Part 1

This article and much of this blog is inspired by the forward thinking of FaCT Canada. 

Look at any one of the recent Olympics or World Championships for most sports, and one will see the amount of money spent on sport equipment rather than the athlete centered ideas.  Agreeably some equipment is essential but I am talking more about the latest in aerodynamic helmets, swimsuits, clothing design because image is everything.  Or we see professional cycling teams with bigger budgets than some low key Olympic sports that spends huge sums of money on doctors and drugs (this is a generalisation) i.e. the Festina afair 1998.

But then one sees these same things in general public sport where we see riders rather buy the latest deep section aero wheels to be faster (modern bicycles and cycling speeds, any relation? ), rather than get properly assessed and tested so that they can have real performance improvements by searching for the weakest link and looking for bio-markers.

Swimming is a example that has not changed a lot in the way we coach and train athletes. Despite the fact that we have Heart Rate monitors now for water use (Hosand) and even intramuscular Oxygenation testing (NIRS), we still plan programs on amounts of fingers on your hand and length of the pool and turns on a clock. 

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