Real quick-fire today, with some links and things I found interesting this week: On Wednesday, I wrote a short thought on whether the conventional wisdom around how elite athletes “expire” and fade with age may be outdated. Seems to me that we hear a lot more about older athletes succeeding, and even dominating, than before. […]
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.
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.
Bradley Wiggins called marginal gains "a load of rubbish" recently, and while his thoughts were poorly crafted and tainted by the context, it triggered an impassioned defence of the philosophy by Matthew Syed. I've always thought the concept trivialized sports science, and was arrogantly dismissive of the realities that there's really nothing unique about it. As a source of competitive advantage in elite sport, it cannot stand. More on that in this piece.
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
Kenenisa Bekele kicks off the 2017 Marathon season in Dubai, with what is a potential world record. It's the year of the "Breaking-2" after Nike's announcement last December. This article is an expanded version of one I wrote for an SA Newspaper on Jan 15th, 2017
Nike's announcement that they're backing three top marathoners to break the 2 hour marathon barrier in Spring 2017, is the latest installment in the sub-2 hype. Relevance and legitimacy aside, what would it take, product and course wise, to achieve? I look at shoes and downhill running to illustrate the concept of physiological barriers and how they might be shifted.
I’ve spent the last week, a very stimulating one, at the IMG Academy in Brandenton Florida, where I’ve lectured on the IAAF Level 5 and USATF Level 3 coaching courses. The specific theme of this year’s Academy was Youth Sport, and I did four lectures in total – three on Talent ID and Specialization issues, […]
South Africa's silver-medal winning Javelin thrower Sunette Viljoen has been in the SA news recently, for her criticisms of SASCOC, SA's Olympic Committee. The specifics of her objections are funding, but the concept is high performance management. My thoughts on how SA lets its elite athletes down
In response to my recent critique of Matthew Syed's article on whistleblowers and secrecy, he sent me an email and requested it be published here on my site. Here then, is Syed's response, and my final thoughts on this before we hit the Rio Olympics.
Transformation is a cyclical, recurring problem in South African sport. Yesterday, the SA Minister of Sport announced a ban on certain sports from hosting international events because they had not adequately met transformation targets. This article discusses the root causes, and explains the fundamental principles that have not been met, which is why we keep circling back to the same controversies.
A guest opinion piece by anti-doping advocate Renee Anne Shirley, describing the two sides of Dick Pound, who led the recent investigation into the IAAF's scandal, but who seemingly contradicted his own report's findings when backing Sebastian Coe.