A Simple Message on Individualisation

A Simple Message on Individualisation

Below is a simple chart illustrating a random statistic with its independent and dependent variables marked respectively on the x and y-axis. The particular statistic is unknown and irrelevant for our purposes. What a simple chart like this (and many others like it) can show, is the need to individualise. It’s typical for data to be grouped and represented by its mean value. This is true within many fields of expertise, including the pharmaceutical industry – drugs are accepted on the basis of the average effects they present during trials. Though it is often practical and easier, you can imagine the possible adverse effects of treating a collection of data as one. For instance, looking at the sample graph above only 4 out of the 30 data plots are positioned on or near to the trend line. If we had to use this trend line to represent a ‘rule’ about of the data, it’s clear that this ‘rule’ would fail to...
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Our Training Philosophies

Our Training Philosophies

We'd like to share with you a few of our most fundamental training philosophies. These philosophies serve as the back-bone for the decisions that we as coaches make in helping an athlete improve their craft and get as much out of their training as possible. We believe that these training philosophies are the cornerstone for meaningful work; they outline the most important aspects of focus that create an optimal training environment. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Manipulate stress to produce maximal adaptation and improvement Looking at stress in a holistic manner as life and training are not two separate entities. Consistency Improvement comes from weeks and months of good training, not the occasional hard effort. Build and maintain Training aims to focus on certain attributes at different times in a training cycle, but must still maintain the aspects that are not being emphasized. Train the athlete as an individual Athletes physiologically and psychologically respond differently to stressors, and the accumulation of...
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Cerebral Oxygenation: Kenyan Runners Maintain High Brain Oxygenation

Cerebral Oxygenation: Kenyan Runners Maintain High Brain Oxygenation

The Kalenjin, who occupy much of the Rift Valley, are Kenya’s third largest tribe. Despite only making up approximately 12% of Kenya's population, they represent more than 75% of their country’s top runners. If you think Kenyan running couldn’t be more impressive, think Kalenjin running. “To put Kalenjin running success into perspective. Consider that 17 American men in history have run faster than 2:10 in the marathon. 32 Kalenjin men did that last October…” – David Epstein, 2014. There are many physiological factors that are believed to influence elite Kenyan runners' success, from specialized morphological features to high aerobic capacities. More recently, a new physiological mechanism was brought to light, which could be another important underlining factor for their unparalleled success. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); A study, conducted by Jordan Santos-Concejero and colleagues, looked into the cerebral oxygenation (oxygen reaching the brain) of a group of elite Kalejin Kenyan runners during a maximal self-paced 5km time trial. Previous studies have...
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Mastering the Taper

Mastering the Taper

First off, let me say that tapering is something that is highly individualistic.  If you’ve got a method that has worked for you, stick with it.  Many of the world’s best athletes have unconventional tapering methods that have been used with great success.  Roger Bannister famously rested completely for 4 days before breaking the 4-minute mile.  On the other end of the spectrum, Eliud Kipchoge is known to hit 180km+ per week right before a major marathon.  This doesn’t mean that either of these methods are the best way of doing things, but rather than they are the best way for that particular athlete. This article provides a more general guideline for most athletes but there is no guarantee that a particular way of tapering will be the best method for you.  The best that you can do is to try a certain method, and make adjustments along the way as you learn more about how your body responds.  The...
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Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4%: Improved performance? Unfair advantage?

Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4%: Improved performance? Unfair advantage?

In a recent Nike funded study, Hoogkamer et al. 2017 concluded that the Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4%, a shoe embedded with a full-length curved carbon fiber plate, reduces the energy cost of marathon running (i.e. improving running efficiency)  by ~4% in comparison to 2 traditional high performing racing shoes (below). The study, then used a predictive model to suggest that a 4% improvement in running efficiency is equivalent to increasing a 2:54/km paced marathon (2:02:58) by 3.4%. To put this 3.4% performance improvement into perspective, let’s undo a 3.4% improvement from recent marathon running performances that were run in the Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4% shoes: Eliud Kipchoge 2:00:25 (Breaking2 at Monza) = 2:04:31 Galen Rupp 2:09:20 (Chicago) = 2:13:43 Edna Kiplagat 2:21:52 (Boston) = 2:26:41 Although none of the above performances were run exactly at 2:54min/km pace (where the 3.4% speed improvement supposedly applies), it can be justified that that improvement would clearly NOT correspond to the predictive models estimation.  Steve Magness of...
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