Electrolytes are chemical substances that become ions (positively or negatively charged) in solution and acquire the ability to conduct electricity. They are present in the human body and the right balance is essential for cells and organs to function properly.
Common electrolytes include sodium, potassium, chloride and bicarbonate. Too much or too little of an electrolyte can cause cells to malfunction and extremes in blood sodium levels can be fatal.
During exercise, you… Continue
Added by Sports Science Editor on March 12, 2010 at 8:45am —
Sports scientists in Western Australia have been pioneering the use of computational fluid dynamics (CFD), the science of understanding fluid flow, to enhance the performance of Australian Olympic Swimming Team members.
They have been using CFD to model stroke performance. WAIS sports biomechanists have found that is more efficient to change a swimmer’s technique to reduce drag forces rather than solely increase the force applied by the swimmer. Clearly the more informed a swim coach… Continue
Added by Sports Science Editor on March 7, 2010 at 12:07pm —
Accurately measuring VO2 max involves a physical effort sufficient in duration and intensity to fully tax the aerobic energy system. In general clinical and athletic testing, this usually involves a graded exercise test (either on a treadmill or on a cycle ergometer) in which exercise intensity is progressively increased while measuring ventilation and oxygen and carbon dioxide concentration of the inhaled and exhaled air. VO2 max is reached when oxygen consumption remains at steady state… Continue
Added by Sports Science Editor on March 3, 2010 at 6:00pm —
Most commonly drunk in coffee, tea and soft drinks, caffeine is used around the world by athletes to improve their alertness, concentration, reaction time and focus. Found naturally in leaves, nuts and seeds of various plants, caffeine is not on the WADA list of prohibited substances and does not dehydrate you when taken before or during exercise.
Caffeine has been found to help improve performance in both short and long endurance events, as well as short, high intensity intermittent… Continue
Added by Sports Science Editor on February 14, 2010 at 12:30pm —
1.Train regularly with weights
Incorporate some weight training into your weekly athletic training programme. Ideally 2-3 times per week in a build up phase pre-season, reducing back to a maintenance phase (1-2 times a week) during the race season. Each session should last between 30-45 minutes. 2.Fuel your workouts
If you’re training hard, you need enough carbohydrate to… Continue
Added by Sports Science Editor on February 11, 2010 at 5:12pm —
Correct pacing strategy is critical for successful race performance and a variety of methods are used by competitors. These range from starting fast and trying to sustain, starting easy and building to produce the elusive ‘negative split’ or attempting to hold an even pace for the event duration. Some people attack hills on the bike and ‘coast’ down the other side, other prefer to back off on the hills and save their energy for the flatter sections. There are key variables that dictate the best… Continue
Added by Sports Science Editor on February 9, 2010 at 11:00am —
It is commonly believed amongst athletes that once you have several years of training under your belt, it’s much easier to maintain your fitness and perform at a higher level. We commonly see athletes gaining success after many years of competition as if there may well be a physiological maturation or long term change essential for success. Certainly, it appears that athletes with several years of training and racing to their name are more able to take time off due to injury and return to the… Continue
Added by Sports Science Editor on February 4, 2010 at 8:00pm —
It's an interesting debate as to whether aerobic base training is actually necessary or not for all cyclists and triathlon competitors. Primarily it depends upon your specific demands. If you are for example a stage-race rider who will spend multiple long days in the saddle, a large base is something which will undoubtedly stand you in good stead. What though, if you are an amateur triathlete or cyclist, working full time with limited hours for training? What if your races last no longer than a… Continue
Added by Sports Science Editor on January 27, 2010 at 8:52am —
Lactate threshold is a commonly used term within the world of endurance sports and is often used to predict performance or prescribe training intensities. Lactate threshold is often described as the highest intensity at which an athlete can sustain exercise for a prolonged period but this term is very general and fails to specify exactly how long a “prolonged period” is. It also fails to identify differences between sports and assumes that lactate levels will be the same for all activities and… Continue
Added by Sports Science Editor on January 25, 2010 at 12:05pm —
During the last 20 years, training schedules for endurance sports have changed a great deal, reflecting the trends and thoughts at that time. Marathon running is an aerobic sport, which means that the majority of energy produced is done so by using oxygen to break down fuel sources, namely fat and carbohydrate. To prepare adequately for a marathon, it is important to ensure that the majority of your training is long and aerobic. However, for the athlete running 10k, or perhaps even 5k events,… Continue
Added by Sports Science Editor on January 18, 2010 at 6:00pm —
Interval training is a well used tool in all endurance sport disciplines and is a recognised method of improving performance. The history of interval training dates way back to past champions such as Emil Zatopek who believed that running one lap of the track quickly and one slowly would make him a faster runner overall, Zatopek is quoted as saying “Why should I learn how to run slow, I already know how to run slow, I must learn how to run fast!” Zatopek won Olympic gold for 5k, 10k and the… Continue
Added by Sports Science Editor on January 16, 2010 at 9:30am —
The subject of resistance training to improve endurance performance has been hotly debated for some time. Various studies completed in recent years have produced conflicting and somewhat confusing results, that have failed to clarify anything, but which have continued to fuel discussion.
In a recently published study, Hamilton el al (2006)* set out to determine if high intensity resistance training could improve running performance in trained distance runners. The experiment involved… Continue
Added by Sports Science Editor on January 13, 2010 at 2:05pm —
In order to improve endurance performance and to decrease symptoms of overtraining, many athletes reduce their training load for 6-21 days before major competitions (a training procedure known as tapering). Planned tapering generally consists of high intensity exercise, with low volumes. After a period of tapering, improved performance times have been reported in numerous athlete groups including swimmers, runners and cyclists though, some coaches and athletes still… Continue
Added by Sports Science Editor on January 7, 2010 at 2:07pm —
It has been suggested that including a specific type of strength training, explosive-strength training, used simultaneously with endurance training may result in some improvements in the performance of endurance athletes.
To investigate the effects of simultaneous explosive-strength and endurance training on 5 km running performance, aerobic power, running economy, selected neuromuscular characteristics, and muscle power in well-trained… Continue
Added by Sports Science Editor on January 3, 2010 at 10:00am —
Cycle racing takes many forms and the most common endurance based cycle events in the UK are road racing, time trials and xc mountain biking. Whilst it may be fair to presume that a talented cyclist would perform equally well across all disciplines, closer examination reveals that the demands of each and the training required for a high level performance are very different.
Ebert et al* carried out a collection of power data from elite Australian road cyclists over a period of 6… Continue
Added by Sports Science Editor on September 15, 2009 at 8:54am —
Wearing a wetsuit is known to increase your swim performance due mainly to improved buoyancy and given the option, most triathlon competitors would always chose to “suit up” rather than braving the elements in a bathing costume only! Whilst it may not be common in the UK, several races around the globe take place in water which is warm enough for wetsuit use to be banned or optional. In order for you to make an informed decision regarding wetsuit swimming, this article examines the effects of… Continue
Added by Sports Science Editor on July 8, 2009 at 1:17pm —
Following the success of cycling superstar Lance Armstrong, it seems that many cyclists and triathletes now favour a higher cadence during training and competition. Is this phenomenon supported by scientific research or is it a passing fad?
Sarre et al* examined the effects of pedalling at different cadences upon fatigue and power distribution during the pedal cycle. It is fair to say that a circular pedalling action is better than push…push…push and this is not disputed. Cyclists… Continue
Added by Sports Science Editor on June 25, 2009 at 1:30pm —
How do you see Olympic triathlon? Do you see an endurance event lasting 2-3 hours in duration, or do you see a 1,500m swim, a 40k bike and a 10k run? Due to the nature of triathlon, it’s easy to view it as three separate disciplines, when in fact, it is one continuous event.
Does it sound feasible that your swim can affect subsequent cycling performance? After all, swimming does primarily use your arms. Delextrat et al (2005)* set out to determine if and by how much a 1,500m swim… Continue
Added by Sports Science Editor on June 8, 2009 at 8:00pm —
It has been known for some time that caffeine has the capability to affect endurance performance. In the past, caffeine has been accredited with the ability to enhance fat burning, but more recently attention has been focussed towards its potential effects upon the central nervous system (CNS).
Several studies have set out to determine if caffeine in some way “dampens” the pain signals during exercise, allowing athletes to compete harder. Much research is currently focussed upon the… Continue
Added by Sports Science Editor on June 5, 2009 at 5:00pm —
Lab tests are a common tool for predicting fitness levels. Conducting them on a regular basis allows athletes to monitor their progress throughout the year and provides vital data / feedback.
In addition to monitoring progress, lab tests can be used to predict race performance. If a group of athletes each complete a time trial on the same turbo, theoretically the one who averages the highest power output should be the fastest cyclist in a time trial. Jobson et al (2007)* questioned… Continue
Added by Sports Science Editor on May 22, 2009 at 10:13am —