The taper is a reduction in training load to allow the athlete to peak. Peaking refers to the improvement in athlete performance following this reduction in overall training load, the taper. Athletes generally aim to peak for 1-2 races per season.
The majority of elite athletes take antioxidant supplements to reduce muscle damage and improve recovery time. So do many other people. Research suggests that supplementation achieves those goals. But there are some caveats.
An analysis of the 100m at the IAAF World Championships indicates the increasing strength of the event. The quality of the heat times reveals that moving on to the semi-finals requires almost an all-out effort. The three semi-final format allows the top athletes a better opportunity to make the finals. And Usain Bolt’s win reveals his ability to perform at his best when it matters most.
A new book centers around Usain Bolt. It also touches on some of the factors surrounding Jamaican sprint supremacy: cultural, physical, coaching, even genetic. And author Richard Moore doesn’t shy away from questions about drug abuse. Given the frequency with which Jamaicans fail drug tests, the paramount question becomes, is Usain Bolt clean?
A longtime contributor to this website discusses the reasons why his fellow coaches should share their insights. You’ll learn a lot, writing down your thoughts helps to crystallize your thinking, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you’re contributing to the overall body of knowledge about your profession, and you may even become better known. So why not pick up a pen, er, keyboard, and join the conversation?
Responses to caffeine and Vitamin D vary widely among athletes. Several studies suggest that these variations are due to different genetic markers. As more specific research studies are conducted, it appears likely that athletes can more accurately learn how to develop optimum levels of these two supplements.
Low levels of body fat, while important, aren’t the be-all and end-all of athletic performance. You certainly don’t want to lug around unnecessary pounds, but deliberately undereating can lead to serious social and physiological issues. High-intensity competition requires food-generated energy, and many nutrients allow adequate recovery.
Video review is a proven method of learning new skills. It can provide immediate feedback, showing athletes flaws in technique. It also forms a “library” of successive improvements in the desired technique over a period of time. Many athletes use video images to match their internal sense of proper technique.
Pressure in competition can be internal and/or external. Six techniques help athletes deal with pressure and thereby maximize their performances.
Anyone who has been in a training squad will have seen team-mates who improved greatly with training and others who didn’t improve anywhere near as much. As an increasing amount of research is carried out into performance genetics, the reasons for these differences are becoming clearer. There are now a number of genes that can partially explain the response to different types of training.