Entries in Athlete Development (3)


Phasing in preparation of triathletes

Dr Malcolm Brown was the Olympic Team Leader in 2012. His talk on phasing in Triathlon looked at certain factors that lead to Great Britain's success over the last few years, lessons that are applicable to rowing. In multi-sport, there are key factors to consider. Training volumes and specific periodization across three disciplines. 

Key points were covered: 

- Leadership and coaching. 

- The Training environment.

- The Culture within that training environment. 

- Building at team for international competition. 

- Progression.

- Training structure and periodization. 

For more on Malcolm Brown's talk: Phasing in preparation of triathletes


Age-Related Changes in Skeletal Muscle

Teet Seene presented on "Age-Related Changes in Skeletal Muscle: Strength Development Through the Lifespan".  Here Teet talked about how skeletal muscular development begins when the baby is born. It was highlighted that at the time of birth, a babies muscular contraction velocity is the same throughout all their muscles. 

However, from this point on, that's where the differentiation between the different fibres starts: Slow twitch and fast twitch. The most intensive developmental phase for skeletal muscular growth is in this first  28 days of life.

Teet has found that this is due to the high levels of anabolic hormones present in the neonatal period. Teet states that protein synthesis rate is higher than protein degradation. Factors like insulin, growth hormone and glucagon play a role here.     

This is due to the high levels of anabolic hormones, which muscle is sensitive to. Seene then went on to explain the structure of muscle fibres, their oxidative capacity and molecular structure. He did however state that the "Human organism is ready for strength development from late puberty".

These sparked questions, which were duely addressed in the slides on the following:

- When should coaches encourage strength development? 

- Does the potential for strength development change?

Teet highlighted that, although adults in their forties can win World or Olympic medals, they experience reduced muscle strength, mass and VO2 from the age of 30. However this can be be maintained if effective strength training is encouraged.

For more on the topic, see Teet Seene's presentation on: Age-Related Changes in Skeletal Muscle: Strength Development Through the Lifespan.


12 Steps to Beating the Kenyans & Ethiopians

By: Frank Horwill
From: Serpentine Running Club
Article site link: 12 Steps to Beating the Kenyans & Ethiopians

Not rowing, the philosophy behind what is said can certainly be linked to all sports.

1. Get rid of the television. The news is invariably depressing. Instead of watching others amuse us, we should entertain ourselves with mental and physical activity. If you must watch it, tune in to ITV, the commercial breaks give you an opportunity to leap up and do some press-ups or bent-knee abdominals. Only 1 in 50 Kenyans have television.
2. Sell your car and become a rich pedestrian. Buy a bicycle. 5 miles of cycling is equal to 1 mile of running. 1 in 3 Kenyans own a bicycle.
3. Cook your own food. Fast-food shops have not caught on in Kenya. They don’t like fried food. They boil and roast. Obesity in Kenya affects only 1 in 200. In Britain, the ratio is 25 overweight people per 100.
4. Abolish or drastically reduce unemployment benefit and welfare hand-outs. In Kenya you work or starve or run to earn a living. If you become a mother, you must provide for the offspring. There is no unemployment or welfare benefit in Kenya. They have learned that man’s destiny on earth is work.
5. Don’t buy children computer games. In 100 years’ time our heads will be twice the size. Our bodies will be the same size as our heads.
6. Schools should alter their modus operandi to 4 hours of study in the morning and 2 hours sport in the afternoon, every day of the week.
7. Don’t watch over-paid sportsmen perform. Instead, perform yourself.
8. Burn down shops that sell tobacco and liquor to under-age juveniles.
9. Get away from too technical jargon in running training. In Kenya, they think microcycles, macrocycles and mesocycles are different types of Japanese motorbike.
10. Train at altitude for a month at a time, 3 times a year.
11. Make 1/3 of your total running much faster than the other 2/3.
12. Be carried off the running track once a week on a stretcher, due to exhaustion