Entries by Craig Pickering

Individualization made easy

This month’s topic on HMMRMedia is the individualization of training. The one size fits all model is a thing of the past; both scientific research and hard won experience have shown the need to individualize training. But many coaches still struggle to figure out how to start with individualization.

Personalizing the training process – a look at stress

In recent years, the individualized training movement has grown in momentum. Coaches no longer debate the need to individualize training; instead we often focus on the best methods for individualization. Individualizing the training process is something that is very interesting to me. My doctoral thesis is built around how of genetic testing may prove useful in the development of individualized training programs. Another area that I want to look into here is that of stress, the individual response to stress, how this affects our psycho-emotional state, and how that can alter our training responses.

Adding an element of theater to coaching

When we go to the doctor, we’re usually either sick or worried that something might be wrong with us. We make the trip in the hopes that we’ll be reassured or cured. What we don’t realize is tha the trip itself might play the most important role in getting better. Recent research has shown us that it is often the very act of interacting with a medical professional, or the thought that our concerns have been taken seriously, is enough to make us feel better.

Let the athletes choose

It’s easy to fall into the trap as a coach of focusing primarily on physiology and biomechanics when carrying out your sessions, as these aspects are often easy to quantify, as well as giving us an illusion of prediction, increasing our confidence in the outcome. But, as is always the case, things are rarely that simple. New research continues to show how athlete choice can help a program’s effectiveness.

Gene doping might not work after all

Last year, I wrote about gene doping, and the potential implications it might have within sport. Whilst we tend to think that our genetics are hugely important when it comes to determining our athletic talent (and we’re probably right), the common narrative is that this was static and unchangeable. However, the premise of gene doping is that we might be able to alter the hand we were dealt and change our DNA.As research progresses, we’re starting to get an idea of whether tha might actually be true.

The search for the best lane

All athletes in the long sprints have experienced the anguish of waiting for the lane draw for their race, in the hopes that they get a favorable lane. Common wisdom holds that the middle lanes – three to six – are generally more favorable, with the outer lanes avoided and inner lanes feared. The reasons often cited are that the inner lanes tend to be tighter, making it harder for sprinters to reach their top speed.