Keep It Messy

Back in 2008, I injured my hamstring really badly. Most hamstring injuries are within the biceps femoris, which is the outer of the three muslces, and tend to occur around the musculotendinous junction; mine was much different – I injured my semi-tendinosis at the insertion. This is quite a complex injury, because the insertion of the semi-tendinosis is also very close to the insertion of a number of different structures, including sartorius and gracilus, in a structure known as the pes anserinus, as well as a bursa. It was an incredibly painful injury, and I was unable to run for nine weeks, which meant I missed all of my sprint training in February and March, as well as a bit of April. I was managing the injury fairly aggressively and progressing nicely, and opened up my competitive season at the start of June in Turin. Here, I was involved in a very tight finish, which caused me to re-injure my hamstring. Obviously, this was bad news; 2008 was Olympic year, and I had 4 weeks until the National Trials where I had to qualify for the team. Read more

Sports Science Monthly – January 2017

Welcome back to another monthly round up of recent research in the sports science world. This month we finally have some objective evidence on the use of high fat, low carbohydrate diets for elite athletes – perhaps this will lessen the debate, although I expect not. We also have a look at the training of elite endurance athletes, early versus late specialization in Olympic Athletes, sleep (as always), oxidative stress, and the use of hot baths after exercise, amongst others. Enjoy. Read more

Does Nurture Impact Your Nature?

Towards the end of World War II, as the Allied forces began their advance through Europe following the Normandy landings, the Nazi forces managed to maintain a foothold in the Netherlands. Here, their troops staunchly defended the bridge across the Rhine, halting the British and American advance. As part of this extended battle, the controlling German administration placed an embargo on all food transportation to the western Netherlands, sowing the seeds for a severe famine known as the Dutch Hunger Winter. By November 1944, the region’s inhabitants were surviving on less than 1,000 calories per day, which dropped as low as 500 daily calories by February 1945. As many as 22,000 people are thought to have died, with a total of 4.5 million people affected. Read more

Sports Science Monthly – December 2016

Sports Science Monthly is back again for the last edition of the year. This time, we take a look at predicting injuries, caffeine, beetroot juice, whether two-a-day sessions are better for you, and what happens when you shine a light into your head (seriously). Read more

What Doesn’t Kill Us Makes Us Stronger

Please excuse the well-worn metaphor I’ve used for the title, but I want to use this article to bring together a few threads of things I have been thinking about recently. Last month on the HMMR Podcast I discussed a few topics that I need a bit more attention. The first of these was stimulated by a discussion on carbohydrate periodisation, which I’ve written about a few times in my sports science monthly articles; in the podcast, this spurred on a bit of a discussion about how sometimes you need to stress the body in new ways to allow for adaption to occur. The second thing is something I feel like I’ve been saying a lot of recently, which is that you can’t view the athlete as a system of individual systems that adapts to individual training; for example, when working on sprint biomechanics there will be both muscular and mental adaptations that occur, and the training session will create both skill-based and physiological changes that are good for the athlete. Everything within the athlete is interlinked, and we need to extend our thinking to take this into account. Read more

Sports Science Monthly – November 2016

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Welcome back to another monthly round up of all that is sports science. In this edition, we take an extended look at vitamin D, which for the last few years has been getting a lot of attention for it’s effects on muscular performance. We also have a conceptual piece on the reproducibility of training improvements, Kenyan runners, recovery methods, coaching stress, and jumping as a monitoring tool. Read more

Illusions of Causality

In 2007, I ran my fastest ever wind-legal 100-meter time. I also recorded what was, at that point, my lowest ever body fat score. It would seem, therefore, that the two are linked; my 100m time improved because my body fat had reduced. Right? Read more

Sports Science Monthly – October 2016

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Welcome back to another edition of this column. We have plenty of things to look at this month, including a few hot topics in sports nutrition – gluten, beetroot juice, carbohydrates, and vegetarians – as well as a look at a bit of research that examines how subconscious cues can affect exercise performance. We also have a stab at answering other questions like “just how bad are injuries?” Read more

How The Placebo Effect Can Help You

Placebo (noun): “A medicine or procedure prescribed for the psychological benefit to the patient rather than for any physiological effect.” Read more

Sports Science Monthly – September 2016

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This month, we look at a wide range of disciplines, with studies coming from sports psychology, sports nutrition, strength and conditioning, and biomechanics – and, as always, we finish off with a quick fire round up. The first overview will be free for everyone, but to read the complete September edition you must be a HMMR Plus Member. HMMR Plus is a new offering we have that gives users access to exclusive content like our article archive, webinars, online meet ups, and of course Sports Science Monthly. Therefore sign up now to gain access to Sports Science Monthly and more. To see what Sports Science Monthly is about, our April and May editions are available for free. With that said, let’s dive in! Read more