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HMMR Podcast Episode 103: It’s Rant Time Again

A few times a year we have to let off some steam and it’s that time again. On this week’s episode we discuss a few rants such as why we keep worshipping doped athletes, marathon weight room session, and why equipment companies need focus on selling old stereotypes rather than innovative ideas. Read more

GAINcast Episode 64: Odds and Ends

Over the past few months we’ve accumulated several small topics to discuss and haven’t had the time to jump into them. Well, now’s the time. On this week’s episode we discuss various odds and ends related to current events and training such as whether track and field records should be reset, the sub 2 hour marathon attempt, what makes master coaches stand out, and balancing variation and risk in training. Read more

The Record Reset is Pure Eyewash

In the baseball world, the term “eyewash” is thrown around a lot. It’s used to describe players who try to look real busy but really are not accomplishing anything at all. Just as eyedrops make your eyes look better without fixing the underlying problem, eyewash is something you do that looks good but doesn’t actually accomplish anything. Read more

The Diamond League Decathlon

Last month I brought to light a proposal for European Athletics to transform the decathlon and heptathlon into a new event: the octathlon. In criticising the plan I noted that it failed because European Athletics doesn’t have a clear idea of what they are trying to fix about the multi-events in the first place. Unlike European Athletics, decathlete Tom FitzSimons has a clear idea of the issues facing the multi-events and as a guest on his podcast this week we chatted about some ways to help the sport. Read more

Looking Back at 2016: Top 10 Hammer Throwing Stories

As is the case every year, 2016 was filled with highs and lows in the world of hammer throwing. World records were set, and former record setters athletes were banned. New athletes arrived, and old athletes retired. The Olympic men’s hammer final lacked some luster, but overall the year more than lived up to my expectations. Below is my list of top hammer throwing stories from the past year. Read more

How the IAAF Missed the Target With Its Qualification System

When the IAAF changed its qualifying system a few years ago, one of the major goals was to provide a better method to estimate and cap athlete participation throughout all events. The prior qualification system used in London resulted in the IAAF being more than 10% over the athlete quota given to them by the International Olympic Committee. The new system tried to remedy this by making the standards much harder so that fewer athletes qualified, and then handing out special invitations if any surplus existed. With such a system the IAAF would be able to hold its quota, and perhaps prepare itself for potential future reductions to that quota as a result of new IOC President Thomas Bach’s Project 2020. Read more

Ranking the Best Throwing Nations

At the end of the day medals are important, but they can be a misleading metric of which countries are powerhouses in the world of throwing. Just a few athletes can lead you to the top of the medal tables, but a true throwing nation is about more than the strength of a few athletes. Therefore, with the help of Nick Garcia, we have once again taken a look at two different metrics to rank the top throwing nations in the world: points totals and number of finalists. The points table is a basic weighted calculation of the top eight finishers in each event. Nick has scored the Olympics as if it were an American high school or university championship: give the top eight places 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 points respectively. The number of finalists is just a basic count of how many athletes each country placed in the top 12 to make it past the qualification round. Read more

What Can the IAAF Learn from Cycling

My father is an amateur cyclist and, as a result, I grew up spending every July watching the Tour de France. Each time a doping or corruption scandal rocked the sport, I was thankful I competed in a cleaner sport: athletics. We had dealt with our doping issues in the 1980s, I naively thought. Sure, there were still dopers in athletics, but we were ahead of the cyclists. I even wrote an anti-doping editorial for the Seattle Times as a young athlete in 2000, and was convinced by those in my sport that the doping problem was improving. Read more

Who Will Be On the Rio Podium in 10 Years?

Over the past week new Olympic medalists were crowned in track and field. We’ve seen dramatic performances, amazing back stories, and new stars emerge. But while the competition on the field has finished, unfortunately the results have not yet been finalized. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 61: Anti-Doping (with Pierre-Jean Vazel)

We are less than a week from the start of the Olympics. But rather than talking about the athletes, the main story continues to be doping. More specifically, the topic is the failure of the current anti-doping systems. On this week’s podcast we bring on guest Pierre-Jean Vazel. As both a journalist and elite sprinting coach, Vazel has a unique perspective on the topic. We discuss how we got into this current mess, issues with the current system, and what hope we have for moving past these mistakes. Read more