Planning for optimal performance – what happens before the taper?

Johns, Karen, Philipson, Pete and Hayes, Phil (2019) Planning for optimal performance – what happens before the taper? International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching, 14 (6). pp. 749-764. ISSN 1747-9541

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1177/1747954119880669

Abstract

This study analysed contemporary performance data of middle distance athletes to determine a) the number of competitive performances prior to the season's fastest performance and b) the time frame between their first and fastest competitive performances of that season. Using a publicly available database, data on the number of races and days between athletes first and fastest races were extracted. The analysis utilised 4,800 observations from 1,166 individual athletes for the period 2006 to 2017. Male 800 m athletes achieved their fastest performance in 8 races (IQR=4-12) distributed over 55 days (IQR=29-87). Female 800 m athletes also required 8 races (IQR=5-12), distributed over 63 days (IQR=34-91). In the 1500 m event, male athletes, required 6 races (IQR=3-9) over 48 days (IQR=25-76), while female athletes, required 7 races (IQR=4-10) over 56 days (IQR=28-84). For both sexes, 1500 m athletes raced less, and over a shorter period than 800 m athletes before reaching their fastest performance. Female athletes, had a longer time frame and number of races than male athletes. This study provides an evidence-based indicator of when a middle distance runner’s fastest performance is likely to occur, providing benchmarks that could act as a guide for coaches when designing competition programmes, prior to any tapering process.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: track athletics, middle distance, fastest performance, competition, planning
Subjects: C600 Sports Science
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering
Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation
Depositing User: Paul Burns
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2019 12:16
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2019 16:00
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/40809

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