The Real Science of Sport Podcast

Revealing the truth behind the games we play with Professor Ross Tucker and sports journalist Mike Finch

World-renowned sports scientist Professor Ross Tucker and veteran sports journalist Mike Finch break down the myths, practices and controversies from the world of sport. From athletics to rugby, soccer, cycling and more,
Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Fatigue Resistance And How To Improve It

Season 5, Ep. 10
In the second of our two-part special on fatigue we examine Fatigue Resistance or durability. Is it just a modern term for an old concept, what does it really mean and what sort of training helps build it.SHOW NOTESCaught My Eye SegmentThe Zwift study looking for remote research participations, as submitted by Gareth D England’s rugby coach proposes rule changes to help kicking success in women, in another illustration of the differences between the sexesThe third of Gareth’s submissions, looking at the helmet approved in Quarterbacks in the NFL The research study discussed on the show looking at whether rugby scrum caps can reduce concussion riskMain Topic (Skip to 35:48)Link to the Ed Maunder paper that describes the durability conceptSome examples of papers that assess durability (as a performance outcome) in elite cyclists:Mateo-March paper with 112 cyclists over 8 seasons, showing that World Tour cyclists had much smaller power decay than Pro Tour cyclists with accumulating levels of fatigue26 Pro cyclists over a combined total of 85 seasons, showing how Cat 1 cyclists drop off less than Cat 2 cyclists when fatigued study we mention that looked at durability early: Mmid- and late season, and showed how durability increases with more polarised training Lab study that shows how high intensity intermittent exercise affects power outputs with fatigue more than continuous exercise  Finnish study showing that low and high intensity training improve endurance, at least in less well trained individuals
Thursday, April 6, 2023

The Science of Fatigue

Season 5, Ep. 9
Mental and muscle fatigue is part of every sporting endeavour. But what is fatigue? What happens in the body when we get tired and is it possible to push beyond our perceived limits? SCROLL TO 19:35 FOR THE MAIN TOPICSHOW NOTES:Caught My Eye:The case of the cheating fishermen  The article on the fallout from the apparently botched doping case of Peter Bol.An article, which includes a video of the documentary exploring the controversies about the exploitation of Paralympic classification: A story and video of the Canadian man who broke the women’s masters powerlifting world record, simply by declaring that he is a womanThe Swimming England announcement of their trans policy Fatigue DiscussionAn article that introduced a series of other articles that explored the integrative nature of fatigueMy own review article on how pacing strategy is regulated as part of a homeostatic systemThe research study that used fentanyl to block sensory feedback, which totally messed up pacing and caused more peripheral fatigue than in a regulated systemAnother Amann study, this one using hypoxia and hyperoxia to influence muscle recruitment and pacing strategy while defending against peripheral fatigueThe Les Ansley paper we mentioned where shorter (4km) trials caused more peripheral fatigue, and longer (20km and 40km) trials caused more central fatigueA paper on how neurotransmitters in the brain affect fatigue and performance
Wednesday, March 29, 2023

The Tragic Tale of an Athletics Doper / Athletics' New Transgender Rules

Season 5, Ep. 8
At first glance the story of New Zealand's Zane Robertson is just another web of lies. But is it? The team take a close look at one of the most tragic doping cases in recent times. Plus World Athletics recently announced new rules regarding transgender and DSD athletes. We ask how does the decision impact world sport and particularly the International Olympic Committee?SHOW NOTES:Patron Joshua Stacey the long jump that never quite caught on: on the underarm basketball throw that also didn’t catch on: Patron Travis Hawkins, on the Norwegian protest of their own athlete’s shoe: Patron Travis Hawkins, on the Norwegian protest of their own athlete’s shoe: Athletics’ policy on trans and DSD athletes: Transgender athletes: athletes: