Archivo de May 2010

Know yourself, dominate yourself, better yourself…

By Iñigo Mujika , el 26 de May de 2010

Pierre de Coubertin´s bust at the Olympic Museum of Puerto Rico.

Last 22nd of May I had the opportunity to visit the Albergue Olímpico of Puerto Rico, built to offer the Puerto Rican athlete better conditions for its sports training. The Albergue Olimpico is the most complete center in the island not only for high performance athletes, but also for the general public to celebrate recreational, sports, educational and health activities. The Albergue Olimpico is a center whose great territorial expansion permits to group 17 sports facilities, among which are found: multiple use courts, a baseball complex, an aquatic center, tennis courts and athletics track, besides gymnasiums and different sports rooms. The facilities constitute the main training complex for the Puerto Rican Olympic Committee (COPUR) sports federations, students of the School Specialized in Sports, professional athletes, local sports associations and international sports associations, among others.

But the reason why I am talking about the Albergue Olímpico is my visit to the Olympic Museum of Puerto Rico. In the square giving access to the museum there is a bust of Baron Pierre de Coubertin, and on its pedestal one can read the following quote by the Baron, from Rome, 1923:

“Know yourself, dominate yourself, better yourself, eternal beauty of sports, fundamental aspirations of the authentic sportsman and premise of its success”.

Only four hours before I read this quote, Eneko Llanos had won Ironman Lanzarote, in a race that made him suffer a lot. I spoke with Eneko a few minutes after finishing the race, and his description of the race attained all of its meaning in the light of the words of Baron Pierre de Coubertin. I will let you assess this idea by yourselves, through the text entitled “Anything is possible”, taken from Eneko’s website:

“90 kilometers into the bike, riding in fourth place, loosing time, my mind filled with negative thoughts: I am not doing well, I’ll miss the slot to Hawaii, why I wrote in my website that today would be a great day… Shut up! I scream, stop the chain of negativity, take a deep breath, focus on my rhythm, my heartrate tells me I’m riding at a good pace … I have to do my race, the Ironman has only just begun, lot of work remains ahead…” (Read more)

Effects of Induced Alkalosis on Simulated Match Performance in Elite Female Water Polo Players

By Iñigo Mujika , el 26 de May de 2010

Frankie TanTed PolglazeGregory R. CoxBrian DawsonIñigo MujikaSally A. Clark

International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 20(3), 198-205, June 2010.
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“Soccer Aces”

By Iñigo Mujika , el 16 de May de 2010

Last 1st of May I went to Madrid to carry out some body composition measurements on the football players of the television program “Soccer Aces“. This program is the first “reality show” dedicated to football; a football academy with the declared objective of looking for and developing the new stars of the sport at the international level. Hosted by Zinedine Zidane and Enzo Francescoli, two great stars in the history of the sport, the program is an initiative aimed at finding new talent among youngsters from around the world, older than 16 and wanting to become world football stars, or players who were close to making it but, due to various life circumstances, their dreams did not come true. A golden opportunity arises for all of them to find the way to the elite and play professional football, as the winner of the show will have the opportunity to train during the preseason with a team of the BBVA league (La Liga) in the season 2010-2011.
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Why night time football games should be avoided

By Iñigo Mujika , el 7 de May de 2010

This article, in El Periódico.

Chronobiology is the science that investigates the changes that take place in physiological variables as a function of time. This science has described a series of biological rythms that repeat themselves over time, some on a daily basis, reason why they are called circadian rythms (from “circa diem” or around the day). Body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure or hormone concentrations are some of the physiological variables subject to these circadian rythms.

Most of the components of sports performance in general and football in particular, such as speed, muscle strength, agility, endurance, or the ability to carry out complex technical actions are affected by the circadian rythm of body temperature, reaching optimal values in the early afternoon, when body temperature is usually maximal. On the contrary, all of these abilities diminish if the sporting activity takes place when the body temperature deviates from its maximal values.

Therefore, it would seem logical that competition times coincide with the times of the day at which athletic performance is maximal, as this would be in the benefit of the quality of the sports event. However, this does not seem to be the criterion followed by the authorities in charge of establishing the times of football matches in Spain. If this were the case, nobody would consider that 10 at night might be the ideal kick off time for a match.

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