Applied physiological support provides specialist advice about the physiological demands of an event and its associated training with objectivity and individuality.

The aims of physiological support are to:

  • Optimise training and performance.
  • Develop bespoke and innovative solutions to performance questions.
  • Develop close and supportive working relationships with coaches and athletes.
  • Deliver objective, evidence and practice based athlete-specific information to coaches.

Examples of Physiology:

Profiling is key to monitoring progression and to mapping an athlete’s strengths and weaknesses relative to their event demands. For example:

  • Physiological (e.g. aerobic efficiency and max tests for lactate threshold and turn point, VO2max, running economy and heart rate/pace training zones).
  • Anthropometrical (i.e. skin folds, height and weight).

Screening on a regular basis provides information on factors that may affect performance and/or health and wellbeing of an athlete. For example:

  • O2 carrying capacity (i.e. blood analysis).
  • Pulmonary diffusing capacity (i.e. lung capacity test).

Training specific support is a fundamental element of the physiology support process, and aims to ensure athletes are adapting optimally to their training load relative to their event demands. For example:

  • Training interventions (e.g. AlterG, cross training, altitude training, altitude camp support, inspiratory muscle training etc).
  • Training monitoring of key sessions (e.g. heart rate, GPS for measuring speed, distance and timing, lactate, core temperature, VO2 etc).
  • Training optimisation (e.g. training zones (see physiological profiling), sleep quality analysis, general recovery methods, nutritional interventions that may affect physiology etc).

Competition specific support aims to help athletes attain peak performance when it matters most. For example:

  • Warm up routine (e.g. intensity and volume analysis, nutritional interventions that may affect physiology, pre-cooling etc.)
  • Warm down routine (e.g. intensity and volume management, nutritional interventions that may affect physiology etc.)
  • Event/environmental demands (e.g. heat and altitude acclimatisation, travel strategy, course profiling etc.)

Andrew Shaw (Lead Physiologist)