This past week at UH I had the pleasure of sitting in on a talk by Dr. Ed Coyle on ‘how fast could we run a marathon.’ Coyle is a well-established researcher, but he’s most well known for his infamous research on Lance Armstrong that showed improved efficiency over his career. Coyle still maintains the validity for this research for some reason, which to many dampens his work, but that’s for another topic.
The reason I’m writing this is because the talk and the discussion after demonstrates a fundamental flaw in the world of sports performance and exercise science.
I sit in this weird in-between zone of scientist and coach. I consider myself more on the coach side, since that’s my primary job, first love, and how I got into this sport, but still I live full time in both worlds. There are a lot of really good scientist and coaches who dip their fingers in both sides and they’re to be commended, but I think my situation is slightly unique in that I’m truly fully engaged in both sides at the same time. I have to be. So it’s these two interacting worlds that I battle.
I’d like to use this post as a learning tool. An almost “A scientists guide to how to interact with coaches.” Then in the next month or so, put up the counter point and produce a guide for how coaches should interact with scientist.
Before we get there, let’s use Coyle’s talk as a framework to understand the disconnect.