Scientists have their say on World Conference

Scientists have their say on World Conference

By Merryn Sherwood on 08/03/11 at 7:21 am

Putting triathlon at the forefront of international sports science is just one outcome keynote speakers hope to achieve at the ITU’s first World Conference of Science in Triathlon in Spain this month.

It’s just two weeks until the best minds in sports science and triathlon converge on the University of Alicante, Spain, for the groundbreaking conference from March 24 to 26. Over three days, the topics will range from warm-ups, to injuries, to run, bike and swim legs, as well as recovery and physiological factors.

But what can they actually achieve? We asked three of the keynote speakers what they think.

Dr Gregoire P. Millet, from the University of Lausanne in Switzerland, will address the conference with a keynote speech titled “Physiological requirements for different levels of triathlon”. He hopes it doesn’t just attracts scientists and academics with an interest in triathlon – but a cross-section of people interested in sports science.

“I hope it can be seen as a top conference on sport sciences and therefore attract also scientists not directly involved in triathlon,” Millet said. “They would come because of the amazing model that triathlon is referencing hot topics as hydration, metabolic and neuromuscular fatigue, pacing, hypoxic training and more.”

Millet also hopes that there will be a commission established from the conference, that will then have the task of distributing what was learned to the wider triathlon community.

“A “SRI” commission on “science, research and innovation in triathlon”, that would fill education program of coaches and athletes, release statements on hot topics and promote triathlon in academic and health areas worldwide. I think that would be very valuable.”

Dr Paul Laursen, a sports scientist from New Zealand who combines his academic research with his hobby, competing in ironman competitions, and will give a speech on how to train for long distance triathlons at the conference. He hopes it will bring together the academic side with the mentoring one.

“In the future, I believe this conference has the ability to bridge the divide between coaches and scientists.  As a person who’s job it is to fuse this division, I know that both sides have much to offer each other,” he said. “Through analysis of the data that new technology brings, and by coming together at a conference like this, scientists can learn how coaches’ practice result in medal winning performances, and coaches can learn the likely outcomes of their practice.  As a result, preparation can be refined, awareness can be enhanced, and ideally, future triathlon performance may be boosted.”

Dr Randall L. Wilber, who is a senior sports physiologist for the United States Olympic Committee and will lead discussion on altitude training in Spain, said that he hopes it serves as an initiative to bring people together with improving performance the goal.

“Because triathlon is a very popular Olympic and international sport, this conference can serve to bring together people from all over the world to share scientific and practical knowledge for the purpose of enhancing performance,” he said.

The first World Conference of Science on Triathlon will be held at the University of Alicante in Spain from March 24 to 26, for the full progamme of speakers please click here.