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Articles on Sport science

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There’s more to conquering hills than dropping a few kilos. AAP image

Tour de France: the science of hill climbing

As the Tour de France enters its final week, riders have already negotiated some of the toughest climbs in Europe, and have some major climbs still to go. So what makes some of those riders successful…
Ceilings on physical ability are there – sometimes – to be broken. EPA/Hannibal

Is there a limit to athletic performance?

We once thought no-one could run a mile in less than four minutes – and yet the current world record stands at three minutes, 43 seconds. So will records keep tumbling as people get fitter and technology…
It’s obvious: better referee performance is better for players and better for spectators. Right? AAP Image/Joe Castro

Sports referees should take performance-enhancing drugs

Late last week football (soccer) website reported that FIFA, the international governing body for the world game, is considering forcing referees to pass fitness tests prior to games. This…
Shane Perkins is just one of the Australians going for gold at the world championships. AAP Image/David Crosling

Track Cycling World Championships – the making of modern sprinters

Today in Melbourne the 2012 UCI Track Cycling World Championships get underway. Results from the five-day competition will determine which riders represent the various national track cycling teams at the…
You might feel great after going for a jog, but is the “high” purely psychological? Tobyotter

Happiness is a long run: why jogging gets you high

A new study is tapping into a phenomenon most of us have heard about and some of us might claim to have experienced at some point – “runner’s high”. In doing so, this study touches on something fundamentally…
Heavy hands might not always make light work in finals. Vivek Prakash/ Reuters Pool

Do big servers have the edge at the Australian Open?

With the Australian Open into its final few days, we’re starting to see the best tennis players in the world come to the fore. And to be the best in the world, you need a well-rounded game, including a…
Wallabies player Drew Mitchell is taken from the field after an injury during Rugby World Cup match between Australia and Russia. AAP Image/Dave Hunt

Rugby World Cup injuries: That’s gotta hurt

RUGBY WORLD CUP – The Cup has already taken its toll on many players – finalists New Zealand have lost star player, Dan Carter and Australia goes into its battle for third place against Wales four men…
New Zealand defeated Tonga in the opening game of the 2011 Rugby World Cup. AFP Photo/Franck Fife

Art or science? Decision-making in rugby

RUGBY WORLD CUP – In the latest of The Conversation’s series on the Rugby World Cup, former Wallabies player, James Holbeck and Professor of Sport Science at Victoria University, Damian Farrow, discuss…
Some AFL teams spend the off season at high altitude.

A higher calling, but does altitude training work?

You might have heard about athletes and other sportspeople absconding to high-altitude locations for training. Indeed altitude training has become the training-method-du-jour for sporting codes around…
Climbing mountains is all about fighting gravity. Nicolas Bouvy/EPA

The science of elite cycling: Tour de France (stages 12 to 21)

This is the second in a two-part series about the science of Le Tour de France. Part one is here. After 1,916 kilometres of the 2011 Tour de France we’re starting to see some of the favourites make their…
With more than 3,000 kilometres to cover, technique is only part of the equation. Nicolas Bouvy/EPA

The science of elite cycling: Tour de France (stages 1 to 11)

This weekend, approximately 200 of the world’s best cyclists will begin competing in one of the most challenging sporting events in the world: Le Tour de France. Le Tour is widely regarded as the most…
Olympic athletes – among others – will benefit from the new technology. Tracey Nearmy/AAP Image

Smart sensors save swimmers seconds

For Olympic swimmers, the blink of an eye can be the difference between first and forgotten. Everyone wants an edge, which is why elite athletes train relentlessly and why coaches push them hard. Alongside…
It’s important to change your running style to adapt to running without shoes.

Sole survivors: the secret to barefoot running

There’s a growing interest in barefoot running, especially in relation to running long distances. Research articles, opinion pieces, and websites have argued both for and against the efficacy of running…

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