After reviewing the debates on the use of sleds with sprinting and hurdling many were left more confused than before. I welcome debate all the time but rare does the argument lead into purity of simple numbers. Often debates get into beliefs of what is appropriate based on research, instead of the application of research. My thoughts are that we must dive into the reality of what is going on and how to look a the end result. Technically anything besides the event is wrong, as even drills are not the full motion and any exercise besides the event is lacking in a specific quality. So what are we to do?
The most awaking use of metrics was Inge De Bruin’s world records in swimming and that data to me was the underlying root of performance. In the track world we have splits, take off angles, critical zones, and other meta-data but for me the most important aspects are the simple math behind the race. Like gravity, you can’t escape from math as all biochemistry and motion will be pulled in by the black hole of simple algebra. Oddly in a ASCA conference many were voicing their disagreement to Paul Bergen’s use of weighted belts with Inge and claimed with would ruin her kinesthetic awareness in the water. He responded with a fantastic counterargument with you can go 59 with your kinesthetic awareness and I will go 56. This is a loose quote but the point is look at what is working now and in the past. Many times when looking at something in isolation we forget that training is a composite of elements and the reactants may form something better than expected. At the end you must look at the improvement slopes of both technique and physiological output during the week, month, season, and career versus other programs.