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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2020 Jun 29

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.20.10753-9


language: English

Breaking the athletics world record in the 100 and 400 meters: an alternative method for assessment

Patrick A. SANTOS 1, Caio V. SOUSA 2, Lucas P. BARBOSA 1, Samuel S. AGUIAR 1, Marcelo M. SALES 3, Herbert SIMÕES 1, Pantelis T. NIKOLAIDIS 4, Beat KNECHTLE 5, 6

1 Graduate Program in Physical Education, Catholic University of Brasília, Brasília, Brazil; 2 College of Arts, Media & Design, Bouvé College of Health Sciences, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA; 3 Physical Education Department, Goias State University, Quirinópolis, Brazil; 4 Exercise Physiology Laboratory, Nikaia, Greece; 5 Medbase St. Gallen Am Vadianplatz, St. Gallen, Switzerland; 6 Institute of Primary Care, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland


BACKGROUND: The top 10 athletes in the (IAAF) in 100m and 400m ranking for each sex were assessed for their history of race times before achieving their personal record (PR). The main goal of this study was to create a new method for optimal performance improvement rate assessment for coaches and athletes aiming the World Record.
METHODS: The difference between PR (‘actual’ season) and the best race time in the last season was defined as the 1st season improvement rate (1-SIR), whereas the average improvement rate in the last and preceding seasons was the multi-season improvement rate (M-SIR). 1-SIR and M-SIR were calculated for each athlete.
RESULTS: The sex comparison for the 100 m event showed a significant difference in the M-SIR in favor of women. No statistical differences were identified for the 400 m event, with a trivial effect in both 1-SIR and M-SIR.
CONCLUSIONS: As a practical applicability, graph plots were designed to help verifying improvement rate of athletes and to evaluate whether a long-term training strategy induced an acceptable performance improvement or whether some adjustments needed and check within the plots if the improvement rate is within the average of the top-10 athletes of their event.

KEY WORDS: Sprinting; Running; Performance; Track-and-field

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