Found out at the last moment this morning that Tim Noakes, author of Lore of Running, was doing a seminar just down the road on East African distance runners so hot-footed it down there to catch him along with top Ethiopian coach Tolosa Kotu and research scientist Yannis Pitsiladis. The latter co-authored with Noakes the book
East African Running: Toward a Cross-disciplinary Perspective
I am now even more impressed with Noakes than I was just reading his book but his rather maverick nature and the way he is battling conventional wisdom also strongly came out. He and Yannis often spoke of how a particular paper had only been published in quite a lowly journal as none of the bigger ones would touch it because it disagreed with conventional theory, especially anything that argued against VO2max as the overriding factor in distance running performance. He also spoke at length about his views of how a certain drinks manufacturer has been sponsoring studies which show that you need to drink a lot of their product to avoid collapsing from dehydration that he says have the opposite effect of overhydration.
I wish I could get a write up of everything that was said as it all went very quickly and it was difficult to write notes and take everything in. Managed to jot down some of the key papers they referred to though so I can do some follow up reading, eg
Superior fatigue resistance of elite black South African distance runners
Kenyan dominance in distance running
Fatigue during a 5-km Running Time Trial
Noakes' first talk was mainly about the evolution of modern man from a running point of view, a fascinating talk that referred to this article:
Endurance running and the evolution of Homo
How running made us human
and finished with a video film of a hunter in the African bush running down an antelope by using his vastly superior long distance running stamina until the animal eventually overheats and suffers heat paralysis and could be killed off.
I went too. Thoroughly enjoyable, although there does seem to be a touch of an anti capitalist crusade, esp against Gatorade. Good of him to spend time chatting with us later.
Completely agree that Noakes has a very valid point on certain medicines and their cuurent application within the general population, however I was slightly concerned that his attitude towards hyponatremia masks the argument towards dehydration. Somebody today mentioned kids at school drinking water. If kids drink too much water all that will happen is that they keep going to the loo and miss lessons. On the other hand, if they are dehydrated in class........ There seemed to be no mention of getting the balance right. However, the talk of salt intake through energy drinks seemed a perfectly logical argument.
The anti-capitalist htread was compounded by Yannis' forthcoming paper on barefoot running and it obviously being (as are so many similar papers) based on non-concrete based running.
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