Friday, June 1, 2007

The Limits of Human Potential, Part 3

In The Limits of Human Potential, Part 2, I wrote that technological improvements, including that of track uniforms, would help make further reductions of the mile world record possible. Well, minutes later, some of those improvements are already here:

"VivoMetrics Inc. today announced the launch of VivoChampionTrainer™ with LifeShirt® technology, a revolutionary lightweight, compact, and non-invasive physiologic monitoring system. Specifically designed to monitor athletic performance during training and competition, the VivoChampionTrainer™ provides trainers and athletes with a competitive edge to increase training effectiveness, avoid overtraining and obtain an optimal state of physical competitiveness.

"Built upon VivoMetrics' original LifeShirt System, the VivoChampionTrainer™ has been modified for athletic training and provides real-time measurement of respiration, heart rate, activity, posture and skin temperature during and after activity -- whether a practice session or an actual competitive event. Trainers, coaches and managers are able to view laboratory-quality data as the athletes perform in "real-world" environments. This allows factors such as stress of competition or environmental factors such as heat on a playing field to be duplicated and evaluated for their effect on player performance.

"The original LifeShirt System, a full shirt garment with embedded sensors, was developed initially for use in pharmaceutical research. VivoMetrics modified the system by developing a lightweight chest strap for athletes, providing a greater range of motion and increased comfort. The VivoChampionTrainer™ sends physiologic data to a nearby computer and intuitive, easy-to-understand displays allow coaches, trainers and team physicians to quickly assess the health status of up to 25 athletes at the same time.

"Athletic trainers and coaches can use the VivoChampionTrainer™ with their athletes to establish the upward limits of an athlete's capacity, determine when to push an athlete and when to reduce intensity, decide whether or not to change the training plan in the short term, maximize an athlete's ability and performance over the course of a season, and prevent injuries and over-training syndrome by maintaining the athlete in an appropriate training range. Professional and elite athletes and their coaches and trainers across many sports are already incorporating the VivoChampionTrainer™ into their training programs to evaluate, monitor, improve and maintain performance levels."

So there it is. Within minute of my post, the future arrives. I'll keep exploring the web for evidence of the other tools that I listed that will allow for improvements in athletic performance, including training techniques, technology, the nutritional aspects of running, sports psychology and genetic "pockets." What's next, a super banana that will eliminate the need for immunizations?

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