Limits...
From Oxford to Hawaii ecophysiological barriers limit human progression in ten sport monuments.

Desgorces FD, Berthelot G, El Helou N, Thibault V, Guillaume M, Tafflet M, Hermine O, Toussaint JF - PLoS ONE (2008)

Bottom Line: In order to understand the determinants and trends of human performance evolution, we analyzed ten outdoor events among the oldest and most popular in sports history.Best performances of the Oxford-Cambridge boat race (since 1836), the channel crossing in swimming (1875), the hour cycling record (1893), the Elfstedentocht speed skating race (1909), the cross country ski Vasaloppet (1922), the speed ski record (1930), the Streif down-hill in Kitzbühel (1947), the eastward and westward sailing transatlantic records (1960) and the triathlon Hawaii ironman (1978) all follow a similar evolutive pattern, best described through a piecewise exponential decaying model (r(2) = 0.95+/-0.07).Performance asymptotic limits predicted from the model may be achieved in fourty years (2049+/-32 y).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: IRMES, Institut de Recherche Médicale et d'Epidémiologie du Sport, INSEP, Paris, France. Francois.Desgorces@univ-paris5.fr

ABSTRACT
In order to understand the determinants and trends of human performance evolution, we analyzed ten outdoor events among the oldest and most popular in sports history. Best performances of the Oxford-Cambridge boat race (since 1836), the channel crossing in swimming (1875), the hour cycling record (1893), the Elfstedentocht speed skating race (1909), the cross country ski Vasaloppet (1922), the speed ski record (1930), the Streif down-hill in Kitzbühel (1947), the eastward and westward sailing transatlantic records (1960) and the triathlon Hawaii ironman (1978) all follow a similar evolutive pattern, best described through a piecewise exponential decaying model (r(2) = 0.95+/-0.07). The oldest events present highest progression curvature during their early phase. Performance asymptotic limits predicted from the model may be achieved in fourty years (2049+/-32 y). Prolonged progression may be anticipated in disciplines which further rely on technology such as sailing and cycling. Human progression in outdoor sports tends to asymptotic limits depending on physiological and environmental parameters and may temporarily benefit from further technological progresses.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Model fitting for events with two progression periods.Performances of the Elfstedentocht speed skating race (normalized distance of 200 km) in hours and of the Channel crossing swimming in minutes.
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pone-0003653-g002: Model fitting for events with two progression periods.Performances of the Elfstedentocht speed skating race (normalized distance of 200 km) in hours and of the Channel crossing swimming in minutes.

Mentions: The model fits progression periods, depending on the events' longevity, with high accuracy (r2 = 0.95±0.07). A first progression period (XIXth and beginning of XXth century) was modeled for the older events (Oxford-Cambridge, Vasaloppet, speed ski record, ICU cycling: r2 = 0.97±0.03, a = 1.93±0.96 and β′ = 57.6±8.9%; Figure 1). A second progression period starts in the early XXth century for seven events (the four previous ones plus Channel crossing, Elfstedentocht (Figure 2) and IHPVA cycling: r2 = 0.95±0.03, a = 0.97±0.45, β′ = 73.15±16.8%). Modeled curves for the last period of all 10 events start in the middle of the XXth century (r2 = 0.95±0.04, a = 1.28±0.51, β′ = 94.5±7.2%). The progression of the transatlantic records, the Hawaii Ironman and Streif down-hill are modeled by a mono-exponential curve (Figure 3). The curves for the hour cycling record progression according to the specific associations' rules (ICU and IHPVA) are compared in Figure 4.


From Oxford to Hawaii ecophysiological barriers limit human progression in ten sport monuments.

Desgorces FD, Berthelot G, El Helou N, Thibault V, Guillaume M, Tafflet M, Hermine O, Toussaint JF - PLoS ONE (2008)

Model fitting for events with two progression periods.Performances of the Elfstedentocht speed skating race (normalized distance of 200 km) in hours and of the Channel crossing swimming in minutes.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2572844&req=5

pone-0003653-g002: Model fitting for events with two progression periods.Performances of the Elfstedentocht speed skating race (normalized distance of 200 km) in hours and of the Channel crossing swimming in minutes.
Mentions: The model fits progression periods, depending on the events' longevity, with high accuracy (r2 = 0.95±0.07). A first progression period (XIXth and beginning of XXth century) was modeled for the older events (Oxford-Cambridge, Vasaloppet, speed ski record, ICU cycling: r2 = 0.97±0.03, a = 1.93±0.96 and β′ = 57.6±8.9%; Figure 1). A second progression period starts in the early XXth century for seven events (the four previous ones plus Channel crossing, Elfstedentocht (Figure 2) and IHPVA cycling: r2 = 0.95±0.03, a = 0.97±0.45, β′ = 73.15±16.8%). Modeled curves for the last period of all 10 events start in the middle of the XXth century (r2 = 0.95±0.04, a = 1.28±0.51, β′ = 94.5±7.2%). The progression of the transatlantic records, the Hawaii Ironman and Streif down-hill are modeled by a mono-exponential curve (Figure 3). The curves for the hour cycling record progression according to the specific associations' rules (ICU and IHPVA) are compared in Figure 4.

Bottom Line: In order to understand the determinants and trends of human performance evolution, we analyzed ten outdoor events among the oldest and most popular in sports history.Best performances of the Oxford-Cambridge boat race (since 1836), the channel crossing in swimming (1875), the hour cycling record (1893), the Elfstedentocht speed skating race (1909), the cross country ski Vasaloppet (1922), the speed ski record (1930), the Streif down-hill in Kitzbühel (1947), the eastward and westward sailing transatlantic records (1960) and the triathlon Hawaii ironman (1978) all follow a similar evolutive pattern, best described through a piecewise exponential decaying model (r(2) = 0.95+/-0.07).Performance asymptotic limits predicted from the model may be achieved in fourty years (2049+/-32 y).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: IRMES, Institut de Recherche Médicale et d'Epidémiologie du Sport, INSEP, Paris, France. Francois.Desgorces@univ-paris5.fr

ABSTRACT
In order to understand the determinants and trends of human performance evolution, we analyzed ten outdoor events among the oldest and most popular in sports history. Best performances of the Oxford-Cambridge boat race (since 1836), the channel crossing in swimming (1875), the hour cycling record (1893), the Elfstedentocht speed skating race (1909), the cross country ski Vasaloppet (1922), the speed ski record (1930), the Streif down-hill in Kitzbühel (1947), the eastward and westward sailing transatlantic records (1960) and the triathlon Hawaii ironman (1978) all follow a similar evolutive pattern, best described through a piecewise exponential decaying model (r(2) = 0.95+/-0.07). The oldest events present highest progression curvature during their early phase. Performance asymptotic limits predicted from the model may be achieved in fourty years (2049+/-32 y). Prolonged progression may be anticipated in disciplines which further rely on technology such as sailing and cycling. Human progression in outdoor sports tends to asymptotic limits depending on physiological and environmental parameters and may temporarily benefit from further technological progresses.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus