It is rare opportunity to see technology developed which enables athletic performance to be tested at such high levels. However Paralympic sport allows just that, but this concept needs challenging more. Science has been testing the benefits of ‘Cheetah Blades’ for some time, but this has simply been on performance issues, and ethical impacts. I believe however that there is significant additional benefits to this technology that science hasn’t begun to challenge, and test.
The science of running involves considerable impact with the ground, and the effects of such can leave an athlete out of action for prolonged periods of time compared to non-impact sports such as cycling/swimming. Certainly there is nothing new to the concept that athletes who compete in sports which don’t have this impact can develop higher VO2 Max’s than runners. However in order to train for performance the athlete needs to undergo a sports specific programme which involves impact with the ground. ‘Cheetah Blades’ however involve different pressures for the wearer, and can be extremely uncomfortable for the user. However the specific impact with the ground that runners are subjected to is minimised, and the sport specific model is maintained.
This in my opinion makes the development of reduced impact sport specific running technologies possible. This could have the impact of athletes being able to train at higher intensities for longer, and could likely have benefits for endurance based sports. However this would likely come at a cost, but the development of the science could be beneficial, and have wider impacts on health benefits.
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This post was written by colin