The reaction of Alfonso Alonso, the leader of Spain’s governing Popular Party in the Basque region, when asked to comment on Eta’s decision to dissolve itself, spoke volumes.
Professor Andy Lane is a sports psychologist and marathon runner. He offers some advice to those taking part in Sunday’s London Marathon on how to ensure their recovery isn’t too painful.
Sarah Whitfield, blogs about the lost musical - Jack of Spades. Does the vital relevance of this piece mean that more needs to be done to reinstate it back into the story of the musical in the UK?
The Commonwealth Games marathon, at the aptly named Runaway Bay, Gold Coast, Australia, takes place on April 15th. Marathon running is a sport we have an interest in and have recently teamed up with England Athletics marathon programme on how to support runners.
BLOG: Thoughts on the recent scandal surrounding the allegations that Cambridge Analytica used data harvested from Facebook users, matching it with answers to a personality questionnaire.
Not content with the four-nil drubbing in the Ashes series, Australia now hits us when we are down with Australian ‘flu?
Mike Haynes, a professor of International Political Economy at the University of Wolverhampton, takes a look at Carillion's collapse in this blog written for the Express & Star.
BLOG by Prof Sir Alan Tuckett: Twenty years on from an influential education paper, a conference is set to consider what happened to our vision of a learning society.
Andy Lane, Professor of Sport and Learning
The Commonwealth Games marathon, at the aptly named Runaway Bay, Gold Coast, Australia, takes place on April 15th. Marathon running is a sport we have an interest in (see our amazing book on running) and have recently teamed up with England Athletics marathon programme on how to support runners. We also enjoy running ourselves with England marathon programme runner and PhD student Dan Robinson and myself running in the London Marathon on April 22nd this year. And so we will be watching with a personal and professional eye on the race.
With the Commonwealth Games marathon and London Marathon so close together, it raises the profile and public awareness of the event. In the Commonwealth Games, we should expect a slower finish time but more intense competition. The reason for that is the absence of pace makers. At the London Marathon, there are pacemakers who are paid to hold a certain pace; the lead runners are running for money, many of who have appearance fees. At the Commonwealth Games, we should see interpersonal competition, where runners might slow in order to let someone else lead, where the time they finish is not as important as the finish position. I expect the race at the Commonwealth Games to be better to watch from a competitive perspective, for people jostling for tactical advantage. At London, the pacemakers will deliver the strategy that was bought and paid for and then drop out. And so if the times for the Commonwealth Games are slower, it’s likely to be more about the tactics than capability.
However, from a social perspective, it’s difficult to rival the immense positivity you experience as a competitor at the London Marathon. The entire field are roared from start to finish, with a crowd in places 20 people deep in places. Londoners have embraced the day and make it truly memorable for all. The Commonwealth Games provides Griffith University a great platform (https://www.gc2018.com/venue/marathon) to raise awareness.
Could hosting a marathon be a good opportunity for our University and region? Possibly, the Birmingham marathon was cancelled in 2018. It would be good for the Midlands in general to create a showcase marathon event, which is what the organisers of the Birmingham marathon propose to do.
When the Commonwealth Games come to Birmingham a crowd as vociferous as the London Marathon would make the event special. Our University could team up with event organisers and provide good sports science support to all runners and our Midlands crowd could roar the runners home.
And so how could sports science make a difference to running a marathon? Our work focuses on encouraging people to adopt a process goal; to think about what they are doing right here and now, and not focusing on the outcome goal. Having a narrative ‘I must do an X-minute mile might drive your arousal, might make you try harder, but for many people, completing a marathon leaves them at almost breaking point. The response from athletes ‘is how do I try harder?’ Rather than outcome, we encourage focusing on the process, on what you need to do and have many ways to help people achieve that in endurance running. One approach is to get people to focus on the here and now, and typically on trying to run more economically, something done by focusing on technique. This approach has come from many projects and supporting athletes. Remember, we have a long standing good relationship with Prof Greg Whyte , a former Olympian, former member of Wolverhampton University staff, and personal trainer to the stars. To help people understand and follow, we produced a couple of self-help videos, one for running and one for cycling and so people can watch and have a go (there is a link to get in touch also).
And so marathons await; the Commonwealth Games will be engaging to watch (you will see sunshine!!for UK readers!!!). Runners will be managing an inner voice to slow down and many will be handling that inner voice positively. Life itself can feel like a marathon, tasks can seem daunting and arduous at the start, and so if you find yourself at the start of a daunting challenge, focus on the process, break the task down into smaller chunks and do one at a time.