Wiljan Vloet - Logo

maandag 5 oktober 2015


Being “in top condition” is the theme this time. Being in top condition in the way of delivering an optimal personal performance: achieving your personal peak.

On Sunday I sat in front of the television to watch the competition runners of the Marathon of Rotterdam. I have got to confess that I went to admire the bystanders from a pub later that afternoon. From the terrace of Melief I saw them crash down in chairs: completely tired and broken
When I’m watching sports I’m always busy with my profession. Who is going to win and which influences are of importance? What can we do with today’s information and use this to win in the future?

If I look at these runners and compare their achievements, a question arises: “How are we going to make sure that they are going to perform at their best in Rotterdam?” I have some ideas about that. Firstly, the runner must be motivated and in top condition on that exact day to deliver a maximum performance. Is today about running the best they can or is it just a day to train? Wouldn’t it be an idea to motivate them by rewarding them if they achieve their optimal personal performance instead of winning the race?
The runners are on a very tight schedule so they can use their energy resources optimally. They know the time they have and the time they are able to achieve. If they deviate from this schedule they will get in trouble sooner or later. They get cramps, or get exhausted and are unable to achieve their optimal performance.

In the afternoon there is the cycle classic of Paris - Roubaix. Prior to this race I heard an arduous interview with Bradley Wiggens. He didn’t feel like giving an interview and he only wanted to talk about the bike they made for this specific race. What he didn’t want to talk about was if he was going to win or not. He didn’t want to, but there was no escape. I found his answer fantastic: if the race was going to be a time trial and he wouldn’t have an equipment failure or crash, then he was a hundred per cent sure he was going to win. But at Paris - Roubaix there’s always lots going on, such as crashes, because of the tactics of other runners. The only thing he had total control over is his physical state. With his answer he indicated that at least in his experience that wasn’t going to be a problem.

Back to the marathon. The winner was Abera Kuma. His time was disappointing. 2.06.47. His story about this victory is in line with my ideas. He told a great story about that he came to Rotterdam to improve his personal record, but when he noticed that his pace was way too fast at the beginning of the race, he knew he wasn’t going to break his record and he decided to focus on winning the race.

Last Friday I watched PSV - Zwolle on tv. To my amazement the commentator announced that the players of Zwolle would be exhausted after an hour of playing. He based this on the fact that they had played the cup match the Tuesday before. I wonder whether they achieved their personal physical peak that Friday. Well, they didn’t win. Did they run so much that there was no energy left anymore? Maybe they weren’t ready to go to the max for that game? I know Ron Jans a little and I know for sure that he did everything he could to get the players ready for this game.

Wiggens was ready for the race. Zwolle was ready for the match. Kuma was ready to break his record. But who was able to actually live up to this?
It would have been interesting if they had given the viewer this information beforehand. There are instruments and tools that can measure if the energy stocks in the body are completely filled. Now we get to see the lap times, kilometre times, and walking distance. But we’re not getting any information about the condition of the athletes.

You have to be physically in form to deliver performance. Then you can get to the top as an athlete. This is measurable and presentable. There can be no discussion on this matter.
That being in optimal form isn’t equal to “automatically winning” is caused by many factors. Being in optimal condition is however the most import on that you can influence: by taking your responsibility as an athlete.

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