Scientific data can help athletes of all ages and abilities to improve their performance and efficiency, says Mike Hahn, director of the University of Oregon’s Bowerman Sports Science Clinic (BSSC). The center will open its doors to the public and members of the media for an open house on Thursday, Oct. 24 from 4-7 p.m. It’s all part of October Research Month at the University of Oregon, a series of events highlighting UO research activity sponsored by the office for Research, Innovation, and Graduate Education.
“Any goal-oriented athlete in an endurance sport should be using scientific data,” says Hahn, a UO professor of human physiology. “Having that extra piece is so helpful.”
Two of the clinic's specialized laboratories, including a newly completed biomechanics laboratory, will be on display. The biomechanics laboratory will feature demonstrations of two motion analysis systems with integrated overground forceplates and instrumented treadmills, and the exercise physiology laboratory will be demonstrating the metabolics system, used to assess lactate thresholds and VO2 levels in runners and cyclists. The clinic’s staff and students will be available to answer questions and assist with the demonstrations.
“Our state-of-the-art facilities allow us to measure the motion of your limbs, the forces you produce in your joints, and pressure mapping of your feet while you run,” Hahn says. “Using this information, in combination with muscle strength and range of motion measurements, we can provide a complete analysis of your running technique.”
The clinic recently worked with Oregon Track Club Elite athlete Aisha Praught and her coaches to assess training capacity and performance levels. In the last year, BSSC has also worked with Erin Gray, a 26-year-old racewalker and med student from Eugene, who just competed with the U.S. Racewalking Team in the International Association of Athletics Federations World Championships in Moscow. The clinic has also collaborated on a research project with Nike to examine oxygen consumption levels in runners and participated in the Eugene Marathon’s Health and Fitness Expo.
The Bowerman clinic is a research core facility under the auspices of the office for Research, Innovation, and Graduate Education at the University of Oregon. The clinic is part of a network of international research centers connected through the University of Calgary, which gives the clinic access to a massive database of valuable information. The Bowerman clinic is the only member of the network in the Northwest.
“Researchers at the University of Oregon are using innovative tools and technologies to improve human health,” said Kimberly Andrews Espy, vice president for research and innovation and dean of the UO Graduate School. “The Bowerman Sports Science Clinic is advancing research in human physiology and helping athletes of all abilities to achieve their performance goals.”
Video: Go to http://bit.ly/1gyWill to see a video feature on Aisha Praught's workout/data collection session.