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Running strategy of female middle distance runners attempting the 800m and 1500m "Double" at a major championship: a performance analysis and qualitative investigation

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Historically, athletes attempting the 800m and 1500m double have been world class athletes with a genuine medal chance in one or both events. However, an athlete would not be expected to attempt the double if this jeopardised their chance of winning a medal in a single event. Therefore, the approach to attempting the double must allow the athlete to race 6 times during a games and recover sufficiently between races. The purpose of the current investigation was to compare the strategies of female athletes attempting the 800m and 1500m double with those entering a single event. A manual race analysis system was devised to analyse the performances of these two types of athlete, finding that the double event athletes preferred to run at the back of the leading group during the early stages. A supporting qualitative analysis revealed that the reason for not leading in the early stages was to preserve energy. The decision to attempt the double had to consider the risks involved and strategy was influenced by the opponents, the order of the events, the athlete's best event and confidence in the athletes ability to take up the challenge of competing in two events.
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Keywords: FEMALE ATHLETES; PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS; QUALITATIVE METHODS; RUNNING

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2005-12-01

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