Skip to main content

Elite sports performance

We are passionate about exploring the absolute limits of human performance and in helping elite athletes reach their potential. This involves precision exercise testing to evaluate the physiological factors known to impact exercise performance and input into the design of training programmes to optimise physical preparation prior to competition.

Professor Andy Jones is well known as a leading expert in the physiology of endurance exercise, especially middle and long distance running. He acted for many years as Lead Physiologist to UK Athletics, working with champion athletes such as Paula Radcliffe, and also served as a consultant to the English Institute of Sport.

Research in this area has focused on developing valid exercise testing procedures and addressing the determinants of the maximal oxygen uptake and efficiency/economy during submaximal exercise. As well as endurance exercise, the research group is interested in the energetics of intermittent exercise, such as occurs in many team sports.

Example of a recent project:

Professor Jones was scientific advisor to NIKE on the ‘Breaking 2’ marathon project in which Eliud Kipchoge ran the fastest ever marathon (2:00:25). Our PhD alumni, Drs Philip Skiba and Ida Clark, also contributed significantly to this endeavour.

» Watch a National Geographic documentary on the project

Watch Professor Andy Jones talk about the training of elite distance runners: