29th October 2012, 3:49pm
New endless pool makes a splash at Human Performance Centre
The endless pool at Lincoln The University of Lincoln has invested in a state-of-the-art ‘endless pool’ which will provide sports scientists and coaches with a rare new resource for studying athletic performance.

The facility, which resembles a small swimming pool, projects an underwater current for athletes to swim or run against. This means they can train at carefully controlled intensities with a coach or research specialist at their side, surrounded by the latest diagnostic equipment for analysing technique and fitness.

The endless pool has been installed in the University of Lincoln’s Human Performance Centre and makes Lincoln only the second university in the country to have such a facility on its campus.

As well as having obvious uses for studying the performance of swimmers, the endless pool also provides a low-impact environment for distance runners to train in. This is particularly useful in biomechanics and physiology-based research, as well as in the coaching and rehabilitation of athletes returning from injury.

Double gold medal winning Great Britain distance runner Mo Farah and his silver-medal winning American training partner Galen Rupp are reported to have carried out some of their running training in water as they prepared for the London 2012 Games. Fellow Olympic medal winners Alistair and Jonny Brownlee, who won gold and bronze in the triathlon, are also said to have used an endless pool in their preparations for the Games.

Head of the School of Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Lincoln, Catherine Thomas, said: “The endless pool is a fantastic new facility which will have an exciting array of uses in both teaching and research. We firmly believe our students should get hands-on testing experience to support the theory and this new addition will be a great asset for the School.”

Academics and research students already work closely with elite athletes and coaches in the Human Performance Centre and the new pool will offer new options for research collaborations.

Human Performance Centre Manager Simon George said: “Endless pools are increasingly being used in the rehabilitation of elite athletes returning from injury. Cross-training underwater uses the same muscle groups and a very similar action as conventional running, but without the same level of impact.
“Swimmers can also use the pool for analysis of their technique and physiological data collection. It can be combined with a high-speed camera system to provide biomechanical data in real-time – which of course would be problematic in a full-size swimming pool!”

The University’s Human Performance Centre already features a high-tech biomechanics and motor control laboratory and a physiology and biochemistry laboratory that are used for the School of Sport and Exercise Science’s teaching, research and consultancy activities.

Organisations interested in using the endless pool or other facilities in the Human Performance Centre can find more information at: www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/sport/facilities
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