The Athlete’s Clock is a sports physiology book that combines multiple scientific disciplines to examine the impact of time on sport’s performance. Through focusing primarily on running, cycling and swimming, Thomas W. Rowland sets out to point out that the physical effort over time in sport performance may not be fully under the conscious dictates of the athlete, but is much more largely under the control of the subconscious processes within their central nervous systems that decide such factors as speed, stride frequency, and stride length.
Early on in the book, we get a thorough discussion of the concept of time, establishing its importance from several viewpoints. Time is conventionally thought of as a mathematical construct. In this way it is viewed objectively, and can even be calculated with an accuracy of five parts per ten million according to some clocks.
There are other ways we view time that deviate from this concrete, objective construct of time. There is subjective time, in which time is dependent on the individual’s perception of time. It can appear to be moving more slowly or more rapidly depending on the individual’s experience.
Relational theory of time is a concept in which people view time as a sequence of events, which also make personal experiences central to the idea of time. In this concept, the author says, “events do not take place in time; instead, it’s the other way around.” (Rowland, 2011, p. XV)
Einstein claimed that time was not absolute in his observations of relative time, saying that “the passage of time depends on the location and speed of the person looking at the clock” (Rowland, XV). According to this theory, time is directly related to speed, therefore if you could measure time at a consid...
... middle of paper ...
... override these built-in biological performance coordinators, but it’s also counterproductive. It’s always best to trust what intuitively feels comfortable. I’ve taken this into account lately. I now pay more attention to how I run, but I allow myself to be distracted from the fact that I am running. This way, I keep opinion out of the equation and let my body time on its own.
Rowland, T. (2011). The athlete's clock. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
Noakes, T., Peltonen, J., & Rusko, H. (2001). Evidence that a central governor regulates exercise performance during acute hypoxia and hyperoxia.Journal of Experimental Biology, (204), 3225-3234. Retrieved from http://jeb.biologists.org/content/204/18/3225.long
Stanfield, C., & Germann, W. (2009). Principles of human physiology. (pp. 495-496). San Francisco, CA: Pearson Education, Inc.