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016: Barry Fudge on Heading up endurance

Dr Barry Fudge is Head of Endurance at British athletics and lead scientist for many outstanding endurance athletes like Sir Mo Farah. Barry has a PhD in exercise physiology which uniquely he undertook the majority of which in East Africa working with the richly talented Kenyan and Ethiopian teams, which at the time included Haile Gebrselassie and Kenenisa Bekele.

Barry was actually my postdoctoral researcher back in 2007 and despite this is has gone on to achieve incredible amount. First as a physiologist as the key architect Mo Farah’s transformation from an also-ran to a world beater. Then being promoted to Head of Endurance with the much wider remit creating the conditions to nurture success in British Athletics.
Barry spoke at our 2017 conference which you can also catch up on the podcast, and in this discussion expands on some are many challenges works through, how he works with athletes and coaches on a day-to-day basis and in the arena of the track and field stadium and he explores his purpose and shares with us why he does what he does.

Show notes

0:56 Conference tickets now on sale
First wave of speakers announced;
Prof Kevin Dutton, Professor of Psychology, University of Oxford: The wisdom of psychopaths

Dr Eva Carneiro, Sports Medicine Specialist and pioneer for women working in elite sport.  Speaking on “Safeguarding and Medical Governance in Sport: The insurmountable medical frontier?”

Rosie Mayes, Engendering Balance: Championing collaboration

Dr Cath Bishop, Consultant: From Athens to Basra – Lessons from becoming World champion and operating in war zones

Ben Ashworth, Consultant: Keep starting until you finish – What does it take to succeed in a high performance environment?

Tim Harper, Harper Performance: Problem solving for the underdog: Interactive session developing performance for the disadvantaged

Anthony Bennet, who died 12 times, but survived to tell the tale, realise the power of teamwork that saved him and to discover his superpower!

Dr Steve Ingham, Supporting Champions: Optimising performance by phasing progress

5:30 Barry’s role and background
7:07 The different components that come to together to facilitate elite sport
7:55 How did Barry get into sport?
9:30 PhD in endurance running in Kenya
11:10 Ethiopian athletes and impacting on performance for the first time
15:10 Doing science differently
16:00 Being comfortable with uncertainty & observing over time
18:20 Understanding the UK system, how to systematically support athletes and coaches
20:00 Mo Farah, focus and clarity of purpose
21:20 The relationship between science and performance, to execute when it matters most and how you then approach competition in the long term.
24:50 Focussing on what matters, the complexity of a big event and managing the environment around the athletes
28:20 Forgetting what sport is actually about…the drama!
28:40 Providing calm, focus and clarity
29:02 The vulnerability of athletes
30:40 It’s ok to win and to lose, will the athlete be happy or upset? Being mechanical or inhuman
32:40 Enjoying the journey of sport for what it is, there will always be ups and downs
35:10 Key lessons: purpose, passion, enjoying it and being comfortable with where you are
37:58 ‘Own the start line’ – looking ahead to what you want to achieve, what would you have to have done in order to be fully prepared and then work your way back

Take a look at an insight into the background preparation that goes on under Barry’s leadership https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tw_xZstaGu8&feature=youtu.be

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