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6 August 2012 | PR 12/148

Olympic 10,000m medallists train with Loughborough’s performance breathing aid

Farrah & Rupp - 2012 Olympics

A breathing training device developed at Loughborough University has helped to prepare Britain’s Mo Farah and America’s Galen Rupp to claim the Olympic Gold and Silver medals in the men’s 10,000 metres. One week later, Farah won the 5,000 metres, running his final lap in just 52.9 seconds. 

The innovative device fits around the lower chest and ribcage to provide a training load to the breathing muscles as the chest expands during breathing. The Nike Oregon Project Team of athletes including Farah and Rupp uses RespiBelt as part of the athletes' training preparations. The multi-national running team is directed by world-leading coach Alberto Salazar, who said: “As coach to Gold and Silver medallists at the London 2012 Olympics I am always seeking to increase my athletes' performance.  I understand the importance of training the breathing muscles and have used RespiBelt to achieve these results, improving my athletes’ running economy and endurance.  RespiBelt is a great breathing training aid and I will continue to champion its use in my coaching to world class athletes."

“RespiBelt acts like a dumbbell for the breathing muscles, loading them without restricting the ribcage. Improved breathing muscle efficiency means more oxygen reaches the exercising muscles leading to increased strength, power and endurance,” said Ross Weir, co-founder and innovation director at Progressive Sports Technologies, a spin-out company from Loughborough University Sports Technology Institute.  He continued: “Athletes can adjust the belt to vary the intensity; pulled tighter for a higher load brings strength and power gains while exercising at a lower load for longer benefits endurance events such as the 10,000 metres.”

The device has been developed over several years at Loughborough and tested with elite athletes including members of the British Triathlon team, based on the University campus. “The benefits of training the breathing muscles have been well researched and validated,” said Professor Mike Caine, co-founder of Progressive Sports Technologies. He continued, “Building on the extensive research supporting the use of mouth-held inspiratory muscle training devices, we explored whether similar results could be achieved using RespiBelt. Results have been really encouraging and we are excited that athletes across a wide range of sports are starting to adopt the product."

“We’re delighted with the epic achievements of Mo Farah and Galen Rupp on Saturday; both produced a killer kick in the final crucial stages to secure their medals and it’s wonderful to know that our invention may have helped them to realise their Olympic dreams,” concluded Ross Weir.

RespiBelt is manufactured in the UK by OPRO 360 the sports equipment division of leading sports mouthguard and Queen's Award for Innovation recipient. 

−ENDS−

For all media enquiries contact:

Anna Seddon
Marketing Manager (Enterprise)
Loughborough University
T: 01509 223445
E: A.J.Seddon@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

About Progressive Sports Technologies
Based in Loughborough University Sports Technology Institute, Progressive Sports Technologies provides a comprehensive range of research-led product development services to major global sports brands.  It has launched a number of fitness products including the Reebok Deck (invented by Progressive’s co-founders Mike Caine and Ross Weir) and the Reebok Gripmaster (invented by Ross Weir).  It has also helped Nike develop World Cup Rugby shirts, Speedo develop its triathlon range and Mizuno develop new running shoes. 

About University of Loughborough
Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching and strong links with industry.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport and its underpinning academic disciplines. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

Loughborough has been selected by the British Olympic Association as the Official Preparation Camp Headquarters for Team GB prior to the London 2012 Olympic Games. The University has also signed a partnership with the Japanese Olympic Committee that will see both organisations working together until the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Follow the University’s London 2012 Olympics news on Twitter - @lborolondon2012

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