Sport, fitness, health, sport, sport, sport!
6 April 2011
Faye Downey is a sports scientist running her own company: Oracle ELite Performance Management Ltd.
Sport, fitness, health, sport, sport, sport! These have been my passion since day one and are a complete part of me, my hobbies, my work and my life. I loved all sports at school hockey, netball, and took part in as much as I could. These experiences fueled my A level options including Biology and Physical education, and my Degree choice of Sports Science at Loughborough University.
Completing this degree is where I really understood that sport was a Science. Modules of physiology, bio- mechanics, motor learning and nutrition really helped explain how the body could be manipulated and adapt to physical stressors to perform at a higher level. Laboratory testing and research fueled my passion and I explored the transfer or monitoring and training to excellence in performance.
I continued this exploration by completing an MSc in Sports Science and complimented that with practical learning outside my course of training regimens such as Olympic Lifting, Sprinting, Plyometrics, Aerobic and Anaerobic conditioning.
One of my first jobs was to work as a co-ordinator and physiologist for UK Athletics. Predominantly lab testing endurance runners looking at their running economy, lactate thresholds and VO2 max to help prescribe individual training.
I continued to learn the trade of strength and conditioning, which looks at the force, power, and velocities of movement for different sports. Training an individual to complete the technical requirements of their sport at their physical capacity. Various tools help monitor this, a force platform for force production and rate of force development, linear encoders for power production, timing equipment for velocities and old fashioned coaching, perception of movement and progression of load, volume and exercises selections.
Before setting up my own company Oracle ELite Performance Management Ltd (www.oracle-elite.com) I worked for the English Institute of Sport training athletes and players in a range of Olympic sports including tae kwondo, slalom canoeing, rowing and hockey.
Learning this science and art in combination has lead me to write and deliver World Class conditioning programmes for a wide range of sports and athletes representing Great Britain at Olympic, World Championship, European and Commonwealth level. My experiences have taken me to Paris for the Athletics World Championships, Athens for the Olympics Games in 2004, training camps in Korea and California and training the England Rugby team for the 2007 World Cup.
Traveling to these places, networking, attending conferences and subscribing to journals furthers my scientific knowledge. It’s fascinating learning hormonal adaptations to training and stress, recovery strategies, altitude training, vibration training, monitoring methods and training to your physical peak for a specific competition.
Under the Oracle banner I continue to train, mentor and research in football and rugby, working practically at two premiership clubs. I am also delighted that I will be part of the fitness team for the 2011 Rugby World Cup helping our players become, faster, stronger and more powerful.