I came across an old newspaper clipping from The Times’ Feb 26, 2004 edition.
They compared the diets of Darren Campbell vs. Peter Radford, and the journalist was biased towards today’s modern science has done little to break sprinting records.
Darren Campbell was a bronze medalist from the 2003 World Championships with a best of 10.04 for 100 meters.
On the other hand, Peter Radford’s “electronic world record” of 10.29 was set in 1958. It is interesting to note that in 1976, the IAAF required fully automatic timing to the hundredth of a second for events under 400 meters. In 1976, the WR for 100 meters went from 9.9 (hand) shared by 10 men to 9.95 (FAT) set by Jim Hines’ 1968 Mexico City Olympics.
Has training, technology and nutrition changed that much in 40 years to produce an decrease of 0.25 seconds?
What was interesting from the article was comparing the diets:
Sample Meal Plan for Darren Campbell:
Breakfast: 3-4 boiled eggs, 2 pieces brown toast, 1 glass orange juice
Lunch: prawn/tuna or chicken salad, bottled water
Dinner: 2 chicken breasts, broccoli, bottled water
Sample Meal Plan for Peter Radford:
Breakfast: oatmeal with full cream milk and lots of brown sugar
Mid-Morning: whole package of of digestive biscuits
Lunch: plate of roast pork, apple sauce, cabbage, gravy, bread and butter pudding
6pm: pint of bitter shandy and a very large white roll with cheese
10pm (main meal): 3 large lamb chops, cabbage, carrots, parsnips, gravy, 4 large slices of white bread, large peice of apple pie with custard, 2 bananas, cup of hot chocolate
Plus: 8 cups of tea throughout the day, each with 3 large tablespoons of sugar
It doesn’t say whether Darren Campbell took supplements, as his diet is extremely low in essential fatty acids, especially the Omega 3, 6, 9’s. Plus, I find it hard to believe the minimal amount of carbohydrates in his diet, with carbs coming only in the morning meal.
On the other hand, Peter Radford’s diet makes me gasp in horror! That’s a lot of simple sugars and carbs for any person or world class athlete, unless he was running a marathon! What saved Radford’s day was probably all the food mentioned above was home made and not processed. I don’t see Snickers or any other package foods listed. As Jack Lalanne would say, if it has a label on it, DON’T eat it.
But Radford still ran 10.29 with that diet and that’s a lot faster than my 10.92. My College diet wasn’t much better with Kraft dinner (a.k.a. Macaroni and cheese), pizza at Gert’s, and the occasional beer and chicken wings at Annie’s.
Truth is stranger than fiction.