Russell Best started his role as an Academic Staff Member in Sports Nutrition and associated subjects at Wintec’s Centre for Sport Science and Human Performance in February 2017. He moved to Hamilton from North Yorkshire in England. Previously, Russell taught Interpersonal skills for Medicine, and Anatomy and Biomechanics, at Durham and Teesside Universities respectively, alongside running a sports nutrition consultancy.
Russell is still engaged in PhD studies through Teesside University; his topic looks at the application of a menthol mouth swill to endurance exercise performance in the heat. He has taken an applied approach to this research and while Russell and his collaborators spent time developing the menthol solution, and the testing processes the most enjoyable part of the research to date has been encouraging the guys (participants) to run as fast as possible. Funding for these projects has been received from the British Milers Club, so the research is very much by athletes, for athletes and everyone involved is enthusiastic about that.
Because Russell has also spent time researching ultra-endurance running, and youth athlete development (YAD), he is very much at home in the Centre for Sport Science and Human Performance as YAD is an area of passion for the Centre and one in which they are looking to develop research capacity and outputs. There is a dedicated research group set up for this with other members of staff pursuing post-graduate research and studies in this important field.
The Centre has an Applied Practice Group, which Russell leads. The Group meets fortnightly to discuss research ideas and problems, and has started to attract speakers and attendees from outside Wintec. This serves as a proving ground for the researchers’ ideas, and ensures their research is of value to end users such as athletes, coaches and parents of young athletes.
Russell looks forward to continuing the menthol work, establishing some international collaborations with the Centre’s partners in Beijing and Tokyo, and as a sports scientist, he reckons you can’t beat standing around in a field or on an athletics track, working hard and hardly working.