Timex Partners with Korey Stringer Institute to Improve Athletic Training

A Timex Global Trainer GPS Unit. Photo credit: Shawn Kornegay.
A Timex Global Trainer GPS Unit. Photo credit: Shawn Kornegay.

The Timex Corporation is joining forces with UConnʼs Korey Stringer Institute (KSI) on a variety of research projects that will assist Timexʼs development of advanced training products to enhance the performance and safety of athletes in a wide variety of sports.

As part of these studies, professional and college endurance and team athletes will participate in a number of programs over the next three years.

The studies will emphasize the importance of using proper equipment both during and after training and competition. They will include research into the use of advanced heart rate/GPS monitors and “heart rate training zones,” in order to safely intensify training over time, resulting in maximized performance, personal fitness and recovery.

“What athletes and coaches need to know is that using the proper training equipment can enhance their results, while maximizing safety and recovery,” says Douglas J. Casa, professor of kinesiology in the Neag School of Education and chief operating officer of KSI. “These studies will enable our team and Timex to identify key facts about all levels of athletes during training and competition.”

Members of the UConn menʼs soccer team participated in a Timex-funded research study in August.

“A primary focus of the soccer study was to determine the relationship of on-field, real-time practice heart rate and GPS data of speed/distance with physiological biomarkers,” says Casa, an expert on exertional heat stroke and exercise in the heat. “For instance, is heart rate related to hydration status, stress hormones, fatigue, muscle damage, etc.? If heart rate values can provide a window to the biomarkers, they can be utilized to implement more successful training programs. Additionally, issues related to recovery were examined.”

Named for former Minnesota Vikings football player Korey Stringer, who died of complications related to exertional heat stroke following an NFL preseason football practice in 2001, the Korey Stringer Institute is dedicated to providing first-rate research, information, resources, assistance and advocacy for the prevention of sudden death in sport, especially as it relates to exertional heat stroke. With the new research partnership, the Timex Corp. joins the NFL and Gatorade as sponsors of the Korey Stringer Institute.

The Korey Stringer Institute is part of the Neag School of Educationʼs Department of Kinesiology, which is currently rated the No. 1 kinesiology doctoral program in the country.

UConnʼs kinesiology researchers are recognized leaders in the fields of exercise science, exercise and sport nutrition, athletic training, physical therapy and sport management. UConnʼs Human Performance Laboratory and Laboratory for Sport Management is widely recognized and published worldwide.

Casa has published more than 100 peer-reviewed publications and presented more than 300 times on subjects related to exertional heat stroke, heat-related illnesses, preventing sudden death in sport, and hydration. He is a 2008 recipient of the medal for distinguished athletic training research from the National Athletic Trainersʼ Association and a 2007 recipient of the Sayers “Bud” Miller Distinguished Educator Award from the National Athletic Trainersʼ Association. He has been a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine since 2001.

Heberto Calves, vice president of marketing for the Middlebury, Conn.-based Timex Corp., says, “This partnership will enable Timex to utilize firsthand research data related to a number of integral training elements, including heart rate, pace, body/skin temperature and fitness level, to improve training techniques and develop innovative new products for athletes of all levels. “We plan on integrating all of our assets into these studies to ensure we offer training solutions that will truly impact performance during training and competitions.”

Best known as the nationʼs leading watch manufacturer, the Timex Corp. has an unparalleled heritage of creating innovative, technologically advanced and reliable timepieces for endurance athletes. Through its Timex Ironman brand, the company has developed an extensive anthology of elite training devices and fitness aids. Timex Ironman timepieces can monitor heart rate, calories burned, pace, distance, speed and more. They are worn by athletes on every continent and have been added to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. The Timex Corp. in recent years has developed strategic partnerships with the World Triathlon Corp., New York Road Runners Club and the New York Giants.

One of the UConn studies funded by Timex will feature members of the Timex Corp.ʼs Multisport Team, a diverse team of professionals and amateurs who embody the sacrifice, commitment and passion of the sport of triathlon. Researchers from UConnʼs Korey Stringer Institute will be with the athletes prior to and during the 2011 Ford Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. The KSI team will work closely with each of the participating athletes to educate them on how they can maximize their training and performance with the use of Timex products. The research and performance data collected during the competition will later be analyzed, in order to help Timex develop more advanced products and to make sure athletes are getting the maximum benefit from them.