As the Michigan State Spartans meet Duke in the Final Four on Saturday, April 4. we revisited last year’s rather, er, comprehensive study conducted by ESPN Sports Science.
During a game against Illinois, ESPN had Michigan State coach Tom Izzo wear a bioharness and accelerometer — and even swallow a sensor to track core body temperature (meaning it had to be retrieved somehow…).
What the data revealed was that the then 59-year-old was in pretty great shape. Izzo began with a resting respiratory rate of 14 breaths per minute, and a heartbeat of 68 beats per minute.
Within a quick nine minutes, Izzo roughly doubled his breath and heart rate. However, he tempered the stress and corresponding adrenaline release by moving nearly constantly. On the side of the court, he’d walked 1.8 miles by the end of the game.
Izzo’s core body temperature peaked at 100 degrees, his heart pumping 135 beats per minute. One stat that surprised even Izzo: he stayed at 70 percent of his max heart rate the entire game, which is the same percentage a marathon runner maintains over the course of 26.2 miles. Even so, the coach was able to recover to “normal levels” within 30 seconds of each peak, evidencing his excellent conditioning.
See the full video of the study here.