There are a few things recently that have got me thinking or more precisely got me ranting.
Here in the UK the other week there was a blatant dive in a football match which produced an awful lot of media coverage. It was cheating plain and simple and though footballers like to talk about being “Professional” their conduct on the pitch seems on the whole to be far from that. Then we come to the pundits on TV … they’re even less professional. I’ve heard many say things along the lines of “It’s his job to get in the box and get something” – this is not helping. That is not their job, their job is to score goals not cheat. The media and the managers should say it how it is and not glorify it.
Then there’s the great British medal in the 4 x100m relay at the Athletics world championships. Rather than applauding it you hear how it has less meaning because the USA wasn’t in the final. No it doesn’t… they weren’t in the final because they weren’t good enough. They may have the fastest runners but if they can’t execute a race within the rules then it makes them worse than everyone who managed to. Next we’ll have a Triathletes win belittled because someone further down the field was faster in all disciplines but had crap transitions.
Enough ranting but continuing in a similar theme there are a lot of things out there that are just taken for granted. Either because on the face of them they make sense or because there’s such consistency in what we hear we assume it’s based on sound evidence and we never question it. Over the past few years there have been sufficient instances where I’ve done enough research thats made me realise what I’d taken for granted was actually completely wrong. For instance:
- low fat is good
- capitalism is good
- supportive running shoes are a good idea
- high cholesterol is necessarily bad thing and can / should be corrected via diet
- grains are good for you
Also, if you’ve ever read an article in a newspaper where you have particular knowledge you soon realise that whats written is not necessarily based on expertise. Only this weekend I read about Alaistair Brownlee in a major UK paper which stated he won the London Triathlon but in fact they meant the Hyde Park race on the London Olympics course.
Anyway, all this makes me question stuff so much more.
So here’s one for you:
Riding the Ironman bike at a constant power is the ideal way to produce your optimum bike split. I’ve chatted with training buddies about this one as I’m starting to be a little less convinced about it. Especially as I can’t recall ever hearing of any study that’s produced evidence to back it up.
Now, I can believe that for a Pro and some age groupers who get out there and train to maintain a steady state power for 5 hours then perhaps this is the best approach. However, my experience is that most people find it far easier to vary their effort levels, almost like a mini interval session. Run / walk in the marathon is gaining credence so why not something similar for the bike. With my foot the way it is I’ve been thinking through the idea of run / walk at Kona. As I visualize it I realise that mentally I find it far easier to imagine doing 26 x (0.95 mile with 0.05 mile recovery) than doing 26 straight hard rides. What about on the bike taking it easy for a few minutes after each aid station to down you fuel ? I’ve certainly found the more varied Ironman Bikes easier since they provide more variety in effort levels.
Perhaps I will try it at Vitruvian this weekend. My heart really isn’t in this race as I currently can’t run so I’m unlikely to be able to compete so perhaps it’s the ideal time to experiment. We will see…