Matt McElroy wins third straight World Cup; focusing on run efficiency makes you less efficient; wise advice from old sources.
Here is your weekly TT Times newsletter:
Weekend Race Report-
- The US men swept the podium at the ITU World Cup closing event in Santo Domingo this weekend, with Matt McElroy taking his 3rd straight World Cup win.
- ITU short course distance stars Marten Van Riel and Ashleigh Gentle won their debut half ironman races in Xiamen, China.
- The USA Triathlon Long Course National Championship Festival was this weekend in Miami, Florida. Congrats to local stud Brian Weissinger for taking 4th in his age group and 12th overall in the aquabike category.
Training Thoughts and Updates-
Do you feel that sometimes the more you focus on something the worse it becomes? Maybe you've felt this way while trying to adjust your run stride or swim stroke? Well, recent studies show
you're probably right- focusing on run technique can make it less efficient. The best advice I can give any runner comes from the great New Zealand running coach Arthur Lydiard: "...always try to relax, particularly the upper body. Keep the head up and the hips comfortably forward, arm action low... Never waste energy... In marathon training, concentration on technicalities like center of gravity can cause awkwardness. If you move with a balanced, easy stride, free of unnecessary swing and sway, you'll adjust your body position comfortably.
Quote that Struck a Chord-
"Not less than two hours per day should be devoted to exercise and the weather should be little regarded. If the body be feeble, the mind will not be strong." Thomas Jefferson
If You Have a Moment to Spare-
With the shop slowing down a bit this time of year, I look forward to spending a little extra time reading and journaling on a variety of topics that catch my interest. As a fun project I've been reviewing and documenting key notes from some of my favorite books on endurance training. It's interesting how some principles and ideas withstand the test of time, while others turn out to simply be a flash in the pan. Brilliant coaches like Arthur Lydiard
and Phil Maffetone
were well ahead of their contemporaries, and often criticized for going against the grain. But the work they published 30-40 years ago is being re-hashed now by others as modern training advice.
Today, we can quantify and measure training better than ever before, we can analyze our nutrition down to the calorie, and optimize our equipment to save a single watt. Yet despite these impressive advances the basic principles of building fitness and speed have not truly changed in almost half a century. Though coaches like Lydiard or Maffetone may have lacked some of the tools we have today, this apparent disadvantage may actually have be an advantage on occasion. Without an overwhelming amount of data flooding their attention, they were forced them to ask simply but sound questions. Questions like: "Does this feel right? Am I doing the right work? Are we getting results?". These questions should always come before "Did I hold 90% of FTP?" or "Did I stay in my heart rate zone?"
So if you're the self-improvement type and find yourself scouring recent headlines for the latest trick to improve x or y, consider picking up an old classic from the titans in your field. As you read, don't look for subtle tips, tricks, or secrets... you won't find any that matter. Instead, look for the passages and advice that sound familiar. Chances are, if it sounds familiar, it has survived the test of time. And if it has survived that, it's probably pretty darn good advice.
Have a great week!