The Tri Town Times: 4/17/23
- Posted on
- By Antonio Gonzalez
- Posted in the tri town times
An obsession with pyramids.
Here is your weekly Tri Town Times newsletter:
Weekend race report:
Logan Rees, a Boise State University grad and 10k record holder, won Robie Creek on Saturday in a time of 1:16:40. Sam Lewis, Oregon State grad and coach for the University of Idaho's XC and track and field team won the women's race in 1:31:55. Results.
Training thoughts and updates:
An interesting study from the University of Lyon comparing elite trail runners to road runners. Male participants completed a battery of tests and the results were compared between the two runner categories. The study found both categories of runners were similar in efficiency on both flat and uphill terrain, while trail runners generate greater force and power (beneficial for steep uphill running). A surprising finding was that the elite road runners recorded almost twice the training hours of trail runners, I would have expected the road runners to record more training miles, but not necessarily more hours. This may represent a simple opportunity for trail runners to increase performance.
A common question I receive from triathletes is how much time, if any, should be spent trail running vs road running. My general recommendation is to do as the Ethiopians do and run on a variety of terrain. They use low and high altitude, mountainous, rocky, sandy, and flat terrain to develop well rounded runners. Paved surfaces are only used during the final build up to acclimate themselves to the surface and pace.
An excellent book on Ethiopian run training and culture is Out of Thin Air by Michael Crawley. Read my book notes here.
Quote that struck a chord:
"Man fears time; time fears the pyramids." Arab proverb.
The Pyramid of Giza is an amazing thing. Consider this:
- It is made of 2.3 million limestone and granite blocks.
- The average weight of the blocks is 2.5 tons, with some of the larger blocks at the base weighing as much as 15 tons.
- Experts estimate the pyramid took 20 years to build.
- If this is true, a 2.5 ton block must have been placed every 4.25 minutes, 24 hours a days, every day, for 20 years.
- The Pyramid of Giza stood as the tallest object in the world for 4,000 years.
As a tool to highlight and visualize key concepts, the pyramid is hard to beat. Pyramids visually and physically represent the importance of commitment and a strong foundation, something we as athletes can appreciate. Consider the following "pyramids" relevant to athletes:
- Coach John Wooden's Pyramid of Success (have you noticed Ted Lasso staring at his signed copy in his office?).
- The Recovery Pyramid (sleep well and eat well).
- The Endurance Hierarchy of Needs (train often, mostly easy, sometimes fast).
- The infamous "food pyramid" (since replaced with the much better MyPlate).
If building fitness is like building a pyramid, you the athlete, are the engineer. You must shape and work the stone into blocks that can support those around it. A block may be a simple shape, but it is not a shape found in nature. This explains why building a pyramid is simple, but not easy. A round stone is common and easily found, but cannot be stacked into a tall and stable structure. Blocks, like your health and fitness, are not made without significant time and effort.
Commitment, effort, and a strong focus on getting the foundation right is how you build a pyramid that will survive the test of time.
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