Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bread, Butter and Horseshit

The beauty of training triathletes is that, for the most part, they are open to new ideas. Because of triathlon's relatively short life (~25 yrs.), there does not exist nearly as much history with regard to 'what they did for training back in the day'. Triathletes also expect, and rightly so, that their coaches be 'up' on the knowledge science has to contribute to expediting improvement in fitness in general, as well as, race performance specifically.

I mention this because there exists within cycling a preponderance of 'old school' coaches and athletes that listen to these coaches that still believe that 'the old ways are the best ways'. They and their athletes lift lots of legs weight, ride restricted gears at an arbitrarily low effort, or even on a fixed gears in the winter, do isolated leg exercises, cadence drills, and generally lose cycling fitness. Not only do they believe these methods make them faster come Summer, but they think they help avoid 'burnout'.

These athletes (you see them as 90% of the people on local World Championship group rides)are the ones who are kinda fast, but never get any faster year over year and almost never get any race results. THEY are the ones that burn out mid-Summer from starting to race in the early Spring without ample aerobic fitness to support the demands of racing. These folks usually are quite vocal towards the 10% of the people using training methods which science has given birth to and the best cyclists in the world are using about how they've got it all wrong. These folks need only look at ANY cycling publication which depicts these athletes training and in many, many cases racing with portable power measuring devices on their bikes.
These dinosaurs should realize that they are the ones that need a 'paradigm shift'.

Like dinosaurs, nature, through the 'crucible of competition' will select them out over time as they get injured doing heavy squats, powercranking and other horseshit, as well as burn out mentally due to a discouraging lack of fitness relative to those doing the 'bread & butter' endurance training necessary to see continual gains season over season.