Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Tri Changes?

I'm done training, hanging it up, retiring, ... Between viewing the World Cup and the Tour De France, there's no time. I'm actually enjoying training a bit in this heat wave we are having. I don't love training and racing in the extreme heat and humidity so this dose of it will be good for acclimating. If you are training mid day in this, just be sure to back off the effort a bit to acclimate properly and not blow up, and of course hydrate lots.

A few weeks ago, I was out on an early Saturday morning ride and just after nearly missing a coyote who dashed across the street in front of me (I've had two solid coyote encounters recently?), i ran into Marty C. who was working his corner. That is, his corner controlling traffic that he always works at the Griskus OD race. He tells me that he's getting back into it (he had a nasty crash last year) finally. Marty has been around the sport for awhile and I always enjoy seeing familiar faces who were around in the 90's racing, still at it. I even ran into LJ Briggs at Rev 3 this year - LJ began racing in the 80's! Anyway, Marty and I were discussing the sport a bit and how it's changed. I'm not a bitter person, and i don't sit around talking about how things used to be. But I'm gonna here: I think there has been some significant changes for the better in our lifestyle sport. However, one thing that Marty and I both agreed upon is that triathletes feel too entitled now adays. Race atmospheres have changed from athletes happy to be there at a race, feeling fortunate that good people organized events for them, to everyone and their mother walking around in compression socks with their $10K bike thinking they are a pro and bitching about what's wrong with the race they are about to do. It seems as though it's always something now; the swim is not accurate, the bike is dangerous, there's too much drafting, the waves aren't fair, or my favorite - the course is too challenging! Sure, race directing has become a business, but it's a headache of a business and, I don't know, I still feel that we should search out hard courses for the challenge and not find flat easy ones just to say that we did such and such a time for a 70.3, and that we should appreciate the fact that we have an outlet for our passion. It's even interesting how training protocols have gotten softer. I've heard often that people that haven't worked with me or don't know me have heard that I'm a high volume, aggressive coach. I like to think that I personalize each athletes plan according to the time they can realistically commit to their passion and also based on their goals. I also have a lot of respect for triathlon and racing in general and want all my athletes at the starting line confident and ready to race, and also ready to recover well from their hard race effort.

Another thing that's changing in regards to training is that we are becoming much to dependant on tech toys. As a coach, I depend on these tech toys like HR monitors and power meters to take the guess work out of how my athletes are handling the training load I provide. I love the technology in our sport as well, and I enjoy keeping updated on all the latest gadgets and science. Sometimes though you need to just feel. You need to get on your bike, without looking at a computer or watch, and just ride. And if you feel strong, cool, up the ante. If you are not feeling so studly, then keep it in the small ring up front, and take in the surroundings on your ride. Look around a bit instead of staring down at some instrument displaying numbers. Just feel. I have both sets of athletes at my camps; those who shun technology, in which I try to get them to use it just a bit more because typically, these athletes are training too hard on their easy days which doesn't allow them to recover well and make the most of their quality days. Then there are those who are way to dependant. I've taken away the toys at camps and had them just run or ride and at first it's like Aroid without a new girlfriend, but soon they not only adapt, but actually feel way less encumbered. There is a middle ground in everything.

So Alan promises me a new website this week and I've been a nag, holding him to it because I'm anxious to switch it up. We have some really good content so please check out this week and look for the new site. I'll also send out an announcement about it when it is ready to release. And if anyone has any race reports or anything of interest they want to contribute, please do.



Linda said...

Nice post, Eric. You should read the book "bikesnob". It talks about the very things you're saying. Some of the best rides I've had, I'm just enjoying the scenery!

MandyB said...

Nice post, E - a lot of things I'd love to say, but in an effort to stay neutral, cannot.

Looking forward to seeing the new site!