After our last blog, we received a very positive response in regard to my honesty of the demise of Australian Olympic sport, and why it will fail to bounce back. However, we had two types of debaters, and those who were genuinely interested in further clarification:
- defenders of the indefensible, which is the state of Australian athletics on the world scene. - those that took exception to my opinion that sports science mixed with over administration has had a large hand in the demise of performance. As I firmly believe the second query can help most age group athletes in our group, and those interested in making themselves faster. Today I will address the toxic brew cooked up by the mix of sports science and theoretical view of 'what is correct technique'. I would like every triathlete to read this if it were possible, as the weight of information about what is technically correct, the science of physiology, the endless marketing of the next great thing to help you be faster, let's call it free speed (but of course it's not free at all, it's very expensive this free speed); is all very deceiving, as attempts are made to align these with the accuracy of scientific measurement.
However, while people look to these aids to make themselves faster, please realise that the 'favoured techniques' and claims as to the absolute fastest way, have been developed by studying the worlds best athletes. It is here that we should all understand that in swimming no one is at the top of the tree that hasn't swam for about 6 years and a minimum of 50km or more on average per week. In cycling 6 years averaging around 750 to 1000 km per week. In middle distance running, let's leave it to the great Haile Gebrselassie who once stated when trying to make reporters think, 'I've run an average of 30 km a day for 20 years, so I don't think that is the problem'. How many of you age group athletes have covered such mileage?
It's time, if you want to improve, to handle the truth. You are not a World Champion athlete. So my point is this - the technique that is correct for a World Champion athlete to go faster, might be totally different to what will make you go faster. And this doesn't even consider the fact that 'the best techniques' are based on the absolute best athletes in single sports, when as Triathletes we have 3 sports in one when also considering what is best for us when it comes to technique.
At Trisutto we do study the athletes that are new to the sport, and we do teach techniques that suit that individual.
The next myth to bust is sports science and its effect on improved physiology. I want to clarify, as a Triathlete, we participate in an aerobic sport. I find sports science to be a large and important part of some sports, however for sports that last over one hour duration, the importance of sports science diminishes greatly.
So let me turn the debate on it's head. Let's look back at 1984, and in particular marathon distance running as our reference point, to encourage the sport science debaters to at least sit back and take a hard look.
Would most agree that in the 35 years since 1984, there has been huge developments in sports science? Shoe technology has grown in leaps and bounds? Nutrition education and supplements have made extraordinary leaps forward? In 1984 there was virtually no accurate sports science aids like heart rate monitors, power meters, GPS, smart phone apps, etc to help our ability to pace not just in the race but in daily training. Back in 1984 there was very little coaching proliferation of articles, and far fewer coaches. There was no internet or mobile phones as such. I think all would agree on the above statements. However let's examine the London marathon, as it has been run on virtually the same course since it started, and the number of finishers has grown significantly over the years. Here are the statistics:
1984 - 56 runners finished under 2 hours 20 minutes - 372 runners finished under 2 hours 35 minutes 2018 - 16 runners finished under 2 hours 20 minutes - 94 runners finished under 2 hours 35 minutes Now before I receive an avalanche of mail, don't bother. Take that frustration and the fury and put it in to some logical thought. In 34 years, it is not my opinion, it is the statistics, that when one takes out the 'super athletes', the bulk of the normal people (and under 2.20 I would suggest is not normal either), we as a running block have gone backwards. I ask one question 'Why?' I like all good coaches have an opinion. You wanted the truth, I'm saying most of you can't handle the truth. Sports science, technique and technical gadgets have shackled most athletes. At Trisutto we have not been fooled by the flashy gear or advertisement campaigns. We continue to help those that can see the light and wish to improve what they have to work with; not what they wish they had to work with. We take what you have, and we make it better. Nobody can yet measure ones courage, dedication or commitment. Until they do I'll continue developing techniques and programs for individuals rather than copy the best in the world. Just the way I see it