Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Polarized Training

Recently my running and riding has been very polarized. Once a week in each discipline I go hard and the rest of the time I go relatively easy or as many are now talking in Zone 2 or easier. Some early results are promising.

My easy running has improved almost 1 minute/mile over the last 5 weeks. Same HR same running terrain, just running faster. This means I either do the exact same runs in less time or I add to each run. I am doing both of those things. Overall my running volume is increasing without really trying. 5 weeks ago it  was 30 miles. Last week it was 36 miles. I didn’t monitor the mileage just looked at it on Sunday.

The hard work has been the classic One minute on, One minute off. I started with 2 sets of 5 and now I’m on one straight set of 16. The on is hard, basically as hard as I can maintain over the entire workout. The off is soft pedaling easy. The remainder of the rides have been outside and as I feel. Not hard at all just how I feel in terms of distance. The other day I met some friends in our local mountains for a gravel ride. We rode 45 miles with 3900 feet of climbing. I told the guys before the ride, “You will drop me on the tricky downhills, but my fitness is good, I’ll catch you.” At one point coming off a big down hill we hit a road. I looked ahead and saw two dots. I put the bike in a as big a gear as I could muster. The first 2 minutes of chasing were over 430 watts then I settled into 230 watts, I rolled up on them fairly quickly. I was quite pleased with my ability to do that. Now it’s time to get out there more often and work on my downhill riding.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

WTF Ironman!

The virtual racing debacle did not have to happen. If Ironman and their third party partner would have just listened to Strava and acted none of this would have happened. Ironman decided to dig in their heels and are placing blame on Strava which indicates Ironman thinks they are bigger than Strava.
 In todays world, data is king. Data is highly valuable. Strava has loads of data. Their universe of athletes dwarfs Ironman and the data those athletes produce far out ways any data Ironman has on it’s athletes. If Ironman really knew who their athletes are, they’d be able to continue to grow. Even before the epidemic Ironman participation was on the decline. That’s a clear indication they don’t understand their data.
But the issue here is ego. Someone at Ironman has the ego that says our s&%t doesn’t stink. This person actually thinks Ironman is more important than Strava. Let’s just call the two brands equal and there is no room for that ego today. An ego like that is going to drive people away from Ironman. Felix at Challenge doesn’t have that ego he’d be happy to benefit from Ironman sending athletes away.
This is not the first time we’ve seen ego and Ironman together. It’s in fact more prevalent than we’d prefer. It just seems like this time it might actually hurt the brand. There more than likely won’t be any Ironman races the rest of this year. If there are that’s good but all you have to do is look at the running world. The Berlin Marathon scheduled for late September has already been canceled. If you think a 2,000 person Ironman event is going to take place before October or even January 2021 it’s wishful at best. Ironman then can’t afford to roll into 2021 with a smaller active database. It’s the kind of attitude coming out of Ironman right now that will actually drive that active database down.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Five Good Things

We need good things right now. Otherwise we might all start drinking Lysol!

I love music. I’ve been addicted I think since I watched and heard my sister playing the guitar and singing. I learned to play the guitar when I was 10 and still play most days. The COVID-19 stay at home rules have created some amazing music on YouTube. This one by Neil Finn jumped out.

Running Shoes - You all know I work in running shoes. This video interview of Danny Orr is priceless. I’ve known Danny for a number of years. We worked at adidas at the same time. Running Shoe Marketers always come up with phrases to talk about things. Danny introduces the Democratic Shoe. That is a keeper.

Podcasts - It’s a podcast but it’s better on YouTube. Lance Armstrong (Yes I know, you might hate him) has the best cycling podcast on the planet, The Move. With no races Lance and the other guys decided to go back in time and review the Spring Classics. This one is from the Tour of Flanders and the interview at the end will make you smile.

Running Shoes - I’ll write further about this, but the best running shoe released in the last 6 months is the New Balance 1080 V 10. As you may or may not know I do a great deal of work with the brand right now. This shoe simply shows they have been doing their homework. It’s really difficult to update a model. You don’t want to piss off the current runners using it but at the same time you want to sell more shoes. They managed to play those two sides really well and I’m thinking by the end of this year this shoe will be in the top 5 on every YouTube shoe reviewer channel. 

Random - Sunshine - I live in San Diego County. We take the sun and the ocean for granted. They are part of every day life here. When it’s taken away we can get depressed though. The Sun has been rare this year. The cloud of COVID -19 has been doubled with the clouds blocking the sun. We had an entire week of rain a couple weeks ago. Not just rain but full on raining. We had 7.8 inches during the week with 3.5 on the last day. That’s close to an entire year of average rainfall in a week. The ground can’t handle that much water at one time and remember we usually see the sun. This week the Sun came out. Add to that the temperature is rising. This weekend it’s supposed to be 80F which is actually hot for us. I’ll take it. I hope you find your Sun too!