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! 

Thursday, April 23, 2020

My Running Shoe Life

I’ve worked in the running shoe industry most of my adult life. I was once introduced the the entire running team at Reebok (about 25 people) this way “This guy for a number of years did everything you do by himself. He’s the only person in running who has worked every single job there is in running shoes”. I’m going to write often about that on Instagram. You can find me @superdavejewell. 

My current work in running shoes has been placed on hold by COVID-19. So far this year I made it to the London Big Half, a half marathon in London, England and to the LA Marathon. I missed out because of postponement or cancellation on NB National Indoors, Boston Marathon, the upcoming dates for the London Marathon, Brooklyn Half Marathon, Half Marathon of Gothenburg, London 10K, Westminster Mile and a few more events in June. 

I’m sure everyone is in the same boat. Last night we ordered dinner and had a picnic 6 feet away from friends. When I picked up the food I dropped a $10 tip into the jar. The girl behind the counter almost cried. I think in these times even though we are hurting it’s important to remember there are people hurting worse.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Rest and Recovery

As part of my daily routine I measure my HRV every morning when I wake up. In simple terms HRV is the variability in your heart rate. Basically what happens between heart beats. The higher the variability the better. Higher HRV shows better day to day recovery it shows less stress and in theory it will show healthier you. Since the COVID-19 shelter in place and the resulting canceling of my business my HRV has been plummeting. Funny thing is it’s still higher than what is considered normal. Doing a simple google search normal is 59. Mine right now fluctuates daily between 63 and 78. When I’m not feeling the stress of the current situations my HRV is consistently in the 80’s. 

I used to not worry about it. I would get a low reading and would carry on. Right now I use it as my guide that I’m tired. If my HRV drops below 65 I take the day off. No running, no riding and no strength work. Just walking the puppy. It seams to be working quite well. When I do that my HRV pops back up into the upper 70’s the next day.

Feeling really stressed. Take the day off of doing. There is no run or bike ride that is really all that important. As long as you are consistent over time, taking a day off here or there won’t hurt and it just may be the difference in your ability to execute the next day easily.

I have used the Sweet Beat app for years. There are many free HRV apps. Just find one that works for you and get started.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Running with a Hernia

Leading up to the last weekend in February the talk in running was all about shoes. Should there be limits placed on what shoe companies make for the elite runners? Rules put in place for all shoe companies to follow. How much did Nike have a say in those rules? Then finally at the US Olympic Marathon trials Nike gave every entrant a pair of their new approved Nike Alpha Fly Next %. 

We are now sitting here on April 21st one day after the scheduled Boston Marathon (since moved to September 14th) and no scheduled running or triathlon races at least until June and probably long after June. The shoe discussion has been replaced by social distancing. 

In the world of social distancing my running is actually increasing. I’ve run 31 miles the last two weeks and will probably hit 35 this week. I’m not necessarily trying to run more miles I’m simply running faster these days. I didn’t say running fast just running faster. My 90 minute 10 mile run is now 11 miles. Well Sunday it was only 9.6 miles at that’s party because I the run at 1200 feet of climbing and a hernia. 

Yes, on Friday I was out walking the puppy. I was standing on a slight slope in the grass the puppy was running around with her best friend. Somehow they got behind me with me paying much attention. They charged into the back of my legs (when they are charging they are usually tangled up together). They hit me and I fell backwards down the hill. For the rest of Friday and Saturday it kind of felt like I got punched in the gut. I couldn’t remember getting hit in the gut so I ignored it. Sunday after struggling up the hills I took my shirt off and looked down. Their protruding out of my belly button was a hernia. Apparently the impact did it. 

I took Monday off, drank a ton of water and pushed the hernia back in. I woke up today with no pain but I called our health provider. They said as long as I wasn’t vomiting or doubling over in pain I could continue my activities. So, I went for a run.