This week's chatter comes from Coach Ali:
In Dan's commentary this week, he explored the importance of "Where You Train," which he would rank 5 out of 8 in terms of most important attribute to long course triathlon success. His poll respondents ranked it 6th. What do you think? I'm going to discuss below why I personally think it's scooching lower and lower on the importance chart these days.
I have always been one who trains closer to where I live than where I work. I think that part of that is because when I'm training for something long, the weekends are prime exercise time. I know that a lot of people like having their gym close to work so that they can go before or after work, so that's another good way to go.
The main reason I think that "where you train" is losing relevance in 2018 is that lately, I've been seeing a trend in triathlete training that really has nothing to do with location and has everything to do with internet speed! Case in point: these days, a lot of our athletes are using smart trainers, which are bike trainer devices that you can set up with a computer/tablet and can follow workouts with prescribed power, paces, and distance. Several great platforms are available for these workouts, and range from structured indoor workouts (e.g. TrainerRoad), videos (e.g. SufferFest), to entire virtual worlds connected to friends and professional athletes (e.g. Zwift).
As the technology advances, and the tracking and social aspects of these programs grow, there is an almost wholesale movement away from day-to-day outdoor training and a movement toward indoor home-based training in large part because of its convenience and availability when one has other pressing matters or is tight on time. It's pretty groovy to be able to jump on the bike or treadmill (some call it, yes, the dreadmill) at your convenience at 10 pm or 4 am or whatever hour you deem appropriate while the baby naps or you take a conference call or whatever happens to be going on at your house.
These are great tools, and as coaches, we are grateful for them. We can prescribe workouts on a very detailed level that are easy to follow and can get terrific trackable data from them. Not worrying about weather or traffic is a bonus for our athletes, who can focus on their body and the feedback they are getting for the majority of their workouts. Outdoor workouts will always have their place, but more and more, elite athletes as well as amateur ones are looking harder at the benefits of training in the great indoors.
Of course, not many folks can afford an Endless Pool for the backyard, so home-based training hasn't quite caught on for swimming in the way that running and biking have.
But in general, people are training more and more during the week in locations that work for them... like the den.
What about you? Where do you train?
Part 1 of Dan's commentary on "Specific Training Regime" can be found here, and our blog commentary it is here.
Part 2 of Dan's commentary on "Cost of Sport" can be found here, and our blog commentary it is here.
Part 3 of Dan's commentary on "Technical Grasp of Sport" can be found here, and our blog commentary is here.