Thursday, September 9, 2010

Working with the Wisdom of Others

Wisdom has been described as ‘learning from one’s mistakes’. So, by extension you can benefit from somebody’s wisdom by not repeating his errors.

Last night, I enjoyed my time learning from a panel of experts at Elite Bicycles Asia (3 Duxton Hill). It was standing room event that read like a Who’s Who in the local endurance sport community. In summary, I learnt from Wilson Low  (adventure and triathlon coach), David Greenfield (founder of Elite Bicycles and master bike-fitter), Dr Kelvin Ng (chiropractor) and Ben Pulham (former-triathlon professional and triathlon coach):

1)    Get your spine examined for misalignment (subluxation) as we may be merely attending to symptoms and not the root causes. Get an adjustment if it is part of your prescription. Misalignment on the spine can cause pressure on nerves which, in turn, can cause dis-ease, discomfort and pain.

2)    A professional bike-fit ensures comfortable rides, and optimal use of our natural musculature and default posture. You can crank out 20-30 watts more power with a proper bike fit.

3)    Training periodisation* is crucial if you want to make continual progress in your endurance sport. There are three critical phases: endurance, strength/endurance, and speed. Each phase is specific and getting it right may be the shorter pathway to your goals.

4)    Training is to accustom our bodies for what will happen on race day. You cannot force your body to do what is beyond what it is familiar with.

5)    Get measured and tested. There is a battery of tests that can detect and assure you of your abilities. You can do testing on your fitness, blood, muscular abilities, strength/power, nutrition, and proprioceptive abilities.

I hope that this gives you a better sense of what is involved if you intend to finish your first triathlon, marathon or century ride. In my experience, seek the counsel of professionals – training coach, chiropractor, massage therapist, bike-fitter, and nutritionist. You will certainly gain from the education and experience. No one is truly an expert. We gain from the wisdom of others.

Good luck and better education in your sporting adventures!

* Periodisation is a dynamic process of consistently and slowly increasing training load and volume with periodic recovery days or weeks. It allows athletes the best way to produce long-term, sustainable fitness gains while avoiding injury and burnout. Often, participating at too high a level of physical training and competing, too soon, may result in injury.

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