Archive for September, 2009
What determines what food choices you make at the supermarket?
For most it comes down to taste and price, with nutritional value “a little bit lower down” the list.
The challenge as I see it, is to make tasty & cheap foods that are good for you…
I have to say I rather enjoy a press conference where the questions asked are not so cliche. The Crowd Goes Wild are particularly good at them…
One that sticks in my head in-particular:
James McOnie talks French Rugby:
Still the funniest one I have seen was That Guy asking Reuben Thorne what the procedure was should somebody from the starting line-up need to do poos during the game. Can’t find a video for that one, but it was a classic moment.
Stuff reported today about the All Blacks addressing their recent slow starts. As I blogged about last week, I think it is more about our ability to finish well – perhaps our fitness, strength in aerobic energy system, perhaps some ability to grind out our opponents – and not slow starts that is really the ‘problem’. As I previously hinted, I think if Rugby was a 90min game then the ABs would be very dominant – all else kept equal.
To play to our strengths, I think they should be focusing on a fast game – as early as possible. Make it a tactic for example to get to line-outs when it is our throw without slowing down and resting at all. This would sap the energy even more out of our opponents.
Watching the Rugby yesterday evening I was overcome with two thoughts:
I decided to see if the stats supported my latter hypothesis…
And they seem to (over the last 31 All Black matches at least):
- 12 of the last 31 test matches we have not been winning after the first half, despite winning 24 of 31.
- We have scored an average of 56% of our points in the second half, our opposition score 31% of theirs. This is quite telling because we also (on average) significantly outscore our opposition in absolute amounts.
- We have outscored oppositions by an average 7 points in the first half, and 12 in the second.
- We have lost the first half 12 times, and second half only four times in the last 31 matches.
- We have lost the first half six times, and still won the match. We have only lost the second half once and still won the match.
- Of the 7 matches we lost: We won the first half once, and the second half 3 times + one draw.
Can I get you an energy bar? How about some water?
Thought provoking quote from The Ultra Marathon Man:
To most non-runners, running is at best boring and at worst terribly painful and senseless
I think this holds true for many things in life that people are passionate about, and especially so sports. After sitting in on a few lectures of a solo round the world sailer a few years ago, I could not for the life of me imagine how someone would find pleasure in completing that task. To me it sounded at best miserable, and at worst a serious risk of life.
Undoubtedly even the most motivated, dedicated athletes sometimes have self-doubt, or struggle for motivation, but generally are driven towards the greater goal because they love what they are doing.
I think this comes from people not understanding that everyone is stimulated by different things. How could someone who goes to church every Sunday morning possibly understand why someone would want to spend the same time fishing many kilometers off the coast, or cycling through the hills? Next time you are driving to church past a group of cyclists and think to yourself “why the hell would someone want to dress up in that ridiculous skin tight lycra, sit on a uncomfortalbe seat and cycle for a few hours out in the cold”, you should accept that they could also be asking some similar questions of you!
An interesting antidote in a book I just finished by John Will who is reminiscing of the habits of a guy he used to run with:
Patre would do the run with a plastic over-suit on top of his uniform. For some reason he figured the more he sweated, the fitter he would become.
Now without diving into all the silly ideas and assumptions this guy had around sweat rate and its correlation to fitness I think it is not such a completely ridiculous idea that it first seems.
The reason: this guy is simply applying a principle of overload during his runs. It may be that he was a quite fit, and given he would be running with training partners (whom he was faster than) wanted to challenge himself. Undoubtedly he achieved this with his suit (and accompanying sweat that would accumulate) – but could have achieved it by carrying a weighted pack of some kind, or simply running ahead by himself.
Ideally when designing a training program you should look at fundamentally what is your goal and how much time you have. A classic example is someone doing shoulder presses whilst sitting on a Swiss Ball. The premise is that you are working your ‘core’ whilst working your shoulders. This is true, but why not challenge the shoulders more, and then the core more?
Well if your goal is to lift things overhead whilst not completely stable (like a line-out lifter in Rugby) then great, but if it is to look good in the beach then you are probably better doing them separately.
Applying overload is a time efficient way to train, and brings other social benefits, such as training effectively – and mutually beneficially, with people of different levels. For example a grappler may not use one arm when training with a novice partner, or a cyclist may always take the front when cycling into the wind with a partner.