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I think you are referring mostly to cycling in your post, which i enjoyed reading, thank you.
I think investment is more of a barrier to entry. I just spent a little over £600/$1000 on some wheels. They make at least 3% difference…and my previous ones came when new on a £2000 bike in 2006. I’d rather not have spent the money. I’m training like crazy but if I didn’t buy the kit that works then I’m simply not competitive.
So I think the barrier to entry for serious (Age Grade) competition is that you HAVE to buy the stuff that individually makes >1% difference. So:
1. Running Shoes
2. Tri bars
3. Bike setup
6. Maybe frame (got mine second hand)
So yes I agree with your diminishing returns point, it’s obviously true. But I say that if you are training A LOT then you MUST want to be competitive to a degree. And therefore to be competitive and make all that training worthwhile you have to get the ‘low hanging fruit’. So you don’t have to buy a Cervelo P4 (or whatever) but you do need most of the things in my list above. And they ain’t all cheap.
Tri bars are a no-brainer (£100+) as they are cheap as is a proper bike setup (£100+, not wind tunnel, £500+). Running shoes/flats (£50) are cheap enough as well. Perhaps tyres (£50ea) too. Wheels you just have to get because they make so much difference (£500-£2000) . Frame (non circular cross section £???)…don’t know, mine was cheap secondhand and I reckon good enough.
True it’s important to maximise your training. 6 hours a week OR MORE is a lot of time so you need to be effective. You also need technology, unfortunately, to leverage the benefits of your training.
SOLUTION: Maybe there should be a standard bike! I’d certainly like that as I suspect would you. That would separate the men from the boys rather than technology doing the same thing albeit artificially!!!
- This is my heart on delusion (via Finding my happy pace) (the5krunner.com)
- Pippa Middleton Competes In Triathlon On Saturday (PHOTOS) (huffingtonpost.com)
- 5k PB : Anatomy Of 5K PB: How to get a 5k PB (the5krunner.com)
- 5k PB : Anatomy Of An Advanced Level 5K PB: How to get a 5k PB (the5krunner.com)
- Sprint Triathlon Rishon Lezion, 21st May, 2011 (fvdwouden.wordpress.com)
- Canada’s Findlay wins 2nd straight triathlon (cbc.ca)