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!!!
Just a quick note on commitment. “Buying” speed (high-end equipment) is easy, if you have the means, but true performance maximization is primarily a factor of your training and physical preparation. The dollar cost of your equipment doesn’t evenly translate dollar for dollar into speed. The law of diminishing returns definitely applies to triathlon equipment so be cautious with purchase decisions aimed at maximizing your performance. On the oth … Read More
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