Two entirely different approaches. Yet, nearly identical results. In the individual pursuit on the track, 10-mile and 25-mile TTs on the road, and in the pursuit of the then romantic and prestigious hour record.
We all strive to find the best, most advanced approach to our training. Sometimes that's getting back to basics; sometimes it's buying in to the latest and greatest training tips. Sometimes it's spending countless hours on the internet looking for some reference to a super secret training method that Racer X used to conquer the world. We track heart rate, sweat rate, caloric burn rate, power, RPE, cadence, stride rate, stroke rate and anything else we can in order to find some sort of unknown visibility into that which either might be holding us back or propel us forward faster than ever before.
All of these things are important. To a degree. But without comprehension, the numbers are quite meaningless. I think we can all benefit from a greater comprehension of the signals the body is providing us with. More data does not mean more knowledge, nor does it equate to the ability to turn that data into actionable and better outcomes than if we did not have it. Athletes suffer from a syndrome of training to the numbers while tuning out the body's signals.
I'm prone to wonder how much less effective our training would be if we ditched all the numbers and just trained by feel. How long or short would it take to become proficient at it? How much confidence would we have in a back to basics approach? How many of us would be willing to go off the grid? Does going off the grid scare the Hell outta you? Would training be more enjoyable if we set ourselves free?
Some of my most enjoyable training sessions are those in which I have no expectations or measurement, yet from which I derive plenty of challenge, fulfillment and fitness benefit.
Think about it ...