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Jim Vance is a multisport coach providing consulting services specializing in coaching and shares some of his thoughts with our readers in his column


Written by Jim Vance    Friday, 29 January 2010 06:10    PDF Print E-mail
The Power of Technology






Just recently, Apple announced the new iPad, and you would have thought it was the cure for cancer, judging by the excitement of people all over the world. Triathletes themselves tend to be "techie," with all their fancy wheelsets, helmets, and other gizmos and gadgets, and many of them could be seen "tweeting" about it.

But the one amazing aspect I find fairly commonplace among even the techie triathlete crowd, is how much they refuse to maximize the technology available to them. For example, athletes will go and spend a few thousand dollars on a lightweight wheelset, but ask them to consider purchasing a power meter, GPS, or training software program to better track and plan their training, and the response is a shunning of the idea.

It's not just athletes, but many coaches I have seen and heard perpetuate this thinking. I once was at an event and heard a coach say, "I don't believe in toys," (specifically referring to technology), right after he closed his laptop and checking his

email. Others I have heard say, "You don't need that crap," while playing with another app on their iPhone.

Athletes probably work as hard at triathlon as they do their job, some maybe even more so. But ask them to do their job and shun technology in the business world, and that would probably be deemed archaic or stupid. Ask them to spend a day in their life without modern technology and the internet, and they would probably not know what to do with themselves. So why this resistance in believing if technology helps us in our jobs and daily lives, it could be just as helpful in our daily training?

Some things will never change, such as people's resistance to change, and insecurity about learning something which seems so new and intimidating. I guess that is why people like myself will always have a job. I'm always trying to look for the edge, using technology to get me faster, stronger, fitter, better rested, more race savvy.

Technology, knowledge and information are very powerful tools, and in an ever increasingly competitive sport of triathlon, those who focus on utilizing and leverage the information best will have a great edge over their competition. Everyday, after each race, that becomes more and more clear.

So where do you stand? Is it time to start learning? Or do you still think power meters, training software programs, and GPS systems are silly? If you lose that Kona, podium or other slot by the slightest of margins, will you still think so?


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