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Brownlees training with Sky

napoleondnapoleond Posts: 5,983
edited December 2013 in Pro race
Coincidence? Just improving their cycling? Or...... Maybe....

https://twitter.com/teamsky/status/412963394845556736
Twitter - @NapD
Strava - Alex Taylor (sportstest.co.uk)
ABCC Cycling Coach
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  • Would've thought it similar to Matty Prior's.
  • This has a history of going well ...
  • RonBRonB Posts: 3,984
    Is that liquid Nutella they're drinking? Hmmm.
  • salsiccia1salsiccia1 Posts: 3,719
    I'll say it first:

    proof of Sky doping.
    It's only a bit of sport, Mun. Relax and enjoy the racing.
  • Salsiccia1 wrote:
    I'll say it first:

    proof of Sky doping.

    They're being doped by Sky so that they can win in a sport that Sky don't even compete in. Definitely. Definitely.
    Correlation is not causation.
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 25,500
    This has a history of going well ...
    Exactly. Matt Prior's only averaged about 17 with the bat since then. He made a pair in his next test.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • salsiccia1salsiccia1 Posts: 3,719
    RichN95 wrote:
    This has a history of going well ...
    Exactly. Matt Prior's only averaged about 17 with the bat since then. He made a pair in his next test.

    That's because he's a bad responder to the drugs Sky gave him.
    It's only a bit of sport, Mun. Relax and enjoy the racing.
  • andrew_sandrew_s Posts: 2,511
    RonB wrote:
    Is that liquid Nutella they're drinking? Hmmm.
    Chocolate milk makes you faster
  • alihisgreatalihisgreat Posts: 3,872
    NapoleonD wrote:
    Coincidence? Just improving their cycling? Or...... Maybe....

    https://twitter.com/teamsky/status/412963394845556736


    That Adidas kit is rank.
  • I think they're good friends of Josh Edmonson. Quite a few good riders live/train together up in Leeds IIRC.
    "A cyclist has nothing to lose but his chain"

    PTP Runner Up 2015
  • just a nice bit of tea and biscuits PR for Sky. The Brownlees have a reasonably high sporting profile (Olympics and SPOTY mentions) so it can do no harm for the boys in black...with a blue stripe.
    @JaunePeril

    Winner of the Bike Radar Pro Race Wiggins Hour Prediction Competition
  • maybe they are trying to inject a little Yorkshire steel! because, you know, pros are so soft these days!
  • ocdupalaisocdupalais Posts: 3,947
    That these guys can generate such power with these bodies is an affront on so many levels - bearing in mind so many of the courses they compete on are pretty flat, surely they'd be a little closer to the physique of, say, Tony Martin or Cancellara…?


    Imagine how good they'll be when they grow up.

    pa-10898788.jpg
  • r0bhr0bh Posts: 1,599
    OCDuPalais wrote:
    That these guys can generate such power with these bodies is an affront on so many levels - bearing in mind so many of the courses they compete on are pretty flat, surely they'd be a little closer to the physique of, say, Tony Martin or Cancellara…?

    Imagine how good they'll be when they grow up.

    You are forgetting that they can also knock out a 28:30 10000m on the running track (Alistair is 3rd in the GB rankings for 2013, behind Mo Farah and Chris Thompson) and putting on some kgs doesn't really help with run speed!
  • ocdupalaisocdupalais Posts: 3,947
    No - but the two runners you mention both have much more defined/muscular physiques.
    My point with regard to the astonishing performances of the Brownlee brothers is, for me anyway, that (once you have established good technique) with a superior cardiovascular performance you can challenge/beat those with a more apparent athletic advantage (which leads us back to the discussion about how Froome, Bertie etc can ever possibly compete with the likes of the heftier/specialist TT riders...)
    Clearly, looking "athletic" is a sign that you've been training your body a lot: but don't be surprised if you get beaten by a streak of p!ss...
  • r0bhr0bh Posts: 1,599
    OCDuPalais wrote:
    No - but the two runners you mention both have much more defined/muscular physiques.

    Seriously? You are saying Mo and Tommo are more muscular than the Brownlees? :shock:

    Have a look at this and see how Alistair's physique compares to "proper" runners...

    http://www.flotrack.org/coverage/250668 ... -M-10K-H02
  • OCDuPalais wrote:
    No - but the two runners you mention both have much more defined/muscular physiques.

    I think the Brownlees' build (and that of most triathletes) is more like a well toned normal person than than a specialist such as track runner or GT GC rider. I guess that results from needing to be proficient at a range of disciplines.

    I would think that a bit extra bodyfat would help swimming, as it aids bouyancy. Track runners look more muscular as they simply have no fat to disguise the muscles. (I looked a lot more muscular as a lightweight rower than a heavyweight one for this reason, despite having less muscle. Now I have even less muscle but am no longer lightweight. :( )
  • ocdupalaisocdupalais Posts: 3,947
    r0bh wrote:
    OCDuPalais wrote:
    No - but the two runners you mention both have much more defined/muscular physiques.

    Seriously? You are saying Mo and Tommo are more muscular than the Brownlees? :shock:

    Have a look at this and see how Alistair's physique compares to "proper" runners...

    http://www.flotrack.org/coverage/250668 ... -M-10K-H02


    I can't open that link; but yes, I am.

    They're all fundamentally scrawny sods, so from that point of view it's all marginal: but there is nothing to the physiques of either of the Brownlee brothers that would suggest to someone - who didn't know what sport they competed in - what sport they competed in.

    I mean, both Thompson and Farrah have more defined quads and all they need to do is fling the lower half of a leg forward repeatedly: not try to push 53 x 13 for 25km (or whatever).
  • ocdupalaisocdupalais Posts: 3,947
    OCDuPalais wrote:
    No - but the two runners you mention both have much more defined/muscular physiques.

    I think the Brownlees' build (and that of most triathletes) is more like a well toned normal person than than a specialist such as track runner or GT GC rider. I guess that results from needing to be proficient at a range of disciplines.

    I would think that a bit extra bodyfat would help swimming, as it aids bouyancy. Track runners look more muscular as they simply have no fat to disguise the muscles. (I looked a lot more muscular as a lightweight rower than a heavyweight one for this reason, despite having less muscle. Now I have even less muscle but am no longer lightweight. :( )

    This is getting nearer to what I was alluding to - triathletes have often looked a bit "soft" compared to runners/GT GC cyclists. Obviously, they're hard as nails/mental interns of training/competing - but I've always wondered (genetics aside) if there's something about the nature of triathlon (as you alluded to WG; getting the balance right of body fat/musculature, etc) that has this be or if I'm just imagining it? It's not very scientific or 'provable", but when I've done a period of brutal racing/training, instead of looking more defined and toned, my muscles have looked anything but until I've recovered. With the famed workloads of top triathletes, I wonder how many of them are in a state permanent fatigue - or are they all too well coached now for that to happen?
  • OCDuPalais wrote:
    This is getting nearer to what I was alluding to - triathletes have often looked a bit "soft" compared to runners/GT GC cyclists. Obviously, they're hard as nails/mental interns of training/competing - but I've always wondered (genetics aside) if there's something about the nature of triathlon (as you alluded to WG; getting the balance right of body fat/musculature, etc) that has this be or if I'm just imagining it?

    Swimmers, particularly distance freestylers tend to have "floppy" looking muscles. I guess it's a combination of training and genetics. Obviously all elite endurance athletes have favourable genetics, but some will be more suited to the specific requirements of one sport vs another in terms of body type. Obviously, simple things such as height, limb length and ratios of various parts of the body to other parts all drive an aptitude for certain activities over others, but there are presumably other aspects of muscle type beyond fast or slow twitch that make an athlete better at one activity than another. (The East Germans were very good at spotting this sort of thing, sometimes converting almost elite swimmers into elite rowers after assessing their attributes.)

    A couple of homegrown examples:

    I was relatively much better at rowing (as measured by power/weight vs top exponents) than I am at running or cycling. Something to do with the size of my a*se, the ratio of limb length to back length and the extendibility of my shoulders, apparently.

    My Good Lady rode up Alpe D'Huez in just over 80 minutes on a hybrid on the back of 5 hours (other than a few rides out with the kids) cycling on the flat on top of several years of running training. Conversely, one of her (much faster) running mates is singularly useless on a bike, despite many attempts and having low body fat and a superb CV system for running.
  • ocdupalaisocdupalais Posts: 3,947
    OCDuPalais wrote:
    That these guys can generate such power with these bodies is an affront on so many levels - bearing in mind so many of the courses they compete on are pretty flat, surely they'd be a little closer to the physique of, say, Tony Martin or Cancellara…?

    Clearly you've never seen Martin in the flesh? He's just a thin man. Yeah he looks pretty brutish on the bike, but so what?

    Does this stickman look like he can generate 450 watts for an hour? Because he can.

    1864_w20090924_Worlds_TT2_01_1.jpg

    Obviously muscle bulk, muscle strength, body weight, body volume etc has absolutely nothing to do with performance in aerobic endurance sports like cycling and triathlon. If they weren't then Arnold Schwarzenegger would have won Paris Roubaix back in '71


    You've misconstrued what I meant - maybe I wasn't clear: there's no physical indication - either on or off the bike (or in the water, for that matter) - that Alistair Brownlee would be able to generate the power that he's clearly capable of.
    Now look at a photo of Tony Martin or Wiggins - again, either on or off the bike - and there are clear indicators of where the power comes from. Having seen all three of them in the flesh on many occasions does nothing to diminish this observation.
  • lyn1lyn1 Posts: 261
    OCDuPalais wrote:

    You've misconstrued what I meant - maybe I wasn't clear: there's no physical indication - either on or off the bike (or in the water, for that matter) - that Alistair Brownlee would be able to generate the power that he's clearly capable of.
    Now look at a photo of Tony Martin or Wiggins - again, either on or off the bike - and there are clear indicators of where the power comes from. Having seen all three of them in the flesh on many occasions does nothing to diminish this observation.

    Are there figures for his power output on the bike leg or are you assuming you need loads of power to stay at the front of a tri?
    I thought Sky were doing the testing to establish the figures!
  • lyn1 wrote:
    OCDuPalais wrote:

    You've misconstrued what I meant - maybe I wasn't clear: there's no physical indication - either on or off the bike (or in the water, for that matter) - that Alistair Brownlee would be able to generate the power that he's clearly capable of.
    Now look at a photo of Tony Martin or Wiggins - again, either on or off the bike - and there are clear indicators of where the power comes from. Having seen all three of them in the flesh on many occasions does nothing to diminish this observation.

    Are there figures for his power output on the bike leg or are you assuming you need loads of power to stay at the front of a tri?
    I thought Sky were doing the testing to establish the figures!

    Think it is much simpler than that..Sky are going to broaden into a pro Tri team and the Brownlee's are there to teach them how to run :wink:
  • OCDuPalais wrote:
    You've misconstrued what I meant - maybe I wasn't clear: there's no physical indication - either on or off the bike (or in the water, for that matter) - that Alistair Brownlee would be able to generate the power that he's clearly capable of.

    I wonder if the answer lies in the mix of training the Brownlees do? The old adage of "train your weakness, race to your strengths" applies in triathlon more than most sports, I suspect. From what I've read, he came from a running background, before moving into duathlon and then triathlon, so he may well spend most time swimming, as this is the most demanding discipline technically for someone from a non-swimming background. So he ends up looking like a small swimmer, though his forte is the run section.

    I'm not sure appearances mean very much in terms of aerobic capabilities (other than if someone is overweight). Seb Coe was setting middle distance world records whilst looking like a 12 year old and the GB track riders just look like underfed teenagers when you see them close up.
  • lyn1lyn1 Posts: 261
    OCDuPalais wrote:
    You've misconstrued what I meant - maybe I wasn't clear: there's no physical indication - either on or off the bike (or in the water, for that matter) - that Alistair Brownlee would be able to generate the power that he's clearly capable of.

    I wonder if the answer lies in the mix of training the Brownlees do? The old adage of "train your weakness, race to your strengths" applies in triathlon more than most sports, I suspect. From what I've read, he came from a running background, before moving into duathlon and then triathlon, so he may well spend most time swimming, as this is the most demanding discipline technically for someone from a non-swimming background. So he ends up looking like a small swimmer, though his forte is the run section.

    I'm not sure appearances mean very much in terms of aerobic capabilities (other than if someone is overweight). Seb Coe was setting middle distance world records whilst looking like a 12 year old and the GB track riders just look like underfed teenagers when you see them close up.

    Actually they came from a swim-run background (City of Leeds and Bingley Harriers) and were doing triathlons and significant training volumes when they were 12. That's why they were a perfect fit for the Olympic programme as their relatively weak bike wasn't an issue once drafting came in at elite level and the quality of bikers in tri deteriorated. When triathlon introduced an Olympic pathway about a decade ago, kids were taken onto the programme based only on a swim and a run time trial with a view to matching their strength profiles to the fact that the swim and run would dictate race performance moving forward.
  • ocdupalaisocdupalais Posts: 3,947
    lyn1 wrote:
    ...once drafting came in at elite level and the quality of bikers in tri deteriorated. When triathlon introduced an Olympic pathway about a decade ago, kids were taken onto the programme based only on a swim and a run time trial with a view to matching their strength profiles to the fact that the swim and run would dictate race performance moving forward.

    Basically what you're saying is that the cycling leg is seen by many as a bit of a breather between the hard bits?
  • mike6mike6 Posts: 1,199
    I have a few friends who Tri at a good level, we talked about the top competitions and they are all of the opinion that allowing draughting in the cycling leg has changed the face of the event. There were events in the past that a very good swimmer could win, being not so good in the Cycle or run legs. But now, even the couple of minutes a great swimmer might gain can be easily taken back by half a dozen guys working together during the ride. Then its down to the best runner again.
  • lyn1 wrote:
    Actually they came from a swim-run background (City of Leeds and Bingley Harriers) and were doing triathlons and significant training volumes when they were 12. That's why they were a perfect fit for the Olympic programme as their relatively weak bike wasn't an issue once drafting came in at elite level and the quality of bikers in tri deteriorated. When triathlon introduced an Olympic pathway about a decade ago, kids were taken onto the programme based only on a swim and a run time trial with a view to matching their strength profiles to the fact that the swim and run would dictate race performance moving forward.

    Thanks. Very interesting. Didn't know about the swimming background. Do you know how they distribute their training time amongst the three disciplines?
  • r0bhr0bh Posts: 1,599
    OCDuPalais wrote:
    lyn1 wrote:
    ...once drafting came in at elite level and the quality of bikers in tri deteriorated. When triathlon introduced an Olympic pathway about a decade ago, kids were taken onto the programme based only on a swim and a run time trial with a view to matching their strength profiles to the fact that the swim and run would dictate race performance moving forward.

    Basically what you're saying is that the cycling leg is seen by many as a bit of a breather between the hard bits?

    It used to be but the Brownlees and Gomez have changed that in the last few years. They are almost always in the top 10 out of the water and then hammer the start of the bike to try to establish a breakaway group of 8 or so riders. This doesn't always work (mainly because the other guys in this group aren't strong enough on the bike to offer much help, or they choose not to - and Alistair Brownlee has repeatedly called out the other guys for not pulling) but a lot more races are won from a break than used to be. See also the Stockholm race this year where Alistair, carrying a run injury, decided he needed a buffer on the run so attacked the breakaway group solo, put 25 seconds into them in 8km and went on to win.

    The drafting vs non-drafting argument will go on forever but the long and the short of it is that the rise in standards means that you now have 60 men leaving T1 within maybe 30 seconds and there just isn't enough room on the road for them to ride non-drafting. It would be an absolute mess of draft penalties and a bit of a lottery.
  • lyn1lyn1 Posts: 261
    OCDuPalais wrote:
    lyn1 wrote:
    ...once drafting came in at elite level and the quality of bikers in tri deteriorated. When triathlon introduced an Olympic pathway about a decade ago, kids were taken onto the programme based only on a swim and a run time trial with a view to matching their strength profiles to the fact that the swim and run would dictate race performance moving forward.

    Basically what you're saying is that the cycling leg is seen by many as a bit of a breather between the hard bits?

    I'm not suggesting the riders are cr*p or that the riding isn't hard. Rather it disadvantages really strong bikers. Years ago I coached on, or attended training camps involving guys like Luke Van Lierde and Spencer Smith, both Olympic Distance World Champions. Speaking to them they made it clear that as the strongest bikers in the sport they suffered badly under drafting. Previously they had been able to put time into the field on the bike and hold the stronger runners off to win. Now they could not get any advantage on the bike, so as they were not the fastest runners they could not win. Both said they would have to switch to Ironman (and I believe Spencer rode for the McCartney road team). There was also a tendency at that time to move away from lumpy courses, that may have broken up the pack. For eg, Morceau won the Perth Worlds in 2000 despite drafting because he broke the field on the tough climbs to Queens Park, & gained enough to hold off the fast runners. That is very rare nowadays...far more common to see 30 guys coming off the bike together and then its fastest runner wins it...hence my cheeky comment about testing by Sky. Ali in particular is constantly getting lower limb injuries which restrict his run preparation. If it gets to the point where he's spending more time running in his swimming pool than on tarmac and is no longer in the top handful of runners, then he will stop winning. Given what he has already achieved he might as well see if he can make it as a biker.
    Given that in the vast majority of races it comes down to staying in the front group of the swim, sitting in on the bike, then outrunning everyone,British Triathlon have been proved right to focus recruitment on swimmer-runners.
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