The Engine vs The Machine


Posted by Coach Jay Weber

As the tradeshows hit their peak, the season starts to draw to a close for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, and the next year starts to show its face, it is not uncommon for people to start looking at their next toy in the sport. We are all a bit geeky when it comes to triathlon- gear, gear and more gear.

As I was at a local race this weekend watching participants check-in their bikes with disc wheels and aero helmets, it was hard not to smile. These toys are beautiful, and they are meant to be - aerodynamic, beautiful paint jobs, and curves. They can go fast. Yes- that's right- CAN. Just because they can go fast, doesn't mean they will... especially for YOU! No, that isn't a jab at you, your fitness, or your tenacity. People often lose sight of the fact that not every item is meant for every person. You might have a short torso, and that amazing bike you've been eyeing has a long top tube.

With a great bike fitter in your corner, you can certainly narrow down choices to the right piece of artwork to power you through your training and races. The biggest factor that many people often forget though, is that the most important item to power you through the work is exactly that- the work. If you build up your engine, then you will be able to be a force on almost any machine. That is assuming it is a machine that fits you- 6'3 won't fit very well on Rinny's bike!

You certainly can reward your hard work with a beautiful machine. Remember to put the time in to develop the engine, and be patient. Your engine wants to power you, it wants to help you dominate. It will give you the power to push whatever machine you give it.

I have had some great races on all sorts of machines- steel, aluminum, and now carbon. I have also had some horrid races. It was not the fault of the machine, but the fault of the engine. Sometimes I didn't do the right kind of work, sometimes I did too much work, but in all of the races I have done, it was only the fault of the machine....ONCE.

Go build up the engine, and then go get the machine!

~ Coach Jay Weber

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