Thursday, 7 June 2012

Why POWERbreathe?

In spending the majority of our free time with triathletes (who are also our friends), Lotte and I are often found discussing upcoming races, training and the season's plans. This year, the Gore-tex Transalpine run has received more than the odd mention, and along with it, our team name - Team POWERbreathe UK.

On occasion, these discussions then move onto the details concerning our sponsorship deal with POWERbreathe, as people try to extract some of the 'juicy details' of said (assumedly) multi-million pound arrangement - yet the deal isn't quite what they expect.

In return for a POWERbreathe device to help with Lotte's training (I already had one) and a couple of t-shirts to wear out and about at the race, we will blog on our training, race under their name and spread the word where we can.

The reaction from many is almost little disparaging at times, but to me the beauty of the deal is in its simplicity. Just like a POWERbreathe device - its understated, yet functional.

The responsibility of blogging on our training and fulfilling our part of the deal will keep us honest. It will make sure we do the training, and remind us when we let slip, that we have an deal to honour.  We talk about our training anyway, putting it into words isn't difficult. Its not even like the training is difficult - 30 breaths, twice a day takes less than 3 minutes! But it still needs to be done! If we put in the work - the results will follow (I believe this because of the extensive peer-reviewed evidence base that exists). Those results, in the scenario I outline below, are worth more than any sponsorship deal money could buy! (maybe if the sponsorship deal involved a helicopter......;-))

I do not need to think for long before memories of the full force of what Transalpine has to offer come flooding back to me; trying to pick my way through technical trail covered in snow and slushy ice at for 10km at 2000m, three-quarters through a 50km stage after back to back marathons, sucking in air but not getting nearly enough. Cursing myself for not training harder as I slow to a stumble, my posture failing with fatigue and with it, the abundant aches in my legs beginning to amplify......

Reflecting on moments like those,  I often think "what I would have given to make it feel even 1% easier?" The answer is certainly a lot more than 3 minutes a day for the preceding few weeks, and putting my training in writing.

"Only if the training works!" I hear you say. And you'd be right, it needs to actually have a benefit for this elaborate sponsorship deal-training motivation exercise to pay off. Over some subsequent posts I'll put forward the rationale and evidence from peer-reviewed journals that suggest that it will....and how.

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