Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Skiba on board?

I've just received word from Physfarm, the holding company for Dr. Philip Skiba, that the GOVSS, SwimScore, and BikeScore formulae are freely available for use. Huzzah! I find these to be excellent and highly credible alternatives to TSS et al, and look forward to integrating them. I've put out feelers to other model authors as well, hopefully we get a consortium, which lends a great deal of credibility to what I'm putting out there.

*update - now, last I heard is that if it's a commercial venture, they want money. That's easy, no. I don't plan to renumerate the Einstein family if I happen to cite the theory of relativity, and the Supreme Court agrees with me. Math is not patentable, and therefore not subject to fee. You can sue me for trademark infringement if I use your trademark in a way that damages your brand, but that's about it. Considering I was planning to endorse the brand and work with the author, that's a far-fetched claim I doubt would make it out of any counselors initial session.

I've since had some far more sane conversation with some lesser known but more engaged researchers, who have been collectively confirming my sneaking suspicion that none of the models do a heap of good. They tell you essentially to go, slow down, or stop. They don't tell you if you're getting any faster, if anything they can't - that part is held constant. In fact if your ability to stand training load increases, you're encouraged to re-baseline. It all makes sense of course - these models are based on elite athlete performance - there's simply not a lot left to gain! All they need is a sound plan (provided by a good coach, not software), good nutrition, and then these kind of models that tell them with some prognostication when they might be at their best to perform. And that's not what I want to accomplish. I'd like to help non-elite athletes improve, and do it based on data. That's a different goal. Thinking Red-Yellow-Green might just be all that's needed. The uncontested models such as TRIMP, VDOT, and the one I stumbled unwittingly on for swimming are more than enough to guide someone through a traffic light. That's not the meat of what I want to offer!