Doing physiological assessments now since close to 40 years and always asking critical questions on the application of the testing I always wonder, when in toady's time I hear this comments from so called Pro riders.
Scot says he didn't have the legs to compete for the medals
David Millar (Scotland) may have finished just over ten minutes behind winner Geraint Thomas (Wales) in the Commonwealth Games road race, but to him the victory was in finishing. On home soil, Millar was riding his final race in Scottish colours. Only 12 men finished the race and it was that thought which helped Millar become one of them.
"It was a matter of pride. When you’re in your national jersey in your own country you don’t stop," said Millar, still caked in the mud of Glasgow’s roads. "Normally I would have probably stopped, even my arms were exhausted, but you can’t stop when you’ve got so many people out there cheering you on in equally as bad conditions. I think they had as bad a time as me."
After missing out on a Tour de France spot in July, Millar had arrived at the Games hoping that he could add some sparkle to his final year of racing. Millar missed out on a medal in the time trial, but had his real hopes pinned on the road race. However, he realized when the attacks began flying that the mission would be to get to the end, rather than take a medal. As the leading group continued to drop like flies, Millar found himself struggling to keep in touch.
"I realised about two thirds in that it wasn’t going to happen, I was just getting weaker and weaker and I think that’s just the lack of racing," Millar explained. "I just can’t replicate the efforts we were doing in training and it just wore me out. Whereas the Tour guys, it’s not that they get stronger they just don’t get tired. When everyone else gets tired, they can just maintain that. So, I didn’t really stand a chance."
Look at his comments.
Did not had the legs.
even arms where exhausted.
The regular critical reader will wonder with me what was done or is done here in this highly paid Pro fields.
What we know in his case.
He used in his race years drugs and admitted to it. They worked well and what they mainly did where 2 big advantages.
1. Functional advantage, which he may have lost once he started to be clean ?
2.Structrual advantage, which he keeps even when he is getting clean ?
Here some interesting points.
Many of the drugs this guys took an or still take create a dramatically advantage in structural development.
IN some cases clean athletes may never have a chance to develop the same vascularisation as well as mitochondria density you can reach by taking certain drugs.
So even if an athlete, which is now nice and fashionable admits, that he took drugs , he still has a big advantage even when racing clean after the fact.
To make an easy example.
You are a bank thief and unfortunately get caught or you may even after a few years go and admit it.
You either get a slap on your finger ( bad guy ) or you sit for a while in the prison.
Nevertheless they never take your 2 million $ away from you you actually stole and after your prison term or your slap on your hand you still have your 2 million. In fact you got some interest on it as you did not use any of the money.
So an athlete caught with drugs and now not eligible for 2 years to race still has the advantage that he was able to create in a much easier and faster way a structural foundation he may never have created with just training.
he does not loos this advantage m, once he stops taking the drugs. In fact during his 2 year ban he can even keep going for a while as no body will test him and create an even bigger pay back.
So once he goes back he has this incredible structural advantage,.
Now if he develops his muscular system far above and beyond . he will have a delivery limitation. Cardiac , respiratory and delivery per see.. So the huge amount of O2 his drugged or in some cases honestly trained muscles can take create a risk on his delivery systems ( Vital systems ) and as such the Central governor will simply reduce the ability to take the O2 form the vital centers.
Here, where the functional immediate advantage of certain drugs come in. Better delivery due to higher Hb . Now as we can deliver more O2 we later push the vital system into an emergency situation and can compete better.
To train and maintain the cardiac systems as well as the respiratory systems you need some more than just wattage and FTP. Millar for sure had a wattage meter on his bike but how much feedback can he get form that on his reasoning for not having the legs. and even arms got into trouble.
Well when you look many of our testes you can see what happened with delivery tHb and SmO2 in his cases.
. The million dollar bank account form his drug years where still available but the lack of somewhat more physiological ideas for workouts did not helped his delivery system to get the O2 into his legs. His non involved muscles tried to a certain extend but that is a limitation as well.
In today's time the fact, that we see in pro cycling people looking at wattage as apart of the key element is hard to swallow but it is reality.
The fact that we have tools and options to actually do a physiological assessment with athletes and see limiter an compensator seems so far off the radar of this sport that it is nearly funny.
The fact that they still use VO2 max numbers and watt / kg , which are interesting performance information's but completely worth less when setting up a training program. They only show , whether the potential his here now to compete but do not help in any way to address the physiological stimulation's needed to get to this target number.
Just my few cents.