Wednesday, August 03, 2005

FIRST?

This site is not meant to be kemibe Lite, there is only one kemibe and no way can I compete with his ability to wordsmith, but bear with me on a couple of these early topics, mileage (the now infamous Critique thread on CoolRunning.com’s Basic Training Forum) and religion (krikey if I didn’t recently attend a city council meeting where the line between church and state was blatantly crossed).

First the mileage thread debacle, which resulted from recent a Runner's World Article on the FIRST Program (August 2005).
http://www.coolrunning.com/forums/Forum6/HTML/015254.shtml
Apparently Richard Gibbens (Richard99), author of powerrunning.com has been around for a while, but this was my first encounter. I never expected to engage him in meaningful discussion as he seems firmly set in his beliefs that mileage doesn’t matter much for distance runners. However, I did peruse his website summaries of research articles and prepared rather lengthy critiques of his interpretations because I felt he was misinterpreting and misrepresenting science. In addition, I naively believed, perhaps some contributors and lurkers on the CoolRunning Basic Training could be convinced not to follow the snake oil hype that optimal results can occur from a minimalist approach to training, primarily consisting of about three running workouts per week, mixed in with cross training.

The thread languished in obscurity for a week or ten days before taking off in a name-calling spree between mileage opponents and proponents. After pointing out that the thread had gone to the dogs, I suggested that if Richard wants to understand science and definitively back up his statements, he should go graduate school, work in reputable labs, and publish his own research that asks the types of questions he had been trying to answer by fiat. In spite of some valient attempts by a few to bring in some sanity to the discussion the thread was again overtaken by anti-scientific sentiments from both sides, much reference to excreta and things anal from richardthelyinhearterd, and utterly ignored by Richard99 himself. The un-science types completely missed the unsaid point, Richard would probably have difficulty getting into a good research program, he’d have a tougher time obtaining funding with his pre-conceived biases oozing out of any research proposals, and his interpretation of any data would not likely pass peer review within his own graduate committee, let alone the scientific community at large.

So the only thing left to do is out myself as “Birchwood Ranger” and tell my friends at the DBK Refugee site (the only ones who know about this blog) about the fracas. This generated some a) ribbing about why would I even think about dickering with those folks, and b) provision of names for the typical mentality on the Basic Training Forum, e.g., “monkey’s on acid,” “wrestling with pigs,” and “buttslappers.” So we live and learn.

So, even though it might be fun to egg them on for a while, and lambaste the ignorance spewed there, it’s best to just leave that thread for the ages in the simian/porcine asylum.

3 Comments:

Blogger JimR said...

See...now the cat's out of the bag.

1:24 PM  
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Anonymous tigger (Number 1 Adherent, & Pinnochio) said...

Oh Gawd! Wilson! Not you too! A puppet?? I am so ashamed for you!

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