Wednesday, October 29, 2008

All trianer, all the time

While daylight savings time doesnt officially end until this Sunday, November 1st, bike riding outside during the week has all but completely vanished. The sun is now setting a few minutes before 6:00 which means there just isnt any way to get in a 1:30h ride after work but before the sun sets.

As a result, I've been on the trainer the last two nights. Fun times for sure. Luckily though I actually havent had that hard of time getting motivated for the sessions, likely due to the fact that Clearwater is just around the corner. Admittedly this sentiment will likely have completely vanquised by the middle of December when my nearest race is months away but we'll just have to deal with that then...

While I was mashing the pedals last night I was watching E:60 on ESPN while also listening to one of my stations on Pandora. I had a Zn4 workout to DOMINATE so I was really just listening to the music and only using the TV as ancillary entertainment. However, during a rest interval of the workout, I noticed there was a story on Viagra as a performance enhancing substance. They showed pictures of the Rockies and of football players at Mile High Stadium getting oxygen on the sidelines but the story seemed to focus on cyclists, especially older age group athletes looking for a boost. Unfortunately I was too busy pounding away at the intervals and listening to music to hear the story.

Interested, I did a bit of Googling and found this story in the New York Daily News which is centered on the fact that WADA is looking into whether or not Viagra is a PED. While there are numerous studies currently being carried out, Kenneth Rundell, a respiratory researcher at Marywood University, says, "There have been studies that indicate that Viagra allows you to exercise at sea-level capacity at higher elevations." Additionally, according to the infamous Victor Conte, "Viagra vasodilates (widens) the lungs and pulmonary arteries. This is where the exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen occurs. So more red blood cells carrying oxygen get into the heart and more carbon dioxide is pumped out." Naturally then this would help improve performance in endurance sports.

So what does this all mean? Unfotunately it looks like this is another way for people to cheat. There will never be drug testing in amateur cycling, running, or triathlon races so this really just harms those who try to do it the right way and want to be competitive at the same time. While some of these people are certainly out there for that all important AG award, I believe most people know what a good performance is for them and get satisfaction out of that good performance, whether or not it is accompianied by a ten cent plaque.


rr said...

They tested amateurs at Kona this year, so never say never.. winner of my AG was tested. :)good news!

Andrew said...

I stand corrected... awesome!