View this email in your browser
Hi Fellow Athlete,

So many of us swear by nutrition products, supplements, foods, gadgets, devices, or other things marketed to us that we pay for, embrace, and use.

We claim they prevent cramps, GI distress, make us heal faster, or even make us swim, bike, or run faster.

And I'm sure many of them do.

But how much of this is due to the placebo effect?

Writer Seth Godin often talks about the placebo effect and says there's nothing wrong with it - if done ethically.

If a product prevents cramps, but only because we think it will, isn't that a good thing?

He goes on to state that there are four attributes of a good placebo:

Comparison - Is what you are using (let's say some special gel) hard to get? Expensive? Scarce? Is it better than what you're used to?

(Man, that SIS Beta sure is hard to find! It's expensive, too! Must be good!)

Affiliation - If others in your tribe are using it (other athletes, pros, coaches, your peers), it must be good, and your expectations of success are higher. If it's endorsed by Jan Frodeno that says something, right?

If it's recommended to me by my nutritionist, coach, or friend who has podiumed, we can't go wrong. We like to look up to authority.

Ritual - Let's say you have a nutrition product you swear by.

I do. It's Hammer Perpetuem. The act of measuring it, mixing it, putting it in my bottles, adding the water, shaking it, etc is a ritual.

And such rituals remind your brain of the very best times that product supposedly worked before.

Other rituals could be packing your gear for the race (that aero skinsuit will make you faster!), pumping your tires (you're on the fastest tires in the world!), or charging your Garmin the day before (watching those numbers will ensure you hit your targets!).

Fear - Placebos help us believe we can succeed, and that belief is what allows us to overcome the fear. Placebos give us confidence, and sometimes that's all we need to overcome our fears.

The problem is many of these products are exploiting our fears, our shortcomings, our insecurities - for a price.

Once they become shams, scams, or snake-oil-type products, they're unethical.

But when my son demands a gel after running 2 km because he thinks it'll somehow magically heal his fatigue, I give it to him. This is innocuous and harmless, and he says he's all good afterward.

No harm, no foul.

It's not much different than a parent kissing his or her child's boo-boo to make it all better. The kid is assuaged and calmed and thinks it's healed.

These stories we tell ourselves about products can change our physiology for the better, and they do so by changing our minds.

It's just as real to change your mind as it is to change your body.

So, placebos are real, and they shouldn't be underestimated. In fact, we should embrace them, as long as they're ethical, and we can even recognize them.

This is one of the most amazing things about placebos. Even when we know they're just placebos, they can still work, according to Scientific American.

Thinking about those four attributes of a good placebo can help you reinforce their effect.

Even though I know that speed suit for the swim won't REALLY make me faster, it does make me feel good, lets me overcome my fear, and may thus...make me faster.

No More Alcohol: Our Stories

I noticed one of my YouTube subscribers had a channel of his own, with a lot more subscribers, and he had done a video on why and how he stopped drinking alcohol.

Of course, he's also a triathlete, so I thought it might be worth doing a video together and sharing our stories.

Hear how Patrick and I both stopped drinking and what it has meant to us and our training.

I never thought I'd give up beer.
Subscribe to Patrick's YouTube channel here.

Never Say Never

Subscriber Blossom Fernandez, from India, sent in this video of an 88 km women's road race.

Totally worth a watch if you like excitement, crashes, and unexpected finishes!

Some really great commentary, and pretty fascinating to see how a road race in India is.

Never Say Never | BBCh Classic Women's 88k | Race Review | Indian Cycling

 Tri Planner App

Need help getting organized for your races?

The IronHacks app allows you to:
1.   Calculate race split times (swim, bike, run, transitions)
2.    Calculate how much of what foods to eat per hour (200+ endurance fuels in the database)
3.    Get organized with a packing checklist

Forward Forward
Share Share
Tweet Tweet
IronmanHacks on Facebook
IronmanHacks on Twitter
IronmanHacks Website
Email IronmanHacks
IronmanHacks on YouTube
Copyright © 2022 IronmanHacks, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp