Unrecognized breakthroughs in exercise physiology (3 of 2)

(If you’re not following the whole cranktastic-running-blather episode I dunked my arse in over the weekend, this won’t interest you. It won’t interest me either, but it’s a holiday, so I get to be even more irrelevant than usual.)
This is really more like “breakthroughs in schadenfreude” at this stage, something I expected once Gibbens himself entered the rhetorical slam-dance.
In looking for other comments about Gibbens’ recent “article,” I did this Google search and wound up on this blog. The chap who runs it seems fair-minded enough, and wants no part of flaming and such; I think he’d do wel to pay closer attention to what I’ve written, but we’ve all got out minds wrapped around some bone or another, I guess.
The point of offering this link is that even if you aren’t into running, if you suffer through the minutiae about FIRST and prediction charts and so on you can still see how Gibbens operates; it’s clear that running geeks perform their own not-so-unique version of the “Gish gallop,” which may or may not be an event best suited to a predominance of slow-twitch muscle fibers, and certainly favors slow-firing neurons. Simply put, he rambles about things I never claimed he said, calls me ignorant a few times, leaves unaddressed everything in his article that I did critiize, and, after all that smely smoke, says I’m not worth debating.
In terms of substance:


It doesn’t matter how tirelessly you point out to some people that Gibbens doesn’t produce any backup for what he says. It doesn’t matter when you do the math for them: A 2:04:56 (record) marathon is “equivalent” to only an 11.83 100 meters by Gibbensian calculations, while a 9.77 (record) 100 “equals” a 1:52 marathon. So either Gibbens has shat on his keyboard again, or no top distance runners are training right (11.83 is quick but perfectly ordinary, so all the quacking about “extreme outliers” is balarkey).
It’s intuitively obvious which is which, and on top of that it is clear that Gibbens has been doing this for years and not only hasn’t gotten any footholds in the running community, he doesn’t even coach anyone privately. But I’m the bully, of course, because history is full of cranks who turned out to be…Internet cranks!
Oh well, let him patter away in his bubble of bumblebrained friggistry. I’ll throw in those epithets because I’m generously giving him yet another excuse to avoid answering the tough (or basic) questions. His ilk is the price we all pay — or the treat we get, I suppose — for an Internet with an unmitigated, unregulated flow of ideas: more than a few mammoth stinking turds rocketing past us in the pipes. LORD knows I’ve dropped a few kids in that pool myself.
The beauty of this is that we all get what we needed. No one is silly enough to pay attention to Gibbens but me, so he gets a token shout-out (or -at), while I found a way to mentally masturbate for quite a long time rather than copy edit a very lengthy manuscript about crime, criminy or whatever it’s about.

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  1. #1 by Jim on February 19, 2007 - 1:54 pm

    …for an Internet with an unmitigated, unregulated flow of ideas: more than a few mammoth stinking turds rocketing past us in the pipes.

    Geez, I’m pretty sure Senator Stevens explained that it was more like a bunch of tubes.

  2. #2 by llewelly on February 19, 2007 - 5:20 pm

    3 of 2? Does that mean Gibbens is 150% wrong?

  3. #3 by Bill from Dover on February 19, 2007 - 7:32 pm

    Jim is right, they’re a giant pipette of Tubes

  4. #4 by crowther on February 21, 2007 - 12:52 pm

    Speaking of wacky scientific claims…. You may enjoy this:
    http://www.wasatchspeedgoat.com/2007/02/20/
    There’s a link to a flyer that, among other things, has a graph showing VO2max to be higher in the placebo group. Oops.
    The product is endorsed by Karl Meltzer, winner of six 100-mile races last year.

  5. #5 by Kevin Beck on February 21, 2007 - 2:30 pm

    I think that graph was supposed to demonstrate that people churned out more wattage at a given oxygen uptake after taking the craplement than without it. Regardless, it
    1) involved cyclists
    2) is mislabeled (237? What’s that?)
    3) involves a total of FIVE subjects, and
    4) probably means that the “without CS” results were taken when these people hadn’t done shit for a year and that the “with” were after months of training or something.
    The difference between someone like Gibbens and these guys is that they probably don’t believe any of the bullshit; they may not even look into it. They just get paid to say it’s great. It’s disheartening that people are stupid enough to buy it. I think I’m going to write a letter to the shitbirds who make it and ask them specifics and for access to their clinical research and post what I find here.
    Karl Meltzer went to Manchester Memorial High School, which was in our division. He was good but not great, and may have been a better golferthan a runner. I don’t remember what he did in college (he’s a couple years older than me) but it’s appropriate that he eventually began running ultras, where he’s done extremely well. He used to wear Inspector Gadget-style trenchcoats to the meets and otherwise seemed a little offbeat.

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