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  Last updated: 10/12/2018

Marginal Gains

What are marginal gains? The idea that many small improvements are additive and produce a faster cyclists was made famous by Team Sky’s director, David Brailsford. He suggested that 1% gains in multiple up-to-then undiscovered areas would make the difference in winning the Tour.

Although he spoke of "marginal gains" with mythical reverie and described it as a "doctrine", having revolutionized some sports, it really a case of marketing rather than a new approach. For as long as competitive sport has existed, coaches and athletes have understood the need to optimize all the elements (technique and equipment) unique to that sport in order to achieve a winning performance.

I found this blog on the subject interesting and provocative. You read a lot about the advantage of a newly formulated energy bars, or what a new wheel set can do for you. What's often missing is the information you need to put a specific benefit into perspective when make a personal training or equipment choices.

Here are a few comments that stood out for me:

The moral to this story? Don't just head directly to an expensive piece of equipment or expensive energy drink supplement when you are looking for improvement. Many times you will get much more benefit from analyzing your training program, your riding technique, or how you use your on-the-bike energy supplements. And they could be some pretty big gains. Then it is the time to work on the marginal gains.

Questions on content or suggestions to improve this page are appreciated.

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