Episode 51: Robbie Britton has some incredible achievements under his belt, with highlights such as a 2:29 marathon and a 261km 24hr best, which earned a World & European bronze medal. However, it is his adventures in search of fastest known times (FKTs) that intrigue me the most. Whether it's crossing Iceland, completing the Kom-Emine in Bulgaria, setting an FKT on the 650km Jordan Trail (all on foot or 1100km on a bicycle), the next adventure is never far away.
As one of the world’s leading ultra-distance coaches, I wanted to get a better understanding of what it takes to get through adventure races, the mental tactics needed for ultra-distances and what he has learned from his fell running wife and the wide array of books he reads.
Raising Money and Heart Rate
I am pleased to announce I have completed my Ironman in Tallin, Estonia! Having had glorious sunshine in the days before and after, we were treated to torrential rain and 40mph winds for the duration of the race, which made for a tough ride in particular. I wanted sub 11 hours, so I am thrilled to have come in at 10.52, given the conditions and an extra 1/2 mile run at the end of the marathon! For those that are interested, my splits were 1.13 for a choppy and murky 2.4-mile swim, 5.24 for a wet and windy 112-mile bike ride (avg. 20.5 mph), and 4.02 for a 26.74-mile run.
A huge thank you to those that have sponsored me already. If you haven't, you can still help me raise money for suicide prevention here.
What I’ve Been Reading
Malcolm Brown, the Brownlees’ triathlon coach, recommended a book by one of the world's most highly regarded social scientists; it’s called ‘Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction’ by Philip Tetlock & Dan Gardner, and looks at the habits of mind that lead to the best predictions.
Everyone would benefit from seeing further into the future, whether buying shares, crafting policy, launching a new product, or simply planning the week's meals. Unfortunately, people tend to be terrible forecasters. As Wharton professor, Philip Tetlock, showed in a landmark 2005 study, even experts' predictions are only slightly better than chance. However, an important and underreported conclusion of that study was that some experts do have real foresight, and Tetlock has spent the past decade trying to figure out why. What makes some people so good? And can this talent be taught?
TED Talk I’ve Found Interesting
At TEDIndia, Pranav Mistry demonstrates several tools that help the physical world interact with the world of data in his talk ‘The thrilling potential of SixSense technology’ - including a deep look at his SixthSense device and a new, paradigm-shifting paper "laptop." In an onstage Q&A, Mistry says he'll open-source the software behind SixthSense, to open its possibilities to all. Even though this was filmed in 2009, the technology is still amazing.
Quote of the Week
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
Finance Theme I’ve Been Considering
You may have already seen the news that calls to return the state pension age to 60 for men and women have been rejected by the government. Whilst 70,000 clearly thought this was a viable solution, it was never going to happen.
One of the justifications was to improve the job opportunities of the young, and while this is clearly a noble cause, it was pointed out that had the state pension age not risen for men and women, "the total additional cost to taxpayers would have been around £215bn for the period 2010/11 to 2025/26, in 2018/19 prices." That is also a lot more tax for them to pay to cover the bill! Sadly, the only direction pension ages are likely to go is up, and so there has never been a more important time than now to make your own provision. Whilst the young graduates may not be able to walk into their dream job, they do have time on their hands to find their niche, allowing them a bit more time to enjoy a less stressful start to their career.