Read this article I recently red on training peaks first, then follow it on with my thoughts.
Very interesting article this. It certainly does make some good points about the use of, benefits and some basic information that training devices (GPS watches, bike speedos, power meters, heart rate monitors) can feed back to us.
However, most people have the latest devices and love to claim this, but don't really know how to interpret the information they give back to us on our training performances and how better to use that information for future training.
For example, most recent GPS watches can give us soooo many performance metrics and details, yet most people just use them for pace, distance, time, maybe elevation gain and maybe a few others, but that's about it. Yet we can get this some level of simple detail from free or cheap phone APP's like strava, run keeper, garmin FIT and so on.
So why spend hundreds of dollars on these fancy devices, then skimp on the level of information they give us with the most basic of metrics, effectively wasting that investment when they can give us so much more.
For example, using km splits with running. What can this tell us? A common scenario is this;
First kilometer is the fastest of a run, and it probably feels easiest too although it's fast, and it always will be as we are freshest when we start. Heart rate average during this first km is the same as the other kms, so we think it's normal to run fast then slow the longer we go because the heart rate is telling us this, plus it looks good when reviewing the run later.
However, it takes our body approx 2-3mins to elevate all energy systems to be fully turned on and heart rate registering this too by slowly climbing from resting (50-80bpm ish..). So of course the average heart rate for this first km will show an actual low false reading compared to if it was a mid run effort because it takes time to elevate, but in actual fact our muscular effort is higher. So if we ran this as our last km, heart rate would be significant higher probably, and perhaps out of the training zone that we should be in to appropriately strain the energy system we are trying to develop. Along with the fact that when we start sessions it takes time for our muscles, ligaments, tendons and other soft tissues to warm up to an optional level of heat and blood supply so if we train hard from the start, our injury risk is high.
All of this is not smart training and is due to not understanding the analysis of data collected.
So my questions to you are?
1) are you really getting the most of your training time if you always train this way?
2) are you getting the most out of your expensive devices possible measures and analysis?
So why not invest less in these under utilized devices, and more in using an appropriate coach who can
1) interpret this information usefully,
2) based on this information, provide you with better coaching/programs to really maximise results and the use of these devices too!
Feel free to talk to me today, as even at the most basic coaching level, with us working together and really looking into your training metrics we can probably get more out of both your training devices as well as your body. Ie.smart training and analysis.
At the end of the day performance and improvements are the main reasons why we invest so much money in these toys and so much time and effort with training, right?
To find out how I can help you, checkout my coaching details at www.born2perform.co.nz