The TriWives are very pleased to post this article by a close friend of the family, Martin Avidan, a Kona age group qualifier. We enjoyed his writing so much, we will have to ask him to share more.
Recently I went riding with a friend and asked what his HR was (it’s always lower than mine..). His response – “Can’t tell you just now, there’s some kind of crosstalk between my Garmin and something else on the bike and it’s not showing up….”. Made me think about what a front-and-center role our data-capturing devices have taken in the sport.
For the record, I do use (some) data. I have a coach and follow his workouts. I have a CompuTrainer. I train in zone; never leave the house for a ride/run without a heartrate monitor; take my morning pulse when I feel tired ; and even enjoy seeing my watts/kilogram number go up as I get fitter/thinner. But, I don’t have a PowerMeter. I don’t download every workout (I actually don’t download any workouts). I don’t participate in Strava. I run based on time, not miles, and don’t GPS anything. I don’t know anybody in my circle of triathlon friends who does less; all do more. Some do much more. Yet, I’ve qualified as an age grouper and raced Kona (twice) and few have bettered my times, certainly not in my AG. In fact, my friend above had an interesting experience. He lost his Garmin during the swim in Kona several years ago and raced the whole race without knowing any data at all. Guess what, he posted one of his best times.
Here’s what I’ve learned over the years: The training process is what makes you fast. Do the work and the results will come. The day-to-day numbers? They can be pretty variable. Watts on the CompuTrainer will vary based on how hard I’m training, how much sleep I’m getting, how much (red, preferably) wine I had last night, how much my job is stressing me out, and a bunch of other factors. My point? Unless you’re a pro whose life centers around triathlons or are looking to make a living in the sport, maybe you should take the data with a tiny grain of salt. Use the technology as entertainment, as a motivator (but not an obsessive one), and don’t forget to enjoy the scenery on your run/ride. Enjoy the camaraderie of spending time in the outdoors with like-minded folks and focus less on that last mile split on your long run. Enjoy the racing as an opportunity to show yourself and others what all your work has done. At the end of the day, these things seem much more satisfying than a bunch of numbers….