My relationship with training logs, recording sessions and using tools such as power, heart rate and speed has varied over the years. In the early days not a session would go bye without some form of analysis, then as I began to over do it a little the post training analysing of data would suggest something was wrong.. so I stopped it. For over 10years now I have rejected every suggestion and urge to once again use a heart rate monitor, my excuse; ” I drink a fair (lot) amount of coffee so heart rate would be affected or “I prefer to go off how I feel.”
How wrong was I👊 in all honesty my previous coach Darren Franklin was the first to really plant the seed, however at the time I was learning about power on the bike and using speed very effectively on the the run, so I hesitated with adding another metric like heart rate into the mix and becoming to data driven.
This was all good until I lost touch with my body and connection with each session until eventually on occasions running without a watch at all and when my power meter stop working on the bike just riding to feel…. enter the twilight zone, just never know what you are going to do race day, then act surprised and disappointed when performance is poor.
That all changed recently when I sat down face to face with new coach Pete Lever ( http://www.trispecific.com ) who after explaining, then showing me the benefits of using HR especially to get back on track health wise, and that as part of his program plan he required me to use HR for both training and recovery via morning HRV. * I will note this isn’t for every session nor does it govern my training program simply a tool, not to be carried always just used then put down.
” Education plus communication equals COACHING ”
Initially I was a little overwhelmed by the accountability of monitoring and being more accountable to each session, why? Because I had become so detached from how my body actually felt, what each training zone meant and how to optimize each session.
Fast forward a few weeks and what a difference it has made, my run pacing is coming back and bike control which is not something I’ve ever had is really improving! The challenge in front of me now, as is the case for most people is patience, persistence and discipline. Not getting carried away with the data and letting a poor session outcome consume the ones to come.
To realise this journey has many destinations along the way so resisting the urge to rush the training process (which in fact only ever prolongs the journey ), staying focused more so when things are going well than poor as it’s generally at that point when we tend to over do things.
As an endurance athlete it’s important to realise that feeling tired all the time isn’t a badge of honor, rather a sign you need to reconnect with the moment. When feeling tired is more normal than feeling energetic, its time to rediscover the joy’s of life! That joy might just consist of what your currently doing, only in a different way🙏