A few of our gadgets.
Intensity is the measure of how hard we are going. As endurance athletes we need to care about intensity because we don’t want to go out too hard and explode, or too easy and leave time on the table.
There are multiple ways to measure intensity; heart rate monitors, GPS units, pool clocks etc., but the most important one that all athletes should strive to master is ‘perceived exertion.’ I highly recommend it because we have it with us all the time and it doesn’t need batteries or recharging. I also really like the fact that it makes us pay attention to what’s really going on in our body – it engages you and this engagement is what helps us raise our level big time. Why is that? Because focusing on perceived exertion makes you pay attention to your breathing, to your muscles and to your fatigue level. Yes, it can very subjective (particularly when just learning) and that’s why I have no problem with beginners using the technology during their first couple of seasons.
My veterans on the other hand always get “the look” by Coach when they are fussing about with their power meter zones or heart rates during workouts and races. I like to remind them that when you are gadget oriented you are susceptible to letting the numbers tell you how you are feeling. If you’re an experienced athlete and are still relying on a piece of equipment to tell you if you are executing properly then there has been a breakdown in the process already.
It’s a hard sell, but I often tell my age-group athletes not to waste 30 valuable minutes every day downloading and analysing every day activities on their Strava or Training Peaks accounts. Truth is it’s completely unnecessary, and 99% of the sub 8:30 Ironman triathletes I know don’t bother with things like that themselves. Why? They say they are too tired to be fussing around with it and instead would rather sleep the extra 30 minutes a day. To me that sounds like an excellent choice!
Race smart, but be brave in trusting yourself and your training.
Coach Luis Villavicencio had 7 World Championship qualifiers in 2015.
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