Coach Steen > Tri Talk – Gadget

Ceci est un texte qu’a écrit mon coach pour The Racing Post. Ce texte me fait dire que je suis un très mauvais élève.
As a multi sport athlete, you should love your gadgets, most of the time. Last week, during an interval session, one of my athletes was struggling. The intervals were hard, and her motivation was lag- ging. So, I turned her screen off, blinding her to her wattage, heart rate, and most importantly, lap time.

I told her that while I frequently suggest that cyclists race ‘blind,’ a multi sport athlete never should. However, it can be good to train with your computer or watch turned around. First, why is cycling different than triathlon? Of all the standard training metrics; pace, speed, heart rate, power, there’s one that’s most important in cycling. I call it OTB. You see, if you are Off The Back, then the rest doesn’t matter. And, if you’re not OTB, then the rest doesn’t matter. It’s simple, either you’re keeping up or you’re not. Too often a cyclist will be having a great ride, then look down and be scared by the numbers.
Triathletes though, don’t get scared by the numbers often enough! In cycling, it’s about keeping up, while in multi sport events, it’s about keeping your pace. Gadgets are the best way to do that. Heart rate sometimes lies, but pace and wattage never do.
100 times out of 100, the fastest tri or du comes from a properly executed pacing plan. But on race day, it’s easy for the plan to go out of the window. You’re trying to PR, but decide to try and keep up with the pretty girl. Or you know you’re riding too fast, but are having so much fun catching people that you keep going. I know you out there; I’ve seen you do this. And, I’ve seen it in the results.
You’ve heard me say this before: Have a plan, know the plan, race the plan! But how do you make sure you are on target? With gadgets! If you see a number that doesn’t jive with your plan, it should scare you, and you should slow down. As sure as the sun will come up tomorrow, that 500W climb you just did on the bike will bite you in the butt (or maybe the calf) during the run. Just as sure, that 7:45 first mile, when your goal pace is 8:30, is going to cost you several minutes over the last miles.
Some of you are wondering about what I said about training blind, while others are glowering at the page, not being a fan of all the technology. Just go hard! Dave Scott didn’t use an HRM, why should I?
The answer to both those questions is the same: descriptive use. To now, I’ve been talking about prescriptive use of gadgets. However, they can be used another way: descriptively. You still train with them, but you blind yourself, by turning them over or taping over the screen. Then, post workout, you analyze the files and see how you did.
In training, and during low priority events, this is a great way to go. Just have a good workout, and let the numbers worry about themselves. When you’re done, though, you can see what really happened. Remember, the numbers don’t lie!

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