Monday, October 10, 2011

Gorilla Athletes -- Do This!

Even if you're not an athlete with Gorilla Multisport, this article provides some great advice for everyone.  Keep a journal or take note of what works or what doesn't in your training.  Make your past work for your future.  Thank you for this article:  

What Your Coach Really Wants to Know...

If you are reading this, there is a good chance you use TrainingPeaks or some other piece of software to track your workouts. You may even have a coach that is looking at the information. But let’s be honest, when you fill in all that information (or decide not to) are you being honest with yourself? And with your coach? While each coach will likely request slightly different information depending on your goals and their methodology (and they should let you know up front what they want to see), there are some basic things that you should record. If you are your own coach, this is just as important so you have information when you review your workout history.

1) Your data! If you use one of the hundred different data capturing devices on the market (HR monitor, GPS, power meter), upload the data. While summary information can be helpful, the actual data file is going to be the most useful for your coach, especially with the data analysis functionality of TrainingPeaks and software like WKO+. It should be as easy as the click of a button to get your data uploaded. If you don’t use “high-tech gadgets” you should at least be using a watch.

2) How you felt during the workout. There are many different ways to capture this (Rate of Perceived Exertion, either on a 1-10 or 6-20 scale), or you can be more creative with your choice of terms- “legs felt like they could go for hours.” Or “really struggled with the last interval - legs felt very heavy.”  It’s best to avoid the overused phrase “workout was good” and the more information you can provide, the better. It’s fine to say a workout didn’t go well because you stayed up too late the night before (honesty!). Also, if you are doing intervals, rate each interval and recovery interval. This information along with any data you uploaded will help your coach see how you are responding to the training. Then they can make appropriate adjustments.

3) Your nutrition/hydration for the workout. This information will help you and/or your coach nail your nutrition and hydration plan. This information is helpful to interpret #1 and #2. If you didn’t drink anything and your power dropped off in your last interval, perhaps it was dehydration. Or they see your average speed and heart rate dropped off the last 40 minutes of a long ride but you had your last gel 90 minutes before the end of the ride. In TrainingPeaks you can track your meals along with the time of day it was consumed. If you aren’t tracking your meals that way, you can just write the information in the Post-Activity comments.

4) Any modifications you made to the workout and why. If you miss a workout, cut something short, extend it out, or change what was planned, tell your coach. And more importantly, tell them why! It can be as simple as “I was tired so I slept in,” or “one of my kids was sick so I couldn’t get to the pool.” Workouts are in a training plan for a reason, so when you deviate, your coach needs to know why. Even if you are your own coach, track this information, as it will help you realize your actual training commitment and other obligations that can interfere.

Be honest with yourself and your coach. Don’t be shy, as coaches are people too and understand that life happens. Err on the side of too much information - they’ll let you know when it’s too much. The above information will help you and your coach piece together what works and what doesn’t in your training so that you can move towards your performance goals as quickly as possible! Because that’s why you track your workouts, right?

1 comment:

  1. love the new blog look--blake is picking up your nephew from the airport today? i guess he is coming to blakes homecoming talk today..


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