In an era of modern technology advances that could make your head spin, I recognize my blog might be the last thing you expected from a 21st century triathlete. PLEASE let me explain.
All too often as athletes we are trying to raise our own bar not just from race to race but from training session to session. Don’t get me wrong. It’s important that we do this to push our limits and have breakthroughs. This year however I’ve been plagued and I mean plagued with injuries. One after another after another has left me over analyzing my workout plans. What pace, how many watts, what average speed, how far, what heart rate. All the variables I’ve become accustom to at my finger tips with the Timex Global Trainer. Downloading all the data into Training Peaks and analyzing how much time you’ve spent in each pre determined zone can be very beneficial. I love getting this feedback from my own workouts and from the clients that I coach. It can also be demotivating if you’ve been injured to see how far you are today from where you were. Its a lot like Investing my husband reminds me. People don’t always look at how much money they have today versus yesterday. They always compare it to their own high water mark. It’s great that the stock market keeps going up but you’ll always hear rumbles of how we aren’t where we were in the summer of 2007. It’s not unlike an athlete. We don’t always look at where we are today vs a month ago. We look at where we are today and think “I’m no where near where I was in October 2011″. ”I’m not even in Half Ironman shape”. ” I used to drop John on that ride and now I’m getting dropped”.
For the injured athlete the all inclusive data center of a GPS Heart Rate Monitor has a gazillion different ways to tell you how slow you’ve become is just not what you need some days.
This past weekend I decided to climb Mount Palomar our local 6000 foot vertical ride we do from home in Carlsbad, CA. My husband and some clients have an upcoming Half Ironman race and it was 95 degree’s which was perfect for some heat & strength training. They wanted me to join them so I secured a babysitter for the day. After all I’ve only been doing 60 to 90 minute spin classes for the past 3 months. Determined to hang with the group I decided to ditch my Global Trainer and replace it with my favorite 50 lap Timex Ironman Watch. No Heart Rate to tell me slow down and no speedometer telling me I’m not fast enough. Just a watch like I had in the beginning. I knew the mountain was 2 hours into the ride and from the base I could expect to climb 1:20 to 1:30. When I hit the base I set the timer at 1:30 and kept the positive motivation knowing every tick of the watch was one less second I had to climb. As the climb went on I became stronger and more motivated. I focused on my rhythm, breathing, form and how much time was left. I looked down and saw 45 minutes. That’s not even a spin class! I made it to the top, led our group and felt a confidence I haven’t felt in the past couple months.
Of course I still love my Timex Global Trainer and Run Trainer and use them most days. I learned this week that when you’re injured and have a little more doubt than normal you need a different perspective. Once in awhile you just might want to go old school.