Thursday, February 23, 2012

Post-Workout Analysis... getting geeky!!!

I'm going to show you what I do after I've completed a workout. How do I analyze my data? How do I make it easy for my coach to analyze a heck of a lot more??? Here's how!!

Step 1. I shower and eat food. I'm usually quite manic after a hard training session, so if you're standing in between me and food, GTFO. This is serious. I'm renown for getting realllllly grumpy when hungry.

Step 2. I log into my TrainingPeaks account and I upload my data file once it has been downloaded from my watch (I use a Garmin Forerunner 310xt for OWS, bike and run, and I just use my brain's memory storage for pool swims).

The coach gave me this workout a while back: warm up for
30', then do 3x30' at HIM effort on 30' of easy spinning. 

Step 3. The data (power, pace, distance, HR, etc) is all there, ready to be analyzed by myself and my coach. All I need to add is additional comments. Not to sound too new-age, but I write down how I was feeling, I sometimes am very serious and detail oriented, and other times the workout was so ridiculous that I have to write a joke or two. In general, I stick to the facts.

Step 4. On top of all my facts and feelings, I add how this session was good, how I gained from it, and/or how I can improve upon it for future sessions.

Some notes:
- I always mention what I ate and drank (if anything).
e.g. nutrition: what I ate (number of calories), then how many cals that meant per hr.
e.g. hydration: how many bottles of water/nuun
- If the ride had specific sets, I break down how each one went, whether I hit my target power numbers, paces or HR zones or not, etc, and if I did, whether the RPE changed at all throughout.
- I mention any outside factors that might influence how the workout went
e.g. Yes, power numbers were high zone 4 but I only achieved 21km/hr? Weird? NOT REALLY, we had a 70-80km/hr northwesterly wind, so I'm amazed I survived!!! If heat is a factor, as it might be on the run, then I might mention that as well.
- Other comments...
e.g. I FELT LIKE I WAS FLYING, IT WAS AWESOME!!
e.g. I'm pretty sure gnomes snuck into my room at night and injected 10 kilos of lead into my legs while I was asleep. They feel sooooooo heavy. I think I'm dying.

Clearly, my coach has a bit of information to dig through here, and it all helps in him seeing the bigger picture. I like doing my own wee analysis as well. For example, on the bike I mainly check my power numbers; I have a mental picture of what a certain power range felt like 1-2 months ago, and what it feels like now. It's very rough analysis, but I go mainly by feel. It's made me realize what works well for me, and what doesn't. I respond very poorly to "run 3x15' at HR zone 4, on 5' rest interval", but respond like a raving maniac (awesomely!) if told "run like you stole something for 3x approx 10-15' (about how long it takes to run away), on 5' of blending into the crowd, acting normal, cruisey jogging". Yes, I recognize that I act like a 5 year old. What triathlete doesn't??

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