Friday, December 07, 2012

Three years on

As the two people who viewed my previous 37 posts will know (I suspect both these people are myself on different computers), it's been a while.

I have a vague memory of using this platform back in late 2009 to try and have a more comprehensive and easily accessible training diary than the WHSmith Day-To-Page format I was using at the time. Clearly from the content I put up here, the idea was short-lived and in retrospect fundamentally flawed - this is not the sort of place to be putting complex training data for later analysis.

Since then the explosion of cloud computing, along with my purchase of more complex training devices, has removed the need for extensive recording of data. It has been obvious to me over the years that I am not the type to want to record my data in a hand written format day in, day out. As such, my purchase of a Garmin Forerunner 305 in August 2011 was useful in the sense that each and every heartbeat from that day on is (hopefully) immortalised both on my laptop and on the Garmin Connect service.

Whilst this in itself did not immediately make me more proactive in writing a 'proper' training log, it allowed me to view my data at leisure and at any computer. This was very useful in both the short and medium term, as it's quite easy to look at the data and remember back to what the session felt like - even as detailed as the weather and wind conditions, etc. However, it gives progressively less value as time passes. When I return to my workouts now, I wish I had put a bit more information down than just the briefest of workout summaries.

To this end, my 2012/2013 season is so far characterised by data in the extreme. I now have a power meter on my TT bike, though just the Garmin on my road bike, and as such the information gets beamed here, there and everywhere. A short summary of how I process the data is as follows.

SRM Data:

- Upload data from PowerControl to SRMWin & WKO+.
- Wipe data from PowerControl
- Upload data from WKO+ to TrainingPeaks (done in case of laptop failure)
- Take the major bits of data from the WKO+ format and put them into my training diary (
- If the session wasn't as planned, change what was actually done on my Year Planner (

Garmin Data:

- Upload data from Garmin to Garmin TrainingCenter, WKO+, Garmin Connect, Strava.
- TrainingCenter for physical data on my laptop, Connect for analysis, Strava for fun.
- Send data from WKO+ to TrainingPeaks.
- TrainingPeaks gives hrTSS data for the session, edit the WKO+ file to reflect this
- Follow bottom two steps as in the SRM Data protocol.

As you can see, this is quite a time consuming activity all told. It is no wonder that I didn't go through with this in the past when

i) All I had was HR data to upload
ii) Most of my sessions (rowing etc) ended somewhere other than my house
iii) Immediately after the sessions I was normally eating or going into work

To summarise, what would be my take home messages from this first (ish) post?
I will expand on all these points in subsequent posts, but for now:

- Keeping a training log is important, and is getting easier to do with technological advances.
- The more data channels you have, the more choices you have in terms of what to analyses and what to record.
- You need to develop a protocol for recording data that is both thorough and device-specific.

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