Written by Kinetica ambassador Bryan Keane:
I said goodbye to sunny Ireland last week for the even sunnier Spain. I’m out here right now with my Australian training group for the last 11 weeks of my season, with four races left, so the big push is on. Having had to live out of a bag for 5 months in Australia earlier on in the year, I decided that I didn’t like having only 2 t-shirts to wear so I loaded up the car and took the boat to Spain. Off I went with my life in my car via London for a race, 2nd place there meant I had enough for petrol money, a choc-ice and some sweets.
It was as I attempted to navigate my way to the ferry in Portsmouth (destine for Bilbao) that I was saved by technology. My Google maps informed me that the route I was going to take down the M25 was in fact a car park. I needed a new route. With time against me I reluctantly turned to my iPhone, lashed on the data roaming and plotted a new route. Not an easy task avoiding all the main London routes, but I made the ferry via a pretty circuitous route with time enough to pat myself on the back and congratulate myself with my recently won magnum of champagne!
This brings me to this week’s lesson children; equipment. Equipment is key. When I first started running back in 1996, it was all about time, like most individual sports it was all about the clock. “Was it a good session? Yes – my times were fast”. The when I started cycling it was all about miles and hours, I chased hours, looking for a total number in a week, a month, a year. This got a little advanced with the introduction of heart rate monitors, but it was all still very basic. I still chase a weekly total, but not the hours and distances are recorded not on a little book beside my bed, but on a watch or a bike computer, uploaded to one of the many websites available analysing speed, distance and time. But this is no longer enough, now with more information to ponder I look at watts, power, and cadence with every session broken down into zones.
A level of detail you could never have imagine when I started cycling all uploaded into a little folder so that my coach can analyse my progress and plan y program. For me, a professional triathlete, this is a good thing, technology has helped me, and it has given me more control over what I do. Knowing how my body is performing with any session and mapping my improvements is great but ultimately it is still about putting the hours in and getting the volume done.
With all of the new technology available we can sometimes get sided-tracked about what is important. If you want to get better, fitter, stronger you have to go out and train harder, longer and faster. A little machine will tell you that you’re doing it but it won’t do it for you. Like Google map; it told me where to go but I still had to steer the Green Boat (my beloved green Avensis estate) safely to the ferry port. So maybe for the today leave the watch at home and just go running, swimming or cycling. Stop chasing numbers and listen to what your body is actually saying to you. Maybe you might learn something by talking back.
For more information on Bryan Keane, please click here