Sunday, January 30, 2011

My Favourite metrics

My favourite quote is from Galileo Galiei "measure what is measurable, and make measurable what is not so", the hard headed determination of a man of science contained in those 10 words (funny, the spanish translation is also 10words long) stuck to me since the first time I found it while doin an essay at uni. In a way, that motto underpins the history science and technology over the last centuries. It has been great way to bring the illusion of order into situations that sometimes are beyond comprehension.
Brought into the sporty world, there was a whole new world of metrics that I discovered as I got more into triathlons and cycling; from the basics like speed, perceived effort and cadence to more specific like heart rate, stride cadence, power, altitude, pace, and all the combinations that come to play like power to weight ratio,  drag coeficient and blah blah blah. I've learned that there is a huge basket of metrics that one can produce, monitor and record. Coache's job would be to make smart use of those metrics in planning the best possible programme to get us in A shape for our A race.
A self coached athlete will find a way to organize a training schedule makin use of a series of metrics and in most cases it will be a great way to get from day 1 to race day in a better, fitter state.
In my case I work mostly on HR and perceived effort. Cadence and pace come to play a secondary role in the more specific workouts and the rest has been trial and error. I'm a good boy and I do as I'm told. So far the system has worked and I trust it will keep going the same way.

Panmure pool, a great discovery

But when I look back into my diary and check the best days out I've had in the year, most of the sessions have been run paying attention to one specific metric, it is that one that won't allow my mates to get too far away (on the swim, or the bike or the run) and vice versa. the work for it is HONEST, whenever I wrote down in my diary that it was an HONEST session it means that we went in a solid pace, and making sure everybody stays in that zone where you can go hard OK for a good period of time. It's a pity I don't have a honestymetre to use in every workout. I'll have to ensure I do find a way to make it measurable, and pass that information to the boss, It may be the breakthrough metric of 2011 and it may even get me a placing.

On the training front I had to think on my feet to make sure the weekend was put to good use. The brick session of Saturday got cancelled due to rough weather but I didn't get the message. As I was already on the venue with the customary champion's brekkie inside my guts I decided to do a solo brick. I went to a nearby pool, set my bike on the trainer and got to work, picking the session from the pre-Budapest days. It turned out to be a great day, the swim ticked along nicely, the legs felt great on the bike (I made sure I gave them a contained hammering) and the running was just neat, in a stunning volcanick lagoon track. I guess coach did it on purpose (to forget me on the cancellation text) to get me angry and make me use all that anger and aggression in my training day and it worked, thanks G!  (ha ha ... I don't think my theory is true, tho.

champion's brekkie: muesli and beer
Sunday ride was an HONEST ride with my mate Jeremy, I just love doing this. You all keep smiling, and be safe out there.


  1. i like this
    "and make measurable what is not so"

    and loved this
    "drag coeficient and blah blah blah"

    but the best was the last
    "You all keep smiling"

    great post
    good thoughts for me as I approach t minus 1 week to commence IM train plan:)


  2. You really have beer before a training session?! haha crack up