Technology

This post has been brewing a few days, as I have been trying to find the words to helpfully express my recent thoughts and experiences surrounding racing without my beloved technology.

After my experience at Door County, I was comfortable with the idea of racing sans technology.  It wasn’t my preference, but it was reassuring to know that I’m not overly dependent upon it.  After Tri-ing for Children’s this past weekend – those feelings are the same, but joining it is a feeling of uncertainty of not knowing how to feel about my race.

On the surface TFC appears as a sucess: I finished 4th overall with a great run split, a strong swim, but an average bike.  Comparing my bike split to last years – where I took a small detour – and this year’s upgrade from Fluffy to Dexter – it’s pretty obvious that my bike wasn’t as strong this year or was it? 

The course was basically the same and I don’t feel that the conditions where any different.  So I can’t chalk it up to that.  My weeks prior were fairly comparable – so I wouldn’t say there was a major difference in the amount of fatigue I was having to cope with.

My run split was much better than last year, so did I bike to hard last year and bike just right/to easy this year?

My swim probably started off a bit harder this year than last year as I attempted to swim with Will Smith – it did take me 30 minutes or so to start to feel “speedy” on the bike.

Why does this bother me so much – because I don’t have an objective way to determine what actually happened on my bike.  All I have is the time/distance/feel – which those three combined leave me a bit unsatisfied about the bike.

So what does this whininess have to do with anything and how can you benefit from it?

Well you could interpret this as encouragement to run out and buy a powermeter so that you can objectively measure your bike rides – which I would encourage that, but that’s not the point.

The point is more along the lines of don’t always get caught up in the details of things – your energy is better spent on a broader focus.  Me for example – TFC was a superb race for me as a whole this year.  My swim was very strong,  it was one of my best Olympic distance runs to-date (let alone this year + moved up a VDOT point) – I held off Joe Kurian on the run for longer than i did last year at this same race.   As I was told by a commenter earlier – you don’t have to win all three legs to win the race – the same goes for great races.  All three legs don’t have to be heroic for the race to be heroic.

2 Comments

  1. what do you think about this? Grab a PM, and do a race / simulation with tape over the screen.

    -jwm

    1. A lot of people suggest that, and I think for situations where you are truly racing other people, or are making race day decisions based on the actions of your competitors that may be a good compromise to “hide” the PM, but still have the data for analysis, or if you want to practice/test your ability to perform by simulating failed tech (but at that point, I’d just put the computer in my jersey).

      Personally, even for shorter races where I can truly race people – I’m not racing them; I’m racing myself – trying to get to the finish line as fast as I can – as I know they are doing the same. My body lies to me ALL of the time. It tells me that it’s pushing 300 watts, but the PM says 270. It tells me that it’s to tired to do the swim I had planned, but after a bit of self inflicted brutality – the clock says I was just fine. It tells me I feel like crap the first 20 minutes of a long run, but I ignore it and keep running – and afterwards find out that I hit my E-Pace perfectly for a long, hot, and humid run.

      With the exception of a few athletes in our sport I don’t think people are in touch enough with their bodies or truly have the fitness to ignore the pacing tools they choose to use. And even those athletes with enough fitness are probably giving up time because they are more focused on reacting to their competitors than playing to their own strengths and abilties.

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