Friday, September 5, 2008

SwimmingPeaks 2.0

I was glad to see that the absurd of my imaginary presentation was realized by most readers of the blog. For most, it doesn’t make much sense to religiously record your swim workout “data” and to analyze it using specific software. It is also absurd to say that until you’re doing this kind of analysis, your stopwatch is completely useless.

So why do a lot of people out there feel a powermeter is in any way different from a stopwatch in a controlled environment? It makes me cringe whenever I read that it is not worth to get a powermeter unless you use it the “right way”. The right way, of course, is to record the data for every workout, to analyze every session on CyclingPeaks (tm), to religiously record all of your training hoping that you can get nice long term plots on the Overtraining Manager (tm). I can understand this kind of approach if you’re a pure cyclist, but when it comes to TRIATHLON training, this kind of bike-centered approach to TRIATHLON is totally unacceptable.

A powermeter is nothing more than a device that accurately measures cycling training intensity, and just that makes it a useful training tool for any athlete. Just the same way a stopwatch is useful when swimming laps in a pool or running in a track.

Coherence of methods when approaching swim, bike and run training is important in triathlon because the training for the 3 disciplines is equally important. Focusing in one discipline is admissible for a short period, but return to a balanced program with a balanced approach should be a goal for athletes of all levels.

6 comments:

Anthony said...

I appreciate this insight...in my own profession (Anesthesiology) an isolated data point is just that (data !). To be useful, it needs to be interpreted with all of the other parameters that are available, and be reasonably integrated into one's view of the situation.

khai said...

Crap. I was waiting for the "Running Peaks" Beta...

rwestwood said...

I'm glad you tied up your previous blog with this one because, frankly, I didn't get the point of the previous blog other than to take a jab at Cycling Peaks. With this blog, now I understand your point even though I'm not completely convinced. For example, I have focussed on the bike for the past 10 months and the dividend has been huge for me. So much so that I intend to do a similar extended focus on my swim over the next 8-10 months or so. If I see the kind of improvement in my swim that I've seen on the bike then it will have been worth it.

Paulo Sousa said...

Like I mentioned on this blog, focusing on one discipline is admissible for a short period of time and I use that often. But I also feel that coherence of methods across the three disciplines is extremely important, and that is what I see lacking from most of bike-oriented crowd.

Neil said...

OK, so be a good chap and tell us if a power meter has any value for a triathlete and how?

understanding/reducing variability?
not going too hard or too hard too early on the bike in a race?
understanding your profile type?

Paulo Sousa said...

Neil,

This is what I wrote:
"A powermeter is nothing more than a device that accurately measures cycling training intensity, and just that makes it a useful training tool for any athlete. Just the same way a stopwatch is useful when swimming laps in a pool or running in a track."

Like I said, I think it's useful for any athlete to have a device that accurately measures intensity. But the way an individual athlete might use it depends on that athlete, what are his needs and characteristics.

What I am trying to fight is the misconception that you should only be using a powermeter if you're a numbers geek that goes through the "data" of every workout. There are perhaps as many ways of using a powermeter as there are different ways of approaching training and racing.

Hope this makes me a "good chap" ;-)

Paulo