Thursday, September 18, 2008

Intellectual dishonesty

Just a quick blog to call your attention to these (yet again) excellent posts from the guys over at the The Science of Sport blog:

This situation reminded me something I wrote some weeks ago:

"[Some people], besides being the Internet champions of the “evidence-based” methods, choose to ignore the scientific evidence in favor of their own beliefs. It seems that science only exists when it serves their interests, and that their ego-driven pseudo-science is more important than the peer-reviewed real science. If you add to this the public ad-hominem attacks, it all amounts to a classical case of intellectual dishonesty."

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.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

SwimmingPeaks 1.0

Today I am presenting SwimmingPeaks 1.0. This software package is the way to go if you want to apply scientific principles to your swimming training. In order to use SwimmingPeaks 1.0, all you need is a heart rate monitor with download capabilities. Then you need to use your HRM at every swim session, and record the time for each repeat/rest interval by pressing the split button every time you start/stop. After each swimming session, all you have to do is to download the file from the HRM and upload it to SwimmingPeaks 1.0. The software then calculates such important training metrics as:
- Swimming Time (ST) – the time you actually swam.
- Work/Rest Ratio (WRT) – the work/rest ratios for both the whole session and individual repeats.

SwimmingPeaks 1.0 also allows you to input the swim workout description, which means you can have all sorts of valuable metrics associated with what we define as the Index of Variationality (IV) ratio, i.e. the distance covered over time.

In addition to these, all important metrics related to HR are also automatically calculated by the software. Among these, the important marker HR/IV, which we called Fitness Tracking Score (FTS).

On top of working with all the major brands of downloadable heart rate monitors, GPS watches and stopwatches, SwimmingPeaks 1.0 also allows for manual input of your valuable workout data. So you can use your trusty Timex Ironman stopwatch to scientifically track your swim training.

SwimmingPeaks 1.0 offers a set of tools that will quickly bring you up to speed on training with power IN THE WATER! Using the information given in future blogs and your copy of SwimmingPeaks 1.0, you will be able to effectively train and track your fitness, power and performance throughout the season and beyond! SwimmingPeaks 1.0 allows you to train right! This is the information that DIDN'T come with your stopwatch or HR meter! Your stopwatch is about to become more effective!