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Discussion: current wearables to manage optimal training loads

in: Orienteering; Training & Technique

Feb 8, 2020 7:17 PM # 
Is anyone having good results using physiologic data captured by current wearables to manage optimal training loads? I’m looking for a super low effort gauge of readiness for load vs need for recovery. A quick search picked up only older comment. Particularly interested in the ... let us call it masters’ end of the group.
Feb 8, 2020 7:21 PM # 
Context if it matters- Hung up playing mens open and 30+ soccer last year mostly based on time constraint. Post cut it’s obvious 2 game/wk zone 4 and 5 sprinting with the “kids” required way too much recovery at 50+.

Bike/run are backfilling (and with fewer injuries). A lot of that indoors at gyms over the winter, especially with travel and I'm noticing performance variability day to day. Not saying this is a development just that pace/watts staring back at you on a display are clearer data than “good” or “bad” game. Suspect I substantially underestimate the impacts of even zone 3 time and overall volume at my age.

Totally buy the logic of guys like Pete Magill but historically I’m too freewheeling in any approach to plan training. Mostly I just take what fits in constraints, allows me to have a good time, and keeps my overall psychology on an even keel. Still would at least prefer whatever time I’m putting in have utility and not undermine whatever progress might otherwise occur (may pick up a couple endurance MTB races this summer with some friends). Also since I hardly race in the parent decades there are long dry spells in even logging let along reviewing logs so utility of something at hand during workout or easily referenced at start could be great. Just not sure how much they actually help vs just drive consumer electronics revenue lines.
Feb 8, 2020 7:31 PM # 
If you are training with a gps watch, upload your data and are a subscribing member of Attackpoint, then a lot of that is already built into Ken's system. Training load, fitness, fatigue, etc are calculated into your weekly training graphic (or different interval if you adjust it in the URL.) Pretty certain these features are only available to those that donate...
Feb 8, 2020 7:33 PM # 
Terje Mathisen:
I have had very good results over the last 15-20 years with mostly skiing at winter, but at least one O race every month, no matter how deep the snow cover.

Then in late march/early april we start the Oslo City Cup (long) sprint series, with a mixture of urban and non-urban terrain, then I add on the OBIK races and regular spring events in Østfold. At peak this is 4-5 races/week (running at 85-93% of max heart rate), my Garmin typically claims that I need 48-72 hours recovery after each of them, but when we get to the end of June and O-Festivalen which is the largest race weekend of the year, I'm usually at or near the top of my age category. :-)

OTOH, this kind of training also means that when the summer ends (second half of august) and I return to work at a time which coincides with some of my worst pollen problems, I typically crash badly. On some years I recover in time for the Veterans' champs, but last year I had to stop everything for 2-3 months to recover from an ankle problem caused by overloading an old injury/surgery residue.
Feb 8, 2020 9:53 PM # 
I think most GPS watches do this.

I wear a Polar watch and it tracks load, strain, tolerance,...and figures out if I’m over detraining, maintaining, productive or overreaching
Feb 8, 2020 11:24 PM # 
cm- lapse noted and renewed but that's more effort/purposeful planning than I'm looking for. I have an older garmin (forerunner 25?) but don't upload/download any data, though I might as it may automate some activity related to paying lower health insurance premiums. Also I get a lot of activity that isn't reliably logged with any detail. So if it can be passively collected physiologic data that's huge win vs calculated from a log.

boris/terje- So that's the type of situation I wondering about. How much different do you perform or how much does it help you progress faster when you take the advice from the device feature? At 51 with everything else going on I've not got a great handle on managing recovery by feel (as shown obviously by my 2/7 entry).

Reading earlier today about the science underlying devices there are a couple papers like this on HRV:

In terms of translating the conclusions there to minimal work actionable info I found a lot of noise about what is or isn't best or accurately measured by different devices. As example see halfway down here for lists of monitors not accurately measuring the R-R interval that is the basis of the article above:

What's funny is that site is broadly indicting of wrist based tech but Kate Courtney absolutely killed it 2018-9 while using wrist based whoop to load manage (FWITW she should be a highly knowledgeable consumer but I'm pretty confident whoop is not what got her to the top).
Feb 9, 2020 3:13 PM # 
Heart Rate Variability is all the rage these days. The Garmin Fenix and Forerunner lines have this for sure. The WHOOP strap records HRV plus a billion other data points, but it's not a watch.
Feb 9, 2020 5:51 PM # 
Terje Mathisen:
@richf: I typically glance at the HR when running if I feel like "I am moving way too slow here and I still seem pressed". Normally the case is that I am simply unable to get into normal competition HR, which means that I am still not in shape.

I.e. I don't use the Garmin to steer my training but to get feedback on what my shape's like.

Triggered by this thread I just reviewed a sample of my 2019 spring races:
Jan 14 England - Night race, easy course - 153 bpm average hr
Mar 21 Asker - Street O, snow&ice 167 (this was max effort!)
May 12 Oslo KVM forest, very good race 158 (won class very clearly)
June 10 Kongsberg, first run after illness, 158 (second place behind brother Knut)
June 29 Larvik O-Festivalen Middle, 158 (won H60)
June 30 Larvik O-Festivalen Long, 158 (another win)

This was unexpected and therefore interesting! It seems like my race HR have in fact dropped by about 10 BPM over the last 8 years, but my max rate is still well above 180, I'm just not able to sustain 170+ for long periods any more, except for that single hilly street O which was easy orienteering but heavy running on snow-covered paths and roads.

It also seems like my HR effort is pretty constant but as we get into the forest season I'm slowly improving my terrain running speed, i.e. better running economy. :-)

This discussion thread is closed.