March 23, 2021
Knowing your pace, HR, distance, elevation, and all the other data you can pull from your devices can be a huge benefit. But it’s not always.
As a boy, I used to own an old-school Casio watch. It displayed the time and date and had an alarm and stopwatch. That was it.
There was no heart rate monitor measuring my heartbeat. No GPS tracking my distance and monitoring my pace. No altimeter to tell me how much elevation I had gained or lost. No metronome to run in time with.
It was a simpler time.
As technology has advanced, our training devices have become more and more complex. A simple run or ride now serves up a ton of data that you can use to optimise and improve the quality of your training. It’s beneficial until it’s not.
I used heart rate monitoring and data from field and lab tests throughout my pro career to provide insight into my body and to help my coach monitor and adjust my training as needed. When performance is the goal, some data is an asset.
Lately, though, performance is not my goal, and I have found that what I see on my monitor during sessions is sucking the joy from my training.
I am significantly slower than I used to be. My resting heart rate is higher, and my recovery is slower. That’s not surprising. I’m 12-years older, have much greater demands on my time, and train significantly less.
Nevertheless, my shortcomings are not something I particularly want to be reminded about every time I run or ride my bike.
A return to basics.
I turned forty last week, and as a birthday gift to myself, I bought myself a Casio watch, similar to the one I owned as a boy. It displays the time and date and has an alarm and stopwatch. That’s it.
I’ll follow a structured training plan, as I did as a youngster and throughout my career, running to time.
Intuition will be my guide for gauging intensity. Because intuition is subjective, there’s a chance I stuff things up, but performance is not my current goal, and I am ok with that tradeoff for now.
I want to fall in love with the process again.
What works for you now may not work for you in the future. It’s ok to experiment.
I’ll train with my Casio, and we’ll see how things go. If, after a few months, I am back to a place where I will benefit from data, I’ll switch again.