Athletes and Coaches: Training Software Poll

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Facebook Profile photo Sara Clifford Randolph 10 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #3864

    Mark K.
    • Total Posts: 24

      Coaches and athletes, what are you finding is the best way to track your training? Training Peaks? Strava or it didn’t happen? Garmin Connect? WKO data grinder? Excel Spreadsheets? Crossing it off on a wall calendar?

      What do you like/dislike? Does what you use allow easy communication with a coach? Do you find a benefit to the upgraded versions of the software or is it minimal?

    • #3865
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      David Shostak
      • Total Posts: 9

        I am getting back into triathlon training after a 20 year layoff. I have trained for 7 months. I use my own log book, a excel spread sheet, and Garmin connect. I joined the 90 day Sprint program. I will get a mentor in December. I looked into TrainingPeaks, but not ready for it yet.

      • #3866
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        • Total Posts: 237

          A few years ago I trained with a guy who used “Chrissie Wellington’s Training Program” for all his 140.6 races. He was always in the 12.5 – 13.5 finisher area. His long Saturday brick was a “5.2” or 5 hours on the bike and 2 hours running. Every time he raced the wheels would fall off later in the race. The reasons? Chrissie Wellington was a pro and 7 hours is almost all she needed to complete her race. He was just over the halfway point.

          The issue with an online coaching service, training plan, online app or smartwatch is that athletes are asking them to do things they aren’t setup to do. I talk with coaches who budget 5-10 minutes with an athlete per week. That isn’t nearly enough. Tools like Training Peaks can be suitable but they are just tools. They are no replacement for actual experience.

          That doesn’t really answer the OP question relative to tracking training? My answer is why do you want to track training? What is the reward for time it takes to track, study and evaluate the training. Who is evaluating the data? The technology out there is almost endless but when does DATA turn into DOTA.

        • #3953
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          Sara Clifford Randolph
          • Total Posts: 79

            I am both a coached athlete and a coach who works with athletes.

            Here’s what I use for my own training: Training Peaks to upload my data to my coach. He analyzes my data and plans my next week’s training. I wish I could just leave it at that and let the data go in Training Peaks never to glance at it again, but I’m a little OCD and want to know how I have done week to week, training cycle to training cycle, year to year, etc. SO – I keep a notebook with my workouts and the results (yes, I write down every 500 swim time, every quarter mile repeat time, every tempo run pace/mile, every bike interval power number, etc.) I look back through the notebook when I have a repeat set to see how my numbers compare…. UNDERSTANDING that the training load and fatigue is probably different with each week/workout and the numbers will probably not be the same BUT it give me a point of reference when I’m “feeling” slow or “feeling” fast and I can look back at actual data. I also upload my data daily for my coach and leave him any comments that pertain to the workout – such as “i’m feeling tired today” or “I crushed that workout!!” or “I didn’t think I could hit those intervals, but I did!”

            For the athletes that I coach – none of them use training peaks – therefore I do not have a coach’s Training Peaks account. I write all their workouts down in a notebook that I keep for my reference. Weekly or sometimes 2 weeks in advance, I type out their workouts into a Google Sheet and share it with them. I put all the details of their workouts into the Google Sheet and then make sure they don’t have any questions about the training.

            How do I get the data back from them? Well, it’s not as easy as Training Peaks for sure!

            One athlete uses an Apple Watch and she has to screen shot me her training results and data. Then I record her information in my notebook and any comments that she provides about her workouts.

            Another athlete that I coach – uses a Garmin watch so when she uploads her data – I then update my notebook with her results/data.

            I think it’s safe to say that I definitely spend more than the 5-10 minutes per athlete per week that Thom mentioned above 🙂

            With all this being said:
            I think it’s easy to get “caught up” in the data (right now my fitness number in TP is 40 points lower than it was a 3 weeks ago at my A-Race” – yikes!) but I think it’s a good idea to keep your workouts in a central location so you’re not having to climb out of the pool to look at your phone for the details of your swim set. I completely unplug during most of my training sessions so I rely on the paper for my workout details (I take post-it notes to the pool in a ziplock bag) and also think that it helps to have things in a central location for time management purposes …… then again – I’m the lady who plans out meals and snacks on a weekly basis too. But I did just run the latest portion of a 140.6 without my pace being displayed for the entire 26.2 miles — it was hard not to look at the data but running (or swimming and biking) by feel does have some advantages too 🙂

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