Using technology in your training benefits you in many ways: you can learn faster; get visibility to your training program and progress; quantify your work; and learn from your success. What are some common and not so common ways to use technology to optimize sports performance?
Heart rate Training – Heart rate training has been viewed in many ways over the years, from very precise to not so precise. Now, a growing number of coaches and exercise physiologists support the use of heart rates as an important part of biological feedback, as heart rates are a direct reflection of what is happening internally. The post, The Variables and Trends of Heart Rate Training, walks you through the steps of learning your “threshold” heart rate range, setting up heart rate training zones, and identifying the daily variables that affect heart rate. A heart rate monitor can be a great bio feedback tool and also help you to monitor your fitness, prevent overtraining, and take your performance to the next level.
Apps – Over the past year connected fitness devices — activity trackers and sensor-laden wearables — have consistently made headlines. There are countless devices that connect back to companion smartphone apps and online dashboards enabling visibility, analysis, and planning for better training and performance. To get an idea of what is available, check out two of our favorite posts including Apple’s picks for top 42 iPhone fitness apps and Top 5 Apps for Cyclists for Off-Season Fitness Gains.
Bike Fit – Leg strength, endurance, and fitness are at the heart of cycling speed, but without a proper bike fit, you are sabotaging your training efforts. In a sport based on such a highly repetitive action, like pedaling, the first line of defense against injury is a proper bike fit. A bike fit doesn’t simply consist of setting saddle height and bar reach. In today’s market, bike brands are designing some top-end rides for us to enjoy, but with these bikes come different geometries. As such, it’s critical to dial in the fit and confirm you have the right bike parts for your optimal performance.
Compression – Medical compression stockings have been used to treat poor blood flow for many years. Recently, the technology has been made available to cyclist of all levels. While the many claim it is difficult to prove that an immediate performance gain from wearing compression garments, many do claim that it lowers perceived muscle soreness the day after a big day on the bike and they can reduce the swelling of legs after prolonged sitting.
There are countless more ways technology can aid in cycling training ranging from power training, cycling software, DVD’s, CompuTrainers, to nutrition and other bio feedback tools. The main goal of them all is to assist you in dialing in your training to optimize your performance as it relates to your goals and objectives. Need help figuring out which one is best for you? Visit us at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop in Golden, Colorado or ask us on Twitter.