Metrics for fun and improvement

When I train, I use sports computer to take log about my body’s performance and use the data to study how I’m doing – though I am not a serious sportsman in any way. I’m mostly following only the time used as well as kilometers collected and exercises performed on different training levels. As my goals have been just to keep my fitness level high enough to be able to carry on and perform well in everyday life, I haven’t put any more effort in to it — even though I have read numerous different training programs and theories. So no wonder my performance hasn’t really improved either. I still run about the same speeds I have had for some time, and have the normal stamina to run half a marathon without practice or any energy fill ups.

For long time it hasn’t been a problem in any way. I’ve been happy go lucky camper.

Now it start to be a problem as everyone else seems to be running longer and faster – and even without any or almost any practice. It is time to change things.

The good thing is that I should have all the equipment and knowledge ready, to do something. With the Suunto Ambit I get detailed information about my body experience and performance. Suunto’s Movescount provides nice overall view about the data, but much more detailed reporting and analysis can be done on Firstbeat’s Athlete — with is a superb desktop application for any sports geek. Athlete also has a simple training coach function, which creates simple training calendar — putting variance to your target training effects and keeping score on your training load.

I’ve already started to add to my schedule some maximum performance training to push my running technique and speeds up, as well as low performance training in the form of walking and swimming to balance these hard sessions and to get some relief to sore muscles. Backbone of my schedule should still be regular endurance trainings. During these long runs and bicycle trips I finally have time to listen through my Audible library’s books from the ever long todo-list, so a clear win-win-win for me.

We shall see whether my tuneup and usage of all these metrics from just fun towards the improvement goals have any effect.

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