Gadget free - rely on our personal feel We live in a world of gadgets. Sport gadgets are really popular and the market is constantly growing. I too was caught up with sport watches during my study days and right after earning my kinesiology diploma. There was even an obligation on my Faculty to use a sport watch as a student. Of course, scientific, data based approach is something normal to sport scientists. Sport watches and other gadgets should be a necessity for a young aspiring coach. This is the way to identify and develop better athletes. Gadgets will make them even better….at least that was served to us by the sport scientists and a large industry behind it.
Early on, I found out that these watches/gadgets weren’t perfect: you always needed an extra time to adjust/calibrate and to be sure everything is working properly. I had a few sport watches and they all had different issues. It annoyed me so much that I started going out and to train without them more often. Pretty soon I realized that training without constantly measuring something was fun and without boundaries.
The “Big Change” My different “gadget free” approach was on the way, and I stopped relying on sport gadgets almost entirely. I was already working as a triathlon coach with a small, young squad. We relied on our personal feel and trained pretty simple with everything going well. Results were good and eventually got even better. Realizing that we can achieve something without gadgets was inspiring and motivating but as a young coach I needed confirmation of that approach. So, I started searching all over the web and found out that there was actually a small number of coaches who had a similar approach. The best confirmation came few years ago, after attending Trisutto camp for athletes and coaches where sessions were simple and almost entirely without gadgets. Trisutto approach was a worthy confirmation and provided me with an extra self esteem in my work. At this point I was sure that basing the training on the athletes’ feedback and coach’s perception could provide the very best results.
Training by feel Only gadget that me and my athletes use is a stopwatch. No heart rate monitors, no power meters and so on… We are training by relying on our feel. As simple as that. Some athletes have really good feel about what they are doing and some of them are really awful in this. But, experience show that if they invest time and patience, they quickly realize all the benefits of it. Developing and learning without sport gadgets is not easy for some, but they do understand that knowing yourself is an asset which can be put to good use. You will quickly learn what is easy, what is moderate and what is hard. You don’t need a watch to tell you that. For sure your very smart watch won’t recognize when you feel awful and you need to change your session, the watch will just “demand “ the numbers.
Feel free and have some fun Have fun in your training and try to enjoy every session, even if you feel bad. For me, gadget free training provides me with more freedom, and training sessions are more enjoyable and acceptable. Believe me, you will feel like crap when you are not hitting your numbers on your gadget. Bad weather, bad gadget setup, lack of sleep and a ton of other factors can influence the numbers on your gadget, and in these situations only you and your coach can adequately adapt your training accordingly. Only then will you definitely know how to act in a race even if you are not firing your best ammunition on a given day.