Over the past couple of weeks I have tempted by the dark side.
When I first started out doing triathlon I promised myself it would be under my own steam, without the techno wizardry available to those triathletes who want it.
But over the last couple of weeks I have joined up to a new squad, Turbo Studio, under the tutelage of Danny Moore, with a view to getting in some more specific coaching and guidance for the Ironman.
Danny’s tagline is ‘train smarter not harder’, which gives you a fair indication of how open he is to using new technology to drive performance.
Before I had even signed up, Danny invited me to a demo of the software he uses to track how his squad are progressing toward their particular goals.
It was mental.
He chose one guy in particular, and was able to map every workout he has done over the last 12 months including measurements like elevation, heart rate, power output (and that’s just the stuff I understood, there were things for tracking fatigue and all sorts).
Having all this information, the theory goes, means that Danny is able to get his athletes to peak at exactly the right time for their target races.
My initial reaction to that level of detail was mixed.
One part of me still wants to do it old school, judging my effort levels by how hard I am breathing and how much it hurts. Using all this technology feels a bit like cheating.
Another part of me is terrified that it will make me accountable in every single workout that I do. So not only will I know that I’ve been slacking, so will the boss.
But in spite of these concerns, the fact is, the guys I know who joined the squad a while ago are now completely different athletes to the ones I used to ride with a few months ago. They have come on leaps and bounds precisely because they have been able to track their performance over time and tweak it as they went along.
And given that my ultimate goal is to drag my carcass through an Ironman, I have decided I will take on board any little advantage I possibly can to give myself the best chance of making the finish line.
So while in my youth I was in the pro-rebel camp, in this instance it appears that I am more Anakin than Luke Skywalker. In the quest for improved performance, the pull of the dark side is a strong one.
Is this the start of a very slippery slope?
Highlight of the week: Spent the weekend mountain biking in the blue mountains which was an awesome change from the asphalt. Also managed a run for the first time in weeks. It was only 15 minutes, but it was refreshing to be out there regardless.
Lowlight of the week: Was involved in a crash in centennial park. I managed to come away with little more than a graze and some bruises, but the guy in front of me wasn’t so lucky, a stick in his wheel snapping his forks in two and giving him a suspected broken shoulder. Hope he’s alright!