I am a numbers person. I always love to review my data to see my run splits, averages, distances, FTP, CP, Kj, etc.
This is who I am.
With a coach, he would tell me what to aim for X number of watts for Y number of minutes, and I would follow it. So I relied on him to do the numbers work for me. I would say it worked as he got me pretty fast on the bike over the last two seasons.
Now it is my turn to use the numbers to my advantage.
I have the Garmin 800. It is great at spitting out loads of data, but stupid me, I had no idea there was a firmware upgrade that could then show off real time TSS, IF, % of FTP, NP. DATA!!!! After this firmware upgrade, suddenly there was a new thrill of riding the bike......looking at, ready?, DATA!!!!
I guess with 5 seasons under my belt and now having done ever major distance of triathlon at least twice, I am looking for new ways to reinvent my motivation in this sport.
I have owned WKO+ for at least 1.5 years now and I have barely used it. What is the point of using a power meter on the bike if you have been using it as a gigantic feedback computer? Well, that is not fair, I have been using it for FTP and then using a % of FTP to aim for in the 70.3 and 140.6 distances. (Listening to those numbers is another matter....)
But what I want to do next year is to pay closer attention to my training load and its resulting stress.
With a power meter for the bike, and a HR meter on the run, WKO+ is able to calculate your TSS, or Training Stress Score for you. You can read more about TSS here. But what about the swim? There are no swim "power meters" or any meter for that matter that gauges your output. Fortunately TrainingPeaks came up with something (that is better than nothing!) to roughly gauge your TSS. You can read about it here.
So now that I can quantify my output of all three disciplines in this sport and track it, there is now some new motivation to see improvement.
In order to more accurately calculate your TSS, you need to retest your disciplines to find your threshold pace. For the swim, it is your T-Pace. For the bike, it is your FTP. For the run, it is your threshold HR.
Testing = motivation for me. It also breaks up the monotony of training.
Testing = goals. Goals = MORE motivation.
These are good things!
I have realized over the this past season, now that I have completed every major distance at least twice, that my motivation for this sport is no longer about accomplishing a new distance, nor is it about PR-ing a distance. It is about placing.
Every race course is different. Of course you will go faster on a flatter course vs a hillier course. Its gravity at work here! So instead of worrying about a time, it is time to start "racing."
One of the greatest things my coach told me at the start of an Olympic race back in June is this: "Jon, don't just go for a PR. You are racing now!"
Now I pray to God my job doesn't eat me alive first and I can actually fit in some decent volume next season!