Friday, 14 March 2008

Reading Graphs..

I love my PT and WKO+. A couple of days ago I loaded some ergo files from earlier this year into WKO+ , which deepened the value of the overview graphs. I am now able to see clearly an improvement in power output and fitness between January and very early March. I am also able to see a definite decline in the last two weeks, coinciding with me feeling more tired than usual, and virusy. Going back over my records, and looking at WKO+ I am able to see that the combination of too many nights of 6.5 hours of sleep or less, plus changes to my training workouts have resulted in real fatigue and reduced values in performance. That, combined with 39 degree heat yesterday, prompted me to give myself the night off from racing/training and a sleep in this morning for a total of 8hrs sleep. Today I feel the best I’ve felt in about 10 days, proving the value of rest and enough sleep!

I’ve been studying (ie concerned about!!) my 1 minute maximal power output as recorded in WKO+. It’s very low ie “untrained” in the power profiler, whilst my 5 second, 5 min and FT are much higher (and why is there no 10 min profile??). So after doing some reading and research, I;ve realised that 1 minute power output is not that significant in the greater scheme of things, being neither simply anaerobic or aerobic in mode, but a combination of the two, and when do you ever do a 1 minute sprint? Interestingly enough, however, it has increased over the last few weeks (and my 5 second neuromuscular power has decreased), even though I’ve not specifically targeted it as a “weakness” to train. What this has shown me is that the power profiler, and maximal power values will change according to what workouts an athlete is currently doing. This may sound like common sense (yeah, L, that’s obvious – of course they will change). It shows specifically the physiological changes that occur with particular workouts (and some side effects that may be surprising.. or not!). It highlights also how often do we really pay attention (or CAN pay attention) to the way particular workouts impact our bodies physiologically ie we don’t consistently improve everything, all at once. What this means is that as coaches we can use software such as WKO+ to plan when and how to train particular aspects of athlete fitness (weaknesses and strengths) to end up with the right improvements at the right time ie on race day.


Colin Griffiths said...

When the dashed curves from older workouts start appearing on my MMPC, it nags me to target those areas again. And yes, the benefit of a good nights sleep is amazing. I suffer a lot with poor sleep, expecially if I have trained hard.

Lawrence said...

I just don't go to bed early enough to get up when I do. Need some extra hours in the day. My dotted line is a little out of hand after this weekend's efforts, despite the good work I did! But I know I'll get around to filling in those gaps over time..