Science of STM

. The ability of an instructor or coach to clearly communicate with the athlete is dependent on the accuracy of the data collected

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In the Beginning

The first data collection for endurance athletes started decades ago when the rider would go outside and ride until they could not ride any longer. The athlete probably kept some type of log book where all ride names, times, distances & ride descriptions were recorded. The athlete could make notes on how the athlete felt before, during & after the ride. This log book journal would be all the data that they had.  “Give it all-ya-got” or “Just take it easy on the hills” were two ways the coach would communicate with the rider. Not the clearest directions I have ever heard, but that’s about all they had.

Then came Heart Rate

The first wireless EKG heart rate monitor was invented in 1977 by Seppo Säynäjäkangas, as a training aid for the Finnish National Cross Country Ski team. Now the heart rate of the athlete could be studied. Many new companies jumped in the heart rate monitor for the athlete business over the years. I bought a heart rate monitor the first month I started riding and have used them ever since. A great feature of the heart rate monitor that I bought was that I could upload all the data from my ride to my computer. Data collection became super easy and accurate. The number of times the heart beat in one minute would become the standard measurement. The athlete could discuss how many beats per minute, BPM, were required to perform a certain task. Heart Rate is the number of beats per minute your heart is beating.  It can be measured at the wrist or via a heart rate strap (recommended) worn around the chest. Two important heart rate measurements are maximum heart rate and resting heart rate.  Resting heart rate is taken when you are lying or sitting down when you are moving as little as possible.  If taken regularly in the morning, it can be an indicator of overall fitness improvements or of over training.  Everybody’s heart, no matter how hard you are trying, can only beat so fast. That is your maximum heart rate. Your heart rate would be at 100%. The maximum volume of blood your heart can pump through your body is at your 100% heart rate. The use of heart rate became a much better way for the athlete to communicate because data was reliable, data could be collected very easily and data could be analyzed super easy. This data is better than RPE, however, due to several external influences, the heart rate may vary from day to day. Amount of sleep, diet and current stress levels are some of the factors that may affect the heart rate. The maximum heart rate gradually slows with age. The most popular way to guess at your maximum heart rate is the formula   220 minus your age = your maximum heart rate. A 40 year old person would be 220 – 40 = 180 BPM Another issue about heart rate is that your heart reacts to the needs of the body. That is, the heart will only pump faster if you ride faster. You can not make your heart all the sudden start pumping really fast sitting still. You first need to start riding and then the heart will start to pump faster. The heart beat is a reaction to your effort and so is a lagging indicator. This was the latest and best way to communicate, so that’s what I used. My first year of riding was based on my heart rate.

The Perfect Surrounding

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Fine Food Cuisine

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