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Getting my head out of the way
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I have seen where some pro's don't race with a power meter or HR and go by feel. With all the data and structure coaching out there I thought that was odd until, as my coach told me, "your head is getting in the way".

I'm 52 and my coach has given me what I thought are some god-awful run workouts from time to time. Stuff like .5 mile at a 8:30 pace decreasing pace every .5 miles to a 5:23 pace at the end of a two mile interval. I have not hit the 5:25 pace at last .5 mile interval usually topping out at a 6:15ish pace at the end and wanting to throw up.

I whined to him saying that my 52 year old legs will not move that fast and I can't hit that number. He told me to turn off pace and gave me a set HR to run at for an hour. We did this for 3 workouts and my avg. pace for 1 hour was 6:53.

His conclusion was my head was focusing on the pace numbers and not what my legs could actually do.

Do other people have this problem and train from time to time without "numbers"?
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Re: Getting my head out of the way [Scottxs] [ In reply to ]
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Funny part in that story is that it took you training to a specific data "number" (HR value) to prove the point!?!

Are there times when you ignore the number or "dont care". I'd absolutely say that, it's good to at times just leave the garmin at home or not worry about it. I also think as a coach you have to setup your athlete for success and it sounds like the coach failed more than you did imo with the specifics of the workout you prescribed.

For me it's more in the pool that drives me crazy when I see athletes looking at the garmin for the interval instead of the big ass clock around them.

-USAT L2 coach, M.S. Exercise Physiology
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Re: Getting my head out of the way [Scottxs] [ In reply to ]
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My coach sometimes gives me workouts that seem too ambitious to me and I am pretty sure I will not be able to hit the pace or power assigned. But usually, it turns out the he is right, and I can do it. I have a lot of experience in pushing hard as an endurance athlete, so in the heat of a hard effort, I can read how I'm feeling pretty well and trust that over the numbers against which I may be prejudiced. I think it takes a lot of efforts on the edge of your ability to develop that trust.

In racing, percieved effort is very important - more so than in training. In training I pretty much always try to hit the numbers. In racing, the numbers are more like a limit, but power and pace should always be moderated by my perceived effort. On the bike, my power "target" is more like an upper limit. It is the highest I will allow, even if I think I feel awesome. If I do not feel awesome, I do not feel bad about backing off. It does not mean I will have a bad race. I've had several races where the power numbers just were not there, so I raced lower power on perceived effort and the results at the end of the day were good. Same thing with running, at least in the first half of the run - target pace is do not exceed. In the second half of the run, I will start to really be able to gauge if I have it in me to go faster than the target and then I will allow myself to push beyond the plan.

So racing without power or pace I think can make sense because perceived effort is the most important. For training, I think trying to nail the paces or power is more important.

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Ed O'Malley
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VeloVetta is developing AERO cycling shoes with CFD and wind tunnel testing.
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Re: Getting my head out of the way [B_Doughtie] [ In reply to ]
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B_Doughtie wrote:
Funny part in that story is that it took you training to a specific data "number" (HR value) to prove the point!?!

Yea I thought about that too but to me HR is a range of number. I can't run and stay at a set HR. It fluctuates and rebounds too much. HR is not a guessing game but its not as "on point" as power.
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Re: Getting my head out of the way [Scottxs] [ In reply to ]
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I think if you've got a lot of years of training under your belt (you know your body), then you can mete out your effort i.e. "can I sustain this effort level for the next 6km or 30 min" etc.... without the use of a watch/data.

_________________________
27 years and counting
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Re: Getting my head out of the way [Scottxs] [ In reply to ]
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Scottxs wrote:
Do other people have this problem and train from time to time without "numbers"?

I don't look at numbers until afterwards. I prefer to have my attention on the sensation of the effort.

Once you get PE calibrated, it works pretty well. But a number may work better for some people. I get the impression that many people calibrate PE based on a level of discomfort/pain, but that is influenced too much by mental mediation and mood. The signals that tell you how close you are to your limit are more subtle than that.
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Re: Getting my head out of the way [Scottxs] [ In reply to ]
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Yes, happens to me too. Best trainer session was when my coach told me not to think. Finally was able to push past the pain and get in the zone; i was in a trance and it was amazing
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Re: Getting my head out of the way [Scottxs] [ In reply to ]
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If I feel like I'm in good shape, I race without a watch or any other measuring device. I just GO. Over the years, I have found this gives me the best results, because otherwise my brain might limit my "true abilities".
I use the measuring devices (HR, Power, etc) during training, but I skip them for racing my A races. Works for me....
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Re: Getting my head out of the way [RowToTri] [ In reply to ]
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RowToTri wrote:
My In racing, the numbers are more like a limit, but power and pace should always be moderated by my perceived effort. On the bike, my power "target" is more like an upper limit. It is the highest I will allow, even if I think I feel awesome.

I like this idea.....Thanks!
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