Data-driven? Or data collector?

It would be difficult to find someone who doesn’t feel good after realising they have achieved what they have set out for or gone better. Most of us enjoy the feeling of going that little bit faster, finishing that extra rep, setting a new PR, hitting that target you have set for yourself.

It’s also fairly easy to convince yourself that you’ve gotten fitter and faster. Technology has certainly played a massive role in helping us with that. You can now monitor speed, heart rate, power and even your position in real time. If you just started diving in on output measurement, take your time to understand what the numbers really mean and the assumptions that might come with some of them. It’s easy to convince yourself that you now have the physical ability to ride constantly at an average speed of 35km/h when you were sitting in the bunch the entire time, just as an example.

There is also the option to dive a little deeper to find out how your body is responding to physical activity. What used to be only accessible to really highly competitive and/or professional athletes, physiological testing is now more readily available to the masses. But because of its perceived elitist status, it still hasn’t quite caught on with the age-groupers.

“Why would I want to know how efficient my body is in delivering oxygen throughout my body?” If you’re serious about preparing for an event and time-crunched while doing so, it might not be very efficient use of your time if you aren’t working on an aspect which might be holding you back. It’s not often you meet someone who high-fives at the thought of doing something they aren’t particular good at. More often, there is a greater inclination towards the feel-good factor.

With the help of technology, we can now easily get a whole bunch of numbers. But if it was that easy to make any sense or put those numbers into reliable perspective, for them to be of good use, everyone would be a world-class coach or sports science practitioner.

What’s your approach? Are you data-driven? Or a data collector?

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