Are we experiencing data overload?
From workout to sleep to sweat volume to HRV, an athlete can measure just about everything. Tom and Kenny talk about how data can be a great tool but also can lead to detrimental effects.
Do you think we are in data overload?
Welcome to the athletes in motion podcast from race to recovery. With your hosts, Tom Regal, and Kenny Bailey.Kenny Bailey<br>:
Hey, Tom, how are you?Tom Regal:
I'm fantastic. Kenny, how are you?Kenny Bailey<br>:
I am doing fantastic. Thank you for asking. So today's one of our aim sprint episodes where we take a topic kind of just dig into it for a little bit. And the topic I want to dig into is around data. Yeah, so I love data. Data for me is something that I crave. So I have goggles that do a heads up display that gather data, algal smart dog, I have a Garmin watch that I live by, I have data on my bike, you can now get data, which I don't do, but you can do data to sleep. Right. So or rings and other things to check your sleep check your breathing, check your resting heart rate. I know people that actually buy the spirometer is to check your oxygen levels first. Right wake up in the morning and check your blood pressure. Yeah. There's a skin patches, a couple skin patches that are now new oneTom Regal:
that's just out there doing hydration tracks your hydration while you're training. Fantastic. Yeah.Kenny Bailey<br>:
Then then becomes a problem. There's a and this is kind of what we were talking about today, just sort of there's data overload. There's too much we maybe as endurance athletes, as just as normal people, right, I have a we have a friend of ours that if she doesn't get her 10,000 steps in that day, she doesn't feel like your day is complete. Yeah. So I think data is fantastic to have to try to figure out sort of major issues. But I think there's a problem where people start relying on data so much that they're they forgot about what they call RPE or rate of perceived effort. Yes. It feels like that we forgot how it feels like to feel.Tom Regal:
Yeah, I think we did we detach ourselves from that. And in a big way. Because there's so much data, if I looked at my Garmin watch over the last month and a half of training, everything whether I was walking the dog or actually physically training for something, it was unproductive. Yes, now it's stepped up to maintaining, I don't know what that means. I'm, you know, I'm guessing my zones are off, I just haven't I just capture the data. So I can look at it afterwards. But it's gotten insane. Because you have to run with your phone. Now you have to have your phone all the time. So you can watch your real time data. I haven't found anyone that really can explain what heart rate variability is. But they track that number exact right. And they think they're, they think they're working on that. And but they you know, they come to me like, I don't know what I'm doing. I'm just gonnaKenny Bailey<br>:
talk about my SWOL score. Yeah, I'mTom Regal:
just gonna talk to you about that. Yeah, I mean, it's gotten to a point where it's just, I mean, I think we need to, it's great. Yeah. And I'm really excited about the hydration one. We might do a whole little, little absolute podcast on that just because the company Nix that came out that that did this is neat. And I have one I'm going to test it there. So we can we can see what assume and once again, you have to have your phone with you. Because you can drink. And then you can add to it. Right, I took in six ounces. Okay, and then it recalculates, and it bases your sweat rate. That's awesome. It's good data to have, but we need to we need to get back in touch with our rate or rate of perceived exertion orKenny Bailey<br>:
Yeah, and I think to give you an example, right, so my first half Ironman that I did was in Muncie. I wanted to stick between 160 and 180 watts on the bike. Yeah. Despite how I felt, right, it Yeah. Just it was a number that I was supposed to get within a range. So I went hard on a bike between 160 180 Watts absolutely blew myself up because I stopped drinking fluids. Because I figured a little bit of a little bit of nutrition is good. A lot of nutrition must be better. And so now I was just drinking like liquid goo not actual watts. I just stopped drinking. Yeah, so what I did is I turned off my brain that would actually think and thought, Oh, I'm just gonna stick to a number, blew myself up and ended up walking half of the half marathon because I was just absolutely toasted. I mean, I got off the bike going, Oh, my, I've got a half marathon to run and I'm yeah, you're bloated and yeah. You hydrated? I don't you know, just everything was bad. Because I stuck to because I've talked to a number. Yeah. And I know as your coach you, you, you have to put data and you have to put numbers in so you can kind of get a sense of what's going on.Tom Regal:
Right. I have to look at the data, but we need a perspective on it. Yeah.Kenny Bailey<br>:
So as a as a person that you know, watches this stuff. You know, I remember I got a training. This is years ago but I got a training law coming in it says, you know, Okay, welcome, we're gonna start up your up your Ironman distance, we're gonna get ready to go. Your first swim is going to be like 3500 yards, and I'm like, four months, and I was pissed not at. It was 30 I was mad at that, but I knew I wasn't gonna hit that number. I just knew it. And so my day was ruined based on a number that was just artificially put on a on a training plan that I didn't hit. Yeah, so that day, I was pissy all day, because I did like 1200. And I'm like, well, it doesn't matter. I'm not gonna hit the 35. I'm just gonna go do a little bit and be Yeah. But it ruinedTom Regal:
it. Right? Yeah, mentally checked her out.Kenny Bailey<br>:
Like, well, what's the rest of the week gonna look like, you know, anyway, so. So as a coach, how do you? How do you take data in and what do you what do you want? And what don't you want?Tom Regal:
It's, I like to look at the data, but I try to tie it to the rate of perceived exertion so that I don't want you as an athlete, staring at your power meter. Unless we're doing specific workouts, right? There's specific workouts that we want you to be at certain targets, right? But for 80% of the time, I want you out there going and I want you to tell me how you feel. And then I'm going to look at the data that's captured afterwards, I'm gonna say, okay, is he saying he feels like crap, but his data says that he's doing okay, so we know we're okay. If he says he's doing good and the data is off, it's backwards, then we it starts to give us ideas that maybe you're overstressed or overtrained. It kind of gives us hints for things like that. But it's nice to have a little targets to get to. But, and certainly you want to do all of that before you get into a race and have your targets, right. We want to know what your sweat rate is, we won't be able to do that. But we need to we need to look at individually. And then we need to look at it and perspective and the big in the big picture. But ultimately, if your numbers are slightly awkward, you feel really good. And you know, was it the environment? Was it the day? Was it the wind? Yeah, all of that kind of comes into play. And it's nice to have the data to kind of refer back to but have you just stare at that workout and just do that tastes kind of the fun out of it. I mean, yeah, you need to look around and enjoy yourself. If you're not enjoying yourself, then we're doing this wrong, right? None of us are getting paid for it. Like unless you're a professional then yet don't enjoy yourself, just crush it right, you get out there, you're going to earn your paycheck, the rest of us are just kind of, we're just going along just to have some fun and challenge ourselves. So it'd be neat to push ourselves, but we need to, we need to back some of that data off, they're not not add to our stress by staring at the data. Yeah, so explain to folks what RPE is. So your rate of perceived exertion should be it's based on a scale of one to 1010 being you absolutely are just going dizzy and fallen over a five as you can have a conversation. So a five is a nice easy zone to you're cruising along, your heart rate is very, very mild, it's like 80% of your workout should be kind of in this zone where you can have a conversation while you're running or riding. Not swimming, don't have a conversation when please don't that would be dangerous. But basically you're just in an easy mode. And then as you bump up, it gets worse. So if you're an RPE of eight, then you're having not a full sentence, but chunks. Nine, you're getting a couple of words out, like I said 10 You're probably cross eyed at this point, and very few of our workouts actually take you to attend because that's almost pass out level. Yeah. So your, your intervals should be pushing you to an eight, maybe a nine, and you're only there for certain points, and you're coming back down again. So we call those over unders as well. So you set your threshold level. And then from there, you can base your your power on the bike, or you can Vamp your your heart rate for running and go through that.Kenny Bailey<br>:
Yeah, and I think that's unfortunately, it's a it's a it's not a hard data, right. It's what your perception is of how you feel. Yes, but it's a it's a data point nonetheless. Yes. Right. And I think that's the part where by no means am I saying throw away data. I think on a fun day, you should throw away your data. Right? You should run without a watch once in a while. You should ride a bike.Tom Regal:
Absolutely. Yeah, we definitely like to put those in. But here's here's an interesting one. So to was racing Miami, the 70.3 I believe it was and he wasn't feeling good. So his his rate of perceived exertion was was off his body felt off. But he was still pushing 340 watts on the bike. So he's cruising along. Well, it turns out that he's having a massive heart attack while he's actually doing this thing. So you know, listen to your body. I mean, listen, listen and go what if I feel that bad? And he felt that bad? Yeah. And he was still able to finish the bike, finish the run and then still felt like crap and took himself to the hospital and it turns out he was having a massive heart attack. So it would have been like any the rest of us we wouldn't have made it through the bike weKenny Bailey<br>:
would have died. Yeah. And I think that's, that's extreme example, that's anTom Regal:
extreme example, but listen to your body in the sense that like if you You feel absolutely horrible. We need to look at the data, we need to go back and refer to that and say, Hey, maybe maybe we need some days off or in the middle of the race, you have to, you know, make a decision on that.Kenny Bailey<br>:
Yeah. And I think that's what's I mean, to me, it's sort of like data is incredibly important to make sure you understand what's going on, that is incredibly important to during training, to see where you're at. But in race day, you know, it is absolutely to me, I tip over on RPE, because there's so many variables that's going on that day. You know, I did, California, right. And that's a whole different state. I'm sitting here in Tennessee, trying to figure out what California is going to feel like, I had no idea what the river is going to feel like, what the temperature is going to be like, the hydration, the wind was ridiculous that day, I mean, all sorts of stuff that goes on. And if I stared at my data the whole time, you know, it would have been a different race. I mean, to me, it's, it becomes a secondary thing. Important, right? I want to see, you know, I want to see sort of what's going on and see the time and you know, okay, I think it's about an hour and a half, I need to start refueling that kind of thing. But it's, it's how I'm feeling during the race is going to decide how that race goes. Yeah,Tom Regal:
that's ultimately what's going to want to be there. Yeah. So and it's, it's good to have the data. We definitely like the data, but we just need to detach from it, I think.Kenny Bailey<br>:
Yeah. And I think that's, I think that's a key message for today is to just, you know, once in a while when you do your run, or if you're on your bike, you know, put your your whatever data device, put it in your back pocket, go do it and then look at it afterwards. You may be surprised. You may be surprised your heart rates, not where it was, it's lower, you may be surprised your speedTom Regal:
might have went a little faster. along and get into his own.Kenny Bailey<br>:
Yeah, because Exactly. Because your watches, you know, like my watch will beep if I'm at a certain heartbeat or my watch will beep at a certain distance. And I'm checking my watch at the end of the mile marker to see if that's fast enough. And I Oh, geez. I gotta go faster. Yeah, it's always I gotta go faster. Yeah. But yeah, just put it away and just kind of enjoy it. You know, data is good when you need it. But it's, it's I think it's becoming a little too much aboutTom Regal:
everything. It's we can we can certainly make it overkill. Yeah, we can certainly make it overcoat overkill. So we need to use it as a tool, but not get so buried in it that we're just like we're missing the bigger picture. Yep. So, so. So cool. So hope you enjoyed this. We've got a few more of these coming up that we're mixing in and doing some stuff. So we want to thank the coffee, the coffee house here at second Umbridge. That's where we're at. We love this place. Enjoy the coffee the food's good, too. Absolutely. Please reach out and give us comments and all of that good stuff. fivestars thumbs up. We've got links down below to the website. We've got some fun stuff coming up this year. Yes, we tap in this one out yet. You want to you want to tell them about the rebranding? We're doing? Yes.Kenny Bailey<br>:
So we have got ourselves a brand new brand. So youTom Regal:
might have noticed when this podcast popped up that it looked a little different. So hope you like it. Give us some feedback. Absolutely.Kenny Bailey<br>:
Yeah, we're pretty excited about it. We we spent a couple of weeks on just sort of a brand exercise with a with an online website. They had a whole bunch of artists come in and be able to bid on the on the brand. We had a ton of fun doing. Yeah, it was cool. And we think it was a great brand. So yeah, I'd love to get your feedback onTom Regal:
that. Yes, please give us some comments. If you're watching this on YouTube, comment down below. We'll have some links in there. We have a new website that'll be coming up soon. If not, when this episode is up, it'll be shortly after which we'll have a little bit more ways for you to comment and get back to it. So we're trying to open that up. So we get more community and we get more comments coming in. We'll be a Facebook page. And we'll probably start a Facebook group inside of that as well. So we just want to get the conversation going on and hear what you feel. So please reach out to us, let us know. And that's it. Thanks, Kenny. And until the next time, we'll catch you on the next one.