The good and bad side of running data


These days, the average runner has more data at their fingertips than ever before. You can get second-to-the-second updates on your pace, cadence, heart rate, and several other metrics right from your watch, and you could spend hours analyzing the results afterward. Data can be a great tool to help you track your progress and guide your training, but relying too much on it can backfire.

Data-informed or data-driven

The distinction between these two training approaches is important and this is where many runners stumble. When your training is data-informed, this means that you consider the metrics you track during your workout (like mileage, pace, cadence, heart rate, sleep, etc.) alongside larger patterns, like how you feel during your workouts. workouts, whether or not you experience any aches, pains, or injuries, and whether you are seeing progress overall.

Ditch the data: can you really train for a marathon goal without a watch?

Many runners try to do this, but end up focusing too much on the numbers, which makes their training a given.led. In this approach, you make adjustments to your training based solely on what your watch tells you on a given day, without considering other factors. This is a very detailed overview of your progress and can often lead to rash decisions that hurt you in the long run.

The reason is that the data often encourages you to focus on micro-trends, rather than the big picture of your progress. This is a problem because when you look at your workout under a microscope, poor workout can seem like a huge problem when in reality it’s just a little hiccup. It is important to remember that progress is never linear and that each training cycle will be characterized by its ups and downs. As long as the overall trend in your training is positive, you know your training is working.

Data doesn’t tell it all

The numbers don’t tell you everything. For example, you can hit your weekly intervals during your workouts and still hit your weekly mileage goals, which suggests that you are adjusting to your workout well and making progress. At the same time, you may feel more and more tired and have to work harder and harder to achieve these goals, or you may develop pain that can lead to injury. Both of these scenarios are red flags that you are not adjusting well to your training, but they won’t show up in your data, at least not right away.

Many runners pay so much attention to data that they forget to actually listen to their body, but it’s important to always consider the numbers you see in the context of how you actually are. feeling when making training decisions.

Note to runners: never rely on your GPS watch during a big city run

Believe it or not, there are runners who don’t use a watch at all, and they swear by it. This doesn’t mean that you should give up your watch entirely, but there are benefits to developing an intuitive sense of how hard you are working, namely that you will be less likely to overdo your training to the point of exhausting yourself or exhausting yourself. To hurt you. So the next time you go for a run and look at your watch to check your data, don’t forget to check with yourself as well.


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