Garmins, Gadgets and Geeking out as a Triathlete

Don’t you think that triathletes are pretty fashion conscious bunch? They dress well, and are typically pretty aware of the newest and coolest gadgets out there that will help their chosen sport be more “fun”.

Even those who know me well and love me would collapse in hysterics of laughter if I claimed I was fashion conscious. But… I do LOVE some of the super cool gadgets out there.

Take this offering for example, a US company called Everysight are seeking pre purchase orders for their Raptor glasses. These bad boys display your cadence, power, speed, GPS route and pretty much anything you want within the lens of the glasses. No looking down at your Garmin anymore!

However, could it be that we are too conscious of our gadgets and Garmins? Are we a slave to our power meter? Are we out there to look cool or be Strava KOM? Or should we be focussing on training our bodies and minds for the next race?

You know your own training and racing goals better than I do.

What I have learned is that human performance is a matching of our body’s physical capacity with our mind’s ability to drive the body – often despite great physical discomfort and the desire to stop.

Personally, I use my Garmin for recording data that I can use later, but prefer the Garmin between my ears for sustainable training. If you are thinking that “there is no one right way to train” then I think your are correct.

We all have training sessions, based on a written training programme somebody (or ourself) provided, right?

When the session says easy, that means at a pace where easy conversation is possible (assuming you arent swimming of course!) and you perhaps feel almost embarrassed at how slow you are going (our head can say “this isnt training…….”). A Garmin easy paced run at 5am in the morning is likely not easy in reality when it is 35 celsius out there. But Garmin can’t distinguish the difference.

Moderate effort means – well a significant step up from that but sustainable for quite a long time.

Hard means REALLY hard and you have a significant desire to stop because things are hurting quite a bit.

A lot of reasssurance is to be gained from knowing that even in the event of your Garmin not being charged the night before a race and going flat halfway through (I am looking at you, Jordan) or the power meter deciding it hates performing in the rain (Travis) your internal Garmin is familiar at judging power, judging effort, judging speed because you have practiced using this internal Garmin every day.

It also gives a signifiant sense of confidence that you have found your own personal zone where your mind will control your body – at your current fitness, strength and skill level.