I am a big proponent of data, and data collection in training. Many times I find more and more instances where the collection of data and the ability to refer back to it has made me a better coach. This past week, it even made me a better athlete. Allow me explain...
I have been back at training, and this past week really hit me hard. My times in the pool were not good, some of my runs were snail's pace, just from fatigue. I always collect run pace and bike power data into WKO+, and track the weekly Training Stress Scores, (TSS). Here is actually all the TSS scores from my last complete season, 2008, broken down by week: (Click on image to enlarge)
And here is the weekly Training Stress Scores for the 2010 season so far, broken down by week: (Again, click on image to enlarge)
As you can see, I have one recent week which the TSS was very high for the bike and run. Add in the fact that I was sick the week before, (much lower TSS before it), and that this TSS does not include weight training or swimming, and its easy to assume the stress was even higher than the 1098 TSS it listed.
But when I made a comparison with the 2008 season, there were only 8 weeks that entire season which had a higher TSS score. Even though I may not be as fit as that season yet, that doesn't mean I am not projecting myself to similar workloads and training stress, relative to my fitness level.
This was good to see, and it has kept my attitude positive, seeing that I am working hard, rather than focusing on the negatives of some workouts which haven't gone as well as I have hoped. And low and behold, today was my best run of the season.
If you're not tracking data, or at least your training in a general log, you're missing an opportunity to be objective with yourself, compare directly with other seasons, and even the ability to maintain a positive attitude in your training when things aren't going well.
If you want to learn more about tracking these types of things in training, check out some of my webinars on WKO+ at PerformanceWebinars.com.