Thursday, January 17, 2013

Buckman Road - Your own metrics

I'm in Chicago this weekend for TrainingBible Coaching's annual meeting, where we meet as a group of coaches from different areas of the country, and different sports even, (cycling, triathlon, running, combinations of these), and share ideas, discuss different training topics, new technology, and more.

Ryan Bolton, a 2000 Olympic triathlete for the US, is a TrainingBible Coach who gave a free lecture to the community here on the run training group he leads in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which includes many of the top  male and female Kenyans racing the US marathon and half-marathon circuit, (his top female just took 5th at Chicago marathon this year in the mid 2:20's.)

Given that my recent posts deal with metrics, and understanding them, Ryan mentioned a run workout he has the athletes do, where they run a tempo workout on a tough road called Buckman Road, which happens to sit at 8,000ft elevation. Buckman Road may not mean much to you and I, but to Ryan, it is an excellent metric, that after an athlete completes the effort, he can estimate very precisely what their marathon time will be.

We all have our own metrics, much like Ryan created. For you, it might be your neighborhood run loop, where you know when you run it within a certain time, possibly without even trying that hard, or even if a tempo effort, Maybe it's a hill or climb near your house, that you've done a number of times and you're testing your fitness to beat the record you have set.

The important thing is that you have a metric that matters to you, because you probably haven't had a power meter your whole biking life, or a GPS your entire running career, but you know what fast is to you. And when you can break through with that metric, your confidence will soar, and your satisfaction and motivation for training will likely improve as well.

Now imagine when you start looking at more metrics, from data you've collected for years. You can probably guess how much you're going to improve your daily training.

So what is your own personal metric?

Coach Vance

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