As I mentioned in the last post, there is a disconnect among many athletes, high level triathletes especially, that using data or science means you can't go by feel, when actually, going by feel is paramount at the highest level of sport.
When you're trying to eek out the extra half percent to 5 percent, depending on where you sit on the performance continuum, you have to maximize each training day, and a great sense of "feel" for what is best on the day is critical. Everyone is working hard, those are working smartest and getting the most of every session, (BOTH hard AND recovery sessions), are the ones advancing.
Darren Smith, one of the most successful coaches in ITU history, uses his own metrics of having the athlete tell him how they are feeling before each session. They have to have a number to give him, on a scale. This number is 100% feel! It's a metric though that allows Darren to give the right amount of stimulus on the day.
Those of you who don't have a Darren Smith on deck or at your side for each workout need something to help you assess. Knowing your numbers and how they are responding to the training stress you are giving them, is only going to help the feel process, giving more confidence with evidence of what the right decision is, whether to push or back off, what energy system to train, and how much.
Feel is the best way to train for those last few percentages of improvement, but at the highest levels it is crucial to get it right. Margin of error is too small.