IronDad – The Metrics

IronDad – The Metrics

The facts:
I am now a dad. All that remains is to do this Ironman thing
Edward: 3 days old, 7lbs-4oz (at birth), papa’s appetite
IM Muskoka: in 21 weeks

All of my coaching clients know how much stock I put in numbers. Heart rate in particular is a tremendously useful performance metric for both running and cycling. It tells me when an athlete is working too hard or not hard enough. It can be indicative of systemic fatigue. It can be a signpost for aerobic adaptation too, signalling a time to shift gears in the training schedule.

Here’s a heart rate versus pace plot from a recent Fartlek run.

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Why am I telling you this?

Turns out that one of the key indicators monitored during labour – this is baby birthing labour here – is foetal heart rate. The unborn child is of course not be in the middle of a threshold run, so his HR is used mostly to monitor his condition during labour. Variability is good, and some drop is expected during contractions.

Here’s a sample

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Having access to and understanding this information really made me feel more a part of the delivery process than I would have otherwise. Big thanks to the hugely patient and accommodating nurses at St Joe’s. Not only did they guide us through the process, but they took the time to answer my myriad of technical questions.

In a completely unrelated fact: at birth, Edward’s head looked super aerodynamic. I was too preoccupied to snap a photo, so here’s a rendering complete with a TT helmet for comparison. Fortunately for him, his skull assumed a more human shape within twenty-four hours.

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