Endurance Innovation 67 – Mikael Eriksson on the Value and Pitfalls of Devices

Endurance Innovation 67 – Mikael Eriksson on the Value and Pitfalls of Devices

Friend of the show, podcaster, and coach Mikael Eriksson joins us this week for a conversation about training devices, tools, and systems that help and those that hinder our training journeys.

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  • 4:00 is training tech driving improvement at high levels of endurance sport?
  • 5:00 proliferation of training data and data acquisition devices helps coaches first, with a trickle-down effect for self-coached athletes
  • 9:30 performance tracking devices (watches / bike computers), heart-rate monitors, and power meters
    • Mostly beneficial in training, but still useful in racing
    • Sensor reliability is affected more in RF ‘noisy’ environments
    • Stryd power meter or well-calibrated footpods can be more accurate for distance and pace
  • 17:45 the value of advanced running and cycling metrics like L/R balance, GCT, stride length, torque smoothness, etc.
    • No evidence-based value in tracking these metrics. No evidence for effective interventions to make positive changes to performance
    • Many of these add-on metrics are marketing tools for product differentiation
  • 28:15 tracking and planning – training diary – programs
    • Essential for any serious athletes
    • Very important to log subjective comments and RPE along with the physiological data pulled from recording devices + sensors
    • Record RPE immediately after the workout
    • Watch / head unit integration is very handy
    • No need for most athletes to delve into high-end analytics packages like WKO and Golden Cheetah
  • 39:30 HRV and other recovery / ‘readiness to train’ tools
    • Useful for trend rather than acute – day-to-day – analysis
    • Some doubts in validity of studies showing efficacy
    • Little value in measuring live or all-day HRV
    • Sleep trackers not accurate and not very useful
  • 50:30 Garmin’s recovery advisor / VO2max / fitness / calorie measurement tools
    • DO NOT USE!
  • 54:45 Michael is not a fan of Strava
  • 57:45 performance testing: lactate / VO2max
    • Find a reputable lab to do any testing, so ask questions and do your homework
    • 4’ minimum step duration for lactate testing. 5’ and 6’ also common
    • Repeatability is key, so try to use the same lab and the same equipment for subsequent tests
    • INSCYD testing is great for repeatability, accessibility, and data quality\
  • 1:08:00 aerodynamic sensors
    • Not yet suitable for individual endurance athletes
    • Other aero testing is potentially very useful
    • A good bike fit goes a long way towards improving aerodynamics
  • 1:13:00 swim video analysis can be quite useful
    • The 4 key views: above, side above water, side below water, front below water

Check out Scientific Triathlon and listen to Mikael’s excellent podcast That Triathlon Show at your favourite provider.

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