Talk data to me!
From the moment I started using the Garmin Instinct I have been obsessed with all the data!
From my sleeping pattern, heart rate and to distance covered, I’m able to track all the information I need to make informed decisions.
For example, I have been able to add 30 minutes of sleep on average per night. I was feeling tired but I didn’t know I was sleeping so few hours each night until I started tracking it. This extra snooze time thanks to the data has made a lot of difference in how I feel and how I perform both at work and in the saddle.
Not only this, I’m now training to ensure a lower heart rate while running. A lower heart rate is best for endurance as it helps minimizing the fatigue you’ll feel after your workout (no matter the type). During a 240km-riding weekend
for instance, my average heart rate was 117 beats per minute during the 2nd 60km leg. I want to be able to lower this and so I can now train towards this goal with Sufian, my personal trainer. My average resting heart rate started at around 49/50 bpm at the beginning of February and I’m now around 46/47bpm, so I can see a real progress here.
I have also discovered that my heart rate doesn’t necessarily increase along with the speed of the horse. I thought the two would be correlated, but in general it is not. My heart rate would generally go higher when I’m trotting and have to maintain a constant rhythm, meaning I have to work with the horse slightly more than regular riding. Some of the horses I ride need a bit more effort to get them going and that’s when I see the heart rate goes up, but for those who just go and canter easily, my heart rate would not increase with the speed.
Another great benefit of tracking everything is that my personal trainer and sports performance nutritionist receive the information of everything I do almost all the time, so they also have a better understanding of the effort I am putting in and the energy I will require.
Finally, with both a phone app and desktop version, I easily have access to the data on my phone or I can spend time crunching numbers on my laptop (nerd alert!). I didn’t know I would love it so much, but it has become a key part of my training. I had no idea how essential I would find it in training and performing better.
During my long-distance riding weekend, it became low on battery and I started freaking out because I didn’t want to loose any of the data that I would accumulate during the weekend. It’s funny how I went from not monitoring these elements to not being able to live without them.
Since being aware of this, I’ve met so many people who also own a Garmin watch and swear by it. Last Thursday, I met an eminent cardiologist and biomedical engineer here in Singapore and he was raving about it. Obviously, we talked about heart rate and he mentioned the importance of monitoring any abnormal bpm as well as key health factors, such as physical activities and sleep. So, if the doctor recommends it, I’m all for it!
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