Creating A Training Feedback Loop

Creating A Training Feedback Loop

Mike Doane, the USA Triathlon Resident Program swim coach and 2007 USA Triathlon Coach of the Year, coached Andy Potts to gold at the 2007 Pan American Games, victory at the 70.3 World Championships and USA Triathlon Elite National title in 2004 using some unusual – but intelligent – feedback training.

Popular Science reported that Andy’s training based on a constant monitoring of wattage (the power Potts’s body produces), cadence (the tempo of his arm and leg movements) and heart rate.

Unlike pool swimmers, they do not train based on lap times or mileage or training schedules planned months in advance. Mike and Andy only make training decisions based on biological data. “Mike and I talk a lot about engines,” Andy told Popular Science. “In auto racing, you want to put out the highest amount of power with the least amount of fuel. We do the same thing. My heart and lungs are my engine. The goal is to always increase the efficiency of the engine.”

Mike explains that he wants to increase Andy’s aerobic capacity, power output and lactate threshold, without overtraining. Fascinating approach and entirely applicable to the sport of open water swimming.

Photo by John B. Carnett

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