Fitness Stats? - CycleBlaze

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Fitness Stats?

Graham Smith

On my last tour I didn’t even use a basic odometer. I didn’t accurately measure any ride stats such as average speed, min & max speed etc. Just daily ride distances worked out from Google Maps and road signs.

But I did use my newest toy, a Garmin watch, to measure body stats such heart rate, calories, respiration, sleep and so on. The watch detects a range of body functions and uploads them to my phone. 

For the first time, I’ve included some of the stats in my journal. There were no real surprises, except the watch sensors say my sleep was fairly poor throughout the tour.

The graph which most caught my attention is the heartbeat rate over several weeks. It is an accurate indicator of riding hours and even topography.

No doubt the novelty will wear off, but it’s been fun measuring something new about a cycle tour.

Is anyone else as eccentric as me in measuring such things on tour? 

Heart beat rate over the past month including a 17 day cycle tour.
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1 month ago
John PescatoreTo Graham Smith

I've long been a data junkie - back in the early 70s I rigged up a mechanical turns counter on my front fork that had enough digits to divide by 40,000 or so and tell me how many miles I went, at least up to 24 miles or so...

In modern times, I use a Wahoo Element and all rides (local and any touring) get uploaded to Strava, which gives you a look at any/all data (like heart rate, cadence, etc.) you care to feed it and gives you a calculated "Fitness Level" that looks like the figure below.

I'm generally don't do any formal training but back in 2019 I rode in the two day Seattle to Portland 209 mile ride.  I did a little structured training and it seemed to pay off - I felt better after 120/89 mile consecutive days than on previous tours with multiple 60/70 mile consecutive days.

That contrasts with my very competitive and apparently unscrupulous daughter. Her office bought them all FitBits and they had a web page where they could see who took the most steps. My daughter found she could win by throwing her FitBit in a tumble in her clothes drier set on a cool cycle...

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1 month ago

Bob DistelbergTo Graham Smith

Like John, I'm addicted to data, wearing a Garmin watch to track overall health trends, as well as using an Edge 530 along with a heart rate strap to track my daily rides (mileage, pace, average HR, etc). I could see an argument for stepping away from all that detail on a long tour, but for the short overnights I've done, I've kept track of all the numbers. Let's be honest. I don't think I could give it up even for a long tour. Like I said, addicted. 

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1 month ago
Mike AylingTo Graham Smith

Mary went to a talk on diabetes last night.

I need an app which talks to me at the coffee shop.

"Mate, do you know how much sugar is in that large slice of carrot cake you just ordered? You gonna die!"

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1 month ago
Graham SmithTo Mike Ayling

Mike I wouldn’t be surprised if modern Smartphones are spying on what we eat. They certainly seem to overhear what we say and hear.

I’m pleased to say I resisted the urge to eat too many sticky treats, meat pies nor drink any alcoholic drinks on this last tour. 

I even managed to lose a kg. And I reduced my weight by 5kg in the training before the tour. Less body weight certainly made the riding easier.

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1 month ago
Graham SmithTo Bob Distelberg

Thanks Bob and John for the assurance that I’m not the only fitness stat obsessive cycle tourer. Mind you, I’ll probably gradually lose interest fitness stats like I did in gathering ride stats. except distance.

Part of the challenge of modern cycle touring is charging gadgets each day. My charging priorities are phone and rear flashing light. Thankfully the Garmin watch charge lasts a week or more, so it’s not much of a chore.

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1 month ago
Larry MitchellTo Graham Smith

Does have cycling logs and data all the way back to 1998 count?  Currently the Apple Watch and a few apps does all the work for me now.

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1 month ago
Graham SmithTo Larry Mitchell

Larry you win :) 

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1 month ago
John PescatoreTo Graham Smith

When I started on Strava, I finally deleted a giant decades-old spreadsheet I had moved from PC to PC over many years, for no really good reason!

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1 month ago
Bob DistelbergTo Larry Mitchell

Larry, 1998 is pretty impressive. I do keep a spreadsheet in addition to data on Garmin Connect and Strava, but it only goes back to 2012. As Graham said, you definitely win. 

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1 month ago