Becoming a better athlete isn’t just about putting in the hours. It’s about training with a purpose. To truly maximize the efficiency of each training session, start recording and tracking metrics.
Here are a few reasons using technology in swimming to track metrics is an essential tool to achieving your goals.
Develop Accountability and Consistency
It’s tempting to slack off when you can easily disregard a mediocre workout and forget about it once you’re out of the pool. After all, out of sight, out of mind, right?
Tracking metrics holds you accountable to your own training. It is a concrete reminder that for every training session, each lap in every set counts. You can look back on the data and see how the efforts you’ve put in reflect on your swim. A visual representation of your performance can also trigger your inherent competitiveness to outperform yourself.
Keeping track of metrics also gives you the opportunity to review your sets and exchange insights with your coach. This way, you’re more involved in the process.
Accountability leads to consistency – in showing up for practice and the quality of training put in for the day. Consistency is fundamental to reaching any goal.
Spot Weaknesses / Areas for Improvement
Tracking provides a clear picture of what is going on in a given set as each metric highlights specific aspects of a swimmer’s performance. Does your Distance Per Stroke (DPS) go down whenever your stroke rate increases? How do your turn times today compare to your turn times yesterday? What happens to your stroke index when you kick faster?
Analyzing this data allows you to identify exactly where improvements can be made. The metrics give more detailed information on something your coach may have noticed, or perhaps you had felt while doing a set. More importantly, the metrics reveal areas of improvement, which would have otherwise gone unnoticed. Maybe you’ve plateaued and couldn’t figure out why – tracking metrics will help you locate precisely what you need to work on.
Once you’ve analyzed the data and spotted areas of improvement, you can take actionable steps to isolate weaknesses and focus on developing them.
When it comes to swimming, or any sport for that matter, training smart is arguably the most efficient way to improve. By tracking, you can plan workouts based on the metrics, adjust sets and implement drills targeting specific areas to be improved upon.
Check out this post to see how one of TritonWear’s metrics can be applied.
Another reason to track metrics is so you can track and evaluate your progress. The traditional way of tracking progress through comparing splits or beating personal bests is still valuable. But tracking progress through metrics gives you a deeper understanding of how you got there.
Progress is an excellent motivator, and a visual representation of specific improvements lets you know you are doing something right. This is a great reminder that training pays off, which will undoubtedly increase your motivation to keep going.
It’s also possible to realize you’ve plateaued, or made no progress at all. Don’t let this discourage you. You still have the data. Take a step back, re-evaluate your metrics and make necessary adjustments.
All of this comes down to getting you closer to achieving the goals you’ve set for yourself.
There are 3 types of goals: outcome, performance, and process goals. Read more about these and how to effectively use them in your training here.
Accountability and consistency help with accomplishing process goals. You become mindful of the things you need to do to get to your performance and outcome goals - whether it’s coming to every practice with the proper mindset, supplementing training with proper rest and nutrition, or something else. Being consistent and accountable to your training and overall performance is crucial to achieve your goals.
Identifying weaknesses help with setting performance goals. The metrics show specific areas that need improvement, so you can break down your targets. By basing performance goals on the metrics, you can set specific and realistic goals. And, by training smarter and resolving these weaknesses, you can accomplish the performance goals you’ve set.
At any point, you can track and evaluate your progress to see if you are still going in the right direction or if you need to reassess and make adjustments. Small improvements in individual metrics add up, allowing you to check off performance goals along the way, ultimately leading you to your outcome goal.