Today, watches, heart rate monitors and GPS mean you can gather a large amount of training data. It is still necessary to know how to use this and manage your training sessions. Bertrand, "electronic" product manager at Quechua helps you to better understand how to manage your training.
> What is the point of managing your training sessions?
First of all, managing your training helps you to get the best performance out of your body when you need it, during a flagship competition of the season for example. There is no point being at the top of your form one month before, or one month after the challenge.
Also, it allows you to prepare yourself in the best possible way for all the different parts of the envisaged competition. In fact, for a long mountain challenge for example, runners must have enough endurance to keep going until the end, a strong heart to bear the hard work on the hills and thighs to cope with the long descents. When you manage your training, you combine different types of sessions (endurance, speed and muscular resistance) through which, in the long term, the body will be prepared to conquer the whole challenge.
Finally, managing your training, means training less but more effectively. It is more motivating, it limits the risk of injury and fatigue due to over-training.
> What is the principle behind managing training sessions?
The principle behind managing training sessions means on the one hand increasing the volume and intensity of the workouts, up to two to three weeks prior to a competition, and on the other hand varying different sessions during the week . Thus, broadly speaking, you could do an endurance session, a resistance session and an intensity session.
Caution! Don't forget rest, which is part of training: a rest between two sessions is necessary to allow the body to overcompensate and therefore to adapt to the required exertion. For trail running, you can add the technical sessions for climbing and descending, and even train the upper body by using poles.
> What tools do you need for managing training sessions?
During a run, runners can use instruments for physiological measurements, such as heart rate monitors, and instruments for measuring speed, such as a GPS device. In the mountains, an altimeter which calculates climbing speed may be useful for calculating elevation. You have to know the route to adapt the target climbing speed.
Once the training session is completed, it is best to load the data collected by the instruments into tracking software, such as the Geonaute Software. That will give you a full report of your sessions, day by day, month by month, etc.
The history of the sessions, the elevations covered, the average speed and even exercise reports are elements that enable you to calibrate your training better and see how your performance has physically improved, or not and re-asses your objectives based on your actual progression.