Category Archives: goals

Measure EVERYTHING 


As Galileo said ‘measure the measureable, and make measureable what is not so’

This current season I have made a concerted effort to measure as accurately as possible how much work we do and at what intensity. Now obviously I have always recorded this, but this season I took it to the next level (for us) and tracted intensity, volume and rest for every individual athlete. 

We got nice wee graphs like this

For the overall cycle.

And this for each individual

Which is kinda cool. It showed very clearly where people where getting sick for example. 

So having this information is great and it got me thinking, what else can I record that will provide me usefull information about the state of the athletes in my program.

A few day thinking and I came up with a list of things that, if I could record and track them,  could potentially provide useful insight.

(I am 100% sure that there are better coaches than me out there already recording this stuff and much more)

  1. Hours sleep
  2. Sleep quality
  3. Mood
  4. Resting Heart Rate
  5. Hours of training
  6. PRE
  7. Weight

Hours sleep is easy, every morning they tell me how many hours they had.

Sleep quality is rated out of 5, with 5 being excellent and 1 being insomnia. Right now we are going with them rating it but I think that some sort of sleep tracker and a raio of restlessness to sleep would be better. To give me a figure I can track I simply multiply the hours by the quality

Mood is done a day behind so they give me a rating on how they felt yesterday.

I plot a graph of Mood and Sleep quality to see if there is any correlation

(Blue is mood

Orange is sleep)

Resting HR they take in the morning before training on an app on their phone.

PRE and Hours of work I collect after each session. Hours of work is not how long the session lasted but rather how  much time was spent working (session length – rest intervals)

After a quick google search I found that I could use this information to measure Acute (ATL) and Cronic (CTL) training load or Fatigue and Fitness. Lots of formulas later and these combine to give a Training Stress Score (TSS) or ‘form’ so in theory I can see at a glance when they are getting more fatigued and I need to back off a little or when I can push them. 

The blue bars are fatigue and  the orange line is fitness. When the orange line goes above the blue bars this represents a more rested state (very basically) 

Anyway…..it takes weeks of collecting this stuff for it to be at all representative of whats happening so I have started now hoping that it proves usefull next season.

As yet I havent started recording weight as I cant beside if using base metabolic rate and body composition is providing me useful enough information for the time spent collecting it

Wake up Men #mhaw2017


So here is a statistic for you……

The Biggest killer of men under 45 in this country is suicide!!!

Of the 6000 or more lives lost in Britain to suicide EVERY YEAR, 75% are men!

A little late but still

With all the terrible diseases we could  catch, all the accidents we could have, all the potential ways we could kill each other, men still kill themselve more freuently than any thing else.

QUESTION – what goes on in our heads, as men, that leads us to take this, most ultimate, step with such staggering regularity?

ANSWER – No one knows

WHY? Because we are stubborn and flatley refuse to talk about it

What else could it be? There is no evidence to suggest that men get hit harder than women by depression.

Rather than talk aboit it we bury our heads in the sand (or bottle) and our depression remains hidden away behind a mask and  multitude of ‘im fine’s

Its not the way we have been raised, we learn that feelings and talking about them is not for ‘real men’. Men get on with it and are ‘fine’ 

The problem with this is that we do have feelings and at times of stress they can get away from us and when they do……we are totally unequiped to deal with it.

I undetstand the stress that, as men, we go through. Maybe more now than at any point in my life. I have been through talking therapy (and I hate it), I have been on pills and wasted countless days staring at the floor, I have experienced the black clouds that decend and engolf you.

Im self employed and that bring stress and now I worry will I be able to provide for Harper, do I earn enough to give her the education she needs etc. Its ‘normal’ parent pressure i guess but it doesnt take much to see how it can snowball out of control.

The reality is that what Harper needs is her dad, and for him not to become another statistic. 

The  older I get the more I realise that its not just a nice phrase it is ‘good to talk’ 

As men we need to to do it more about all our health issues both seen and unseen


#MHAW2017

#gogreen

10000 hours………fact of fiction?



I have long been persuaded of the merits of the nurture side of the nurture v nature debate. 

As a coach I have always believed that hard work will beat talent when talent doesn’t work. I have seen it over and over, a hard working athletes that could be seen as less talented rising to the challeged while othersince refuse to do what is required.

Books like ‘the talent code’ and ‘bounce’ convinced me of the myth of natural talent, that there may not be any such thing. 
I am comfortable with the thought that everyone can, given the correct stimulation at the correct time, achive all their goals. 

The frustrating bit for me has become the reality that as a coach I see my athletes 4 hours a day, from the age of about 12……windows of trainability are narrowing for skill acquisition and I cannot control the stimulation they get outside swimming or before they even start swimming.
Then I read that the 10000 hour ‘rule’ 

10000 hours or 10 years (20 hours a week, 50 weeks a year, 10 years) 

was something that ‘just sounded good’ 
The truth is, I don’t know if talent exists, and I don’t care. We could spend our entire careers waiting for that special talent to walk through into our program and miss the hard working athletes that we can encourage and motivate to be the very best athlete they can be.
The 10000 hour rule may not be a rule in the strictest sense but it can’t hurt. 
Personally I’m still a nurture kinda guy
🅿

The grind never stops


So you think you made it? 

You got this far and NOW you wanna take your foot off the pedal?

No!

This is permenant!! 

We say practice makes perfect?……no practice make permentant!!


You dont need talent to make it…..you need to grind!

The winners attitude?

You may have more than I do, you may get more than I do but you Will not outwork me!!

Another from ET (love this guy)
🅿