Performance improvements are made incrementally, with small changes often adding up to make a big difference. Awareness is the key – awareness of strengths, weaknesses and where and how to make improvements, however small, that result in performance gains.
Movescount allow athletes and coaches to do an in-depth analysis of each and every Move. They help you to understand exactly how you performed during a training session, what went well, what could have been better, and where you can improve.
Triathlete and Suunto’s digital lead for Performance Business Janne Kallio walked us through the new features by analysing one of his (most dissatisfying) Moves – Ironman South Africa earlier this year.
How not to qualify for Kona
Janne Kallio had high hopes his performance at the Ironman South Africa would qualify him to compete at Kona. His training had been going well, with steady improvements throughout the training cycle. He arrived on the start line in Port Elizabeth feeling confident and prepared.
Janne aimed for a sub 1h swim. By expanding the Laps section below the Move’s introduction and clicking the swim lap, you can zone in on this first leg of the race. Under the Graph menu, the swim pace and stroke rate options shows Janne kept a steady pace and effort during the swim. However, difficulty navigating meant he exceeded his desired time of 1h.
By clicking the heat map option in the map, you can see the course for the 2016 race had changed from previous years. This might have resulted in the slower times than in previous years.
Janne has finished a number of Ironman races, and usually the bike leg takes well under 5h. But not on that day.
Click the Lap section in Janne’s Move and choose the bike leg. Notice first how much his watts decreased in the last half of the leg. During the middle 1h10m of the leg, his average power output was 206 watts, while during the last 1h10m it was only 172 watts. At the halfway point his time was 2h20m, yet he barely finished in 5h. “I was riding the last part with less effort and less power than I normally would with one leg,” Janne says.
Middle part of the bike leg.
Last part of the bike leg.
So what happened? A quick look at his heart rate during the bike leg points to the answer. It shows there was no huge effort during the ride that might have been responsible for the loss of power later in the leg. His target heart was around 135 to 145 beats per minute, which he maintained.
What else could account for the loss of power? “A beginner’s mistake,” Janne says. “It was dehydration. “I drank about 2.5l of fluids, but as a comparison the winner of the women, Kaisa Lehtonen, who is probably 20kg lighter than me, consumed about 3.5l and yet was also a bit dehydrated.” The day was hotter than he anticipated and Janne paid the price. What happens when you start a marathon dehydrated?
Janne finished the ride in just under five hours, giving him enough time – in theory – to finish the run in time to qualify for Kona. But starting dehydrated meant it wasn’t to be.
He aimed to finish the marathon in 3h15m, but after the first kilometer he knew he had no chance. At this point he didn’t know what the problem was. “The breaking point came at 25km,” he says. “The temperature climbed, and the pace basically stopped. I knew then it wasn’t about qualifying for Kona anymore, or even a descent finishing time – it was just about being able to finish and not be completely destroyed.”
Janne took everything he could from each aid station: drinks, ice, sponges to minimise the damage, but it wasn’t enough to save the day. Click the Lap section, select the run and then choose the heart rate, speed and temperature tabs to see what happened. Activate the zoom tool on the left of the graph, and use the slider to zoom in to see the struggle Janne went through.
The last seven kilometers of the marathon show Janne’s effort to reduce his body temperature and rehydrate started to have a positive affect. His pace and heart rate started improving.
Unfortunately that wasn't quite enough this time: after finishing the race, Janne found out that he had missed the spot for Kona by 40 seconds!