Star Wars fans will remember fondly the moment when Luke Skywalker, on his attack run to the Death Star, put away his targeting computer and proceeded down the trench unaided. In doing so, some might say he deprived himself of valuable data with which to increase the efficacy of his efforts. Others might say he was simply fulfilling the destiny of a young jedi master.
Either way, you can probably sense the impending cycling analogy.
I love gadgets. I love numbers. I like being able to turn data into intelligence, and then come up with a strategy about what I could do next to make the numbers go in the most desirable direction.
But wait a minute, I also love the simple pleasure of gliding along on two wheels as a form of escape; a temporary release from having to think too hard about anything.
Whilst out with a friend recently, I started trying to convince him he’d benefit from having both heart rate, and cadence monitors. After all, I feel like I’ve improved a lot since using these tools, so why wouldn’t anyone? His response was rather grounding -“I just want to enjoy my rides”. He had a point.
Perhaps it depends on how focused you are on achieving specific results. So my friend doesn’t want to destroy any death stars? No biggie.
But with a specific goal in mind, the appliance of science can certainly get you there faster. Whether you want to do HIIT sessions, high intensity interval training (does anyone dare do Super High Intensity….?), or improve the efficiency of slow twitch muscle fibres with fast cadence work, or work on specific heart rate zones for endurance riding, good monitoring can certainly help you stick to a plan.
But don’t forget, just occasionally, follow Mr Skywalker’s lead, and just use the force.