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When to Turn Off the Garmin

Training Peaks, Addero, Strava, Garmin Connect- these are all some super cool apps and programs that athletes use to document their workouts and hold themselves accountable for the training. Coaches are constantly checking athlete's progress through these apps, making changes as needed, and holding their athletes accountable for training hours logged each day, week, and month.

Stressful? YES. It can be. A 15-18 hour training week is a lot of work for an athlete. Not to mention an athlete with a spouse, kids, and a full time job. Getting it all in can be a challenge and when an app is holding you to it, sometimes athletes need a break from so much data.

I've had 2 triathlon coaches myself and both times I used different programs, but I sort of saw this pattern arise: In the beginning it was super fun doing the workouts, logging them and getting a pat on the back from my coach. There was a huge sense of accomplishment along the way, and I was super excited to have someone holding me accountable. As weeks and months went on, sometimes I would think about my "old" life when I was the only one holding me accountable. There were some days when I just didn't want to look at Training Peaks and felt like I really needed a break from all that tracking.

I needed to enjoy the sport of triathlon once again, ya know, swimming, biking, and running. That's all. Toward the end of the many months with a coach, I felt like I just wanted to be a regular person again, not accountable to anyone. And when my coach and I parted ways, although I was kinda sad about not interacting with him each week, I felt a sense of FREEDOM once again and it felt good.

So with my own athletes, especially the ones who are between races and sort of in a recovery mode, I tell them to TAKE OFF THE GARMIN and enjoy their sports for a few weeks. Training Peaks and Strava will still be there when they come back. I encourage them to just BE FREE for a while with ZERO accountability to anyone but themselves. (There was a time in my lifetime where we didn't have all this tracking data, sports watches, and smart watches and we did just fine!)

Taking off the Garmin for a week or so is a good healthy dose of enjoyment of our sports. It's not going to ruin an athlete's progress in the big scheme of things, and if anything, it makes them a better athlete when they get back to training once again.

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