Tuesday, October 24, 2017

My Fitness Pal, Strava, Golden Cheetah and Garmin Connect

For those that know me well, know what a geek I am when it comes to new technology.  I've been a tech geek my entire life.  Science and engineering have always appealed to me even as a kid.  I guess that's why I'm an engineer.  I have a Bachelor's Degrees in Physics and Mechanical Engineering and a Masters Degree in Engineering.  When it comes to cycling, I'm all about analyzing the metrics of any ride- whether it's a trainer ride in my basement or a ride outside. 

There are three "must-have" post-ride software programs for analyzing a ride.  The best part- they are all FREE.  I'm not going to go into any detail on each at this time, because I'll dedicate a blog to each of these programs in the not too distant future.  For now, however, I'll tell you a little bit about each and how I use them post ride.

The first thing I do post-ride is to download the ride from my Garmin Edge 510 bike computer into Garmin Connect software (Free).  The Garmin Connect software will tell me just about everything I want to know about the ride: Heart Rate profile, Power profile, Speed Profile, Cadence Profile, and a GPS route map.  I'm particularly interested in my HR vs Power profile and my Normalized Power for the ride.  Here's an example:

The second thing I do is open Strava.  I'm a premium subscriber to Strava.  You pay a little extra for premium features like Power Curves, Form, Fitness & Fatigue Charts, etc.  These features are similar to those found in Peaks Software WKO 4 that costs close to $200.  Here's an example:

The last thing I do is use an Open Source software program called Golden Cheetah if I want more data/details.  Golden Cheetah tells you everything you want to know about the ride.  It gives you just about every metric you can think of and plenty of charts, graphs, etc.  I don't use Peaks Software WKO 4 anymore.  Why should I pay close to $200 when Golden Cheetah does everything for FREE?

Another must-have software program is My Fitness Pal by Under Armour.  My Fitness Pal has the most comprehensive food database I've seen online.  Just type what you ate in the search box and it will find it.  At the end of the day it will tell you how much protein, fat, carbs, sugar, sodium, etc. you ingested..as well as total calories.  It's a great program- for FREE!  If you pay a little extra it will give you more information.  I think everyone should know what their average daily caloric intake is and how many calories they need to ingest to either lose or gain weight.  You need to know your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR).  RMR is the number of calories your body burns while you're sedentary..either sitting down and relaxing or while sleeping.  I believe my daily RMR is 1500 calories.  So, if I eat 1500 calories and sit on my ass all day I will neither gain nor lose weight.  Naturally, if I eat 2000 calories per day, and I continue to eat 500 calories more than what I burn off I will gain weight.  When you exercise, you burn that many more calories.

Stay tuned for more in-depth descriptions of these products in future blogs.  Power ON!  Coach Rob

No comments: