Wall Street has long relied on quantitative analysts or "quants" to crunch massive amounts of data to choose investments. Now, amateur athletes are relying on data to create better workouts.
A recent boom in wearable gadgets is helping people amass data by tracking how far they run or bike, their heart rate and even how well they sleep.
People wear devices like Larklife, Jawbone UP, Nike FuelBand and Fitbit Flex, which record the data and then upload it to websites that help users gauge how well they're performing and where they need to improve.
His trainer, Matt Dixon, said that Inkinen uses a 26-column spreadsheet to track his workouts, moods and sleep patterns.
[sidebar title="10 Data Points For Your Spreadsheet" width="170" align="right"]Restwise collects this info each morning to gauge recovery:
1. Heart rate
3. Hours slept
4. Sleep quality
5. Energy level
6. Mood level
7. Yesterday's training performance
9. Symptoms of illness
10. Urine shade[/sidebar]
Dixon said that by analyzing the data, Inkinen was able to optimize his workouts, so he could train less and perform better.
Inkinen finished the 2011 Hawaii Ironman Triathlon in less than nine hours - beating many professional athletes. But he only trained 12 hours a week - about half the time most people would train.
Dixon acknowledged that Inkinen is a gifted natural athlete, but he says others can learn from his example. For example, there are body-monitoring gadgets to fit every budget:
- Pace clock at the pool: free
- GPS & heart rate watch: $150+
- Restwise subscription: $150/year
- Bicycle power meter: $1,500+
While not everyone has the discipline to keep a 26-column spreadsheet, Dixon said, websites like Restwise can help mere mortals keep better tabs on their performance.
- Inside Triathlon (magazine): The Natural: Entrepreneur Sami Inkinen
This segment aired on March 5, 2013.
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