Updated: Apr 26, 2022
Its the beginning of the week. You open your training schedule to see what’s on the docket for training. All seems normal until you come across a workout that just says “ Enjoy your run today. Don’t use any data. Let me know how you feel.”
What in the world is your coach thinking?!?! Don’t they know you depend and rely on your stats each run????
As a coach, I can tell you that yes, those workouts are scheduled on purpose. Yes, we know they may drive you crazy. And yes, there is a method to the madness. Here are 3 reasons why your coach may have scheduled a No Gear training Workout:
1: Develop Your Range of Perceived Exertion (RPE) Ability
Your watch, bike computer, heart rate monitor, etc may give you detailed and accurate statistics that anyone would love to have and give great insight into how your training is progressing. However, RPE - or Range of Perceived Exertion- can accurately help you determine the intensity you feel when working out. This can reveal how you are doing as a whole athlete, instead of one or two aspects of an athlete. As a coach, I value both the data and RPE.
2: Prepare You To Handle Anything on Race Day - Including Technology that Doesn’t Work
Imagine this - you are cruising along at a solid pace. You look down to check that your power is in check and GASP! Your watch died! In the middle of your biggest race! You even charged it the night before! This problem, while not common, is far from unheard of on race day. Your "No Gear Training Workouts" come in handy in this situation because, while it is a far from ideal situation, you are able to handle this unexpected event because you’ve specifically trained for this.
3: Build Your Mental Strength
This one is simple - sometimes its good to just relax and go for a run (or insert your training of choice here). Sometimes we need to remember why we started this in the first place. Or sometimes there is something going on in our daily life that is going to overwhelm us. Whatever the reason, this workout is designed to focus your mental relaxation skills while training.
Coach Becky Piper is a USA Triathlon Certified Level 1 Triathlon Coach, Paratriathlon Coach, and Cycling Coach. She is currently on her way to Michigan but has made a little stopover in Wisconsin to see friends and family while her husband Sam is serving in the military. Her dog, Gunner, is with her on the long adventure across the country. She is the reigning national champion in the Time Trial and Road Race in women’s C2 Paracycling and is preparing for her debut in the Paralympic Trials, but her true passion is coaching. Coach Becky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.