Stumbling out of bed Dataman’s heart rate jumps anxiously in anticipation of swimming through the first few drops in an ocean to of data cross. It’s a bad start already. Yesterday’s heart rate variability was in the dumps and he still woke up at 4:45, far too early according to the LVL band tracker. What disasters will the rest of the day bring?

The wifi body scale lights up and settles at 82.3KG. That’s like 200 grams more than yesterday and the trend line is going up! The lean body mass is down so the increase must all be fat. ‘That low carb thing is clearly not working for me and now the scale says my hydration level is not great either. Amazing really how I even survived the night’, Dataman mumbles to himself.

Downstairs the dog barely lifts its head as he considers it too early for a greeting. Any excitement is out of the question anyway for Dataman as he must first measure his heart rate variability.  After two years of measuring it lying down he learned that, due to his low resting heart rate, measuring it standing up was more accurate preventing too much vagal tone interference. ‘Two years of invalid data, that is just such a waste’, Dataman worries.

‘Maybe there is still hope for the rest of the day’, Dataman tells the dog as after a minute connected to his iPhone when the measurement reveals that heart rate variability is up. It must have been the 4 hours and 34 minute of deep sleep the Fenix watch measured.

Dataman straps on his heart rate monitor and goes out for a run. A slow GPS measured pace will do for now as cadence is more of a priority.  After a few hundred meters Dataman notices that the footpod cadence sensor has not woken up. ‘Perhaps it shares a brain with the dog or the battery is flat. There is no point in going for a run without cadence data’, Dataman ponders. But then he realizes that the heart rate monitor has a built in motion sensor and also senses cadence and running smoothness. It is safe to continue the run for now.

Back from the run the dog finally manages a greeting while the run data uploads to Trainingpeaks, Strava, Wahoo Fitness, MyHealth app, Facebook, GarminConnect, Dropbox, Wikileaks, the KGB and CIA. ‘You can never have too many backups’ is Dataman’s firm motto. Imagine if a hacker would cause a melt down in one of those data centers.

After a breakfast of 1,246 calories, or 205 grams of carbs, 18 grams of fat and 13 supplements later Dataman is ready to face the rest of the day.

Arriving at the cycle track he turns the bike pedals a few times to ensure the powermeter is willing too and the reassuring red light comes on. 

The green light on the oxygen saturation monitor is next, but it refuses all cooperation. Tapping the monitor furiously as the manual suggest doesn’t seem to help. Time to go home? Dataman is saved again when he recognizes that a firmware update does the trick and this only takes half an hour.

While the firmware is installing he grabs his Reconjet heads-up display sunglasses.  Never mind it is a foggy morning with the glasses steaming over instantly. Who could afford to have their eyes of the power meter data for a second? Besides, Dataman marvels, the startup and calibration procedure only takes 15 minutes while the glasses record the entire process straight to Snapchat , where his 4 friends can view it instantly. ‘

With all devices ready to go Dataman presses start on his watch, Iphone and bike computer, praying there is no GPS jamming event today, which has occurred in the past and took days to sort out.

Maintaining 180.4 Watts for 34.5 minutes during the warm-up is not too taxing and Dataman is just starting to relax when disaster strikes once more. Oxygen saturation is up to 90…‘# &%!% that cannot be right’ Dataman shouts at the random roady passing by. No doubt it is that Bluetooth and ANT+ protocol interference issue that has been written about so much.

A 10-minute reset of all devices is required while many people cycle by just chatting to each other. ‘How can they chat and bike at the same time’, Dataman wonders, ‘imagine all the data you would miss out on’

After pressing start 3 times within 0.5 seconds, Dataman nearly crashes into yet another group of social riders when he notices that oxygen saturation is still up at 90. Swearing, swerving, and furiously pedaling to stay upright he sees the value going up even more. ‘Wait a minute, that’s not my oxygen saturation level but my bike pedal cadence I am looking at’ he exclaims to the last of the cyclist going by. Much relieved Dataman pedals on ensuring not to exceed 80.  ‘Eightly what?’ he giggles to no one in particular, ‘NP, HR, oxy, RPM, e-tap ratio, %FTP, IF’

After 6 hours on the road and 3.12 hours of actual cycling Dataman makes it home.

The dog, poor thing just living the now, has gone back to sleep, perhaps dreaming about his next walk, meal or drink. As if on cue Dataman’s red light technology wrist hydration monitor pings and tells him to drink 1.79 liters of water with 0.0018mg of salt and electrolytes. That’s easily combined with analyzing the rides 3 different data files in Trainingpeaks, WKO4 and Golden Cheetah.

Later that evening while converting Tuesday’s incorrectly recorded swim data from a 25- to a 50-meter pool, Dataman slowly drowns in his ocean of data. The last thought on his mind is on how to improve his battery changing skills to cut-down on race transition time.

Postscript - seriously:
While I actually bought and use quite a few of the gadgets described and the data they produce, a recent win in a prize draw organized by LVL band during their Kickstarter campaign gave me the more outrageous ones for free.

Besides the essential heart rate monitor and bike power meter, all a serious triathlete needs is a good sports watch (and if you find that too small to read then perhaps add a bike computer).

None of these will make you go faster – the essence remains consistent and, at times very hard, training.  And all the data in the world is no good without use and interpretation. If you find that too much work, still record the data, but let a knowledgeable coach do the interpretation for you.

Heart rate variability:
Sports watch (includes fitness/sleep tracking): Fenix3
Heart rate monitor, running cadence and bike computer:
Bike power meter:
Blood oxygen measurement:
Hydration measurement:
Head-up-display glasses:
Data analysis:

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