TL;DR: Does anyone use / track this metric against their life style?
So I know my biggest hindrance is recovery, or more precisely adequate sleep (both quality and quantity). Work and commutes have me out of the house for usually around 13hrs a day, a family with little kids leads to lots of interruptions at night, either directly due to some incident or indirectly, like last night, when I had a vivid nightmare of one of my kids burning themselves in the shower…but I digress.
I try to stick to a sleeping rhythm which suits me and the rest of the family and allows me to train in the early morning hours before the rest of them wake and it usually works well. I feel alert and awake enough throughout the week and good about myself if I get my scheduled workout in in the morning before heading into the office.
Ok, stage set, here is what I want to talk about: I’ve been monitoring the performance condition metric on my Garmin device for the past few months and with very few exceptions I almost always start out with a negative value, which generally (not always though) only gets worse throughout the workout / ride. I suspect this is due to lack of quality sleep as described above and it tracks well, when I feel particularly down or fatigued. However on many days I feel “normal” (for lack of a better word). Sure I could sleep, but tired is not the word I’d use. As an example. I’m currently in what I’d call my pre-season and am doing some of the Traditional Base 1 Low Volume workouts (Virginia today). I could probably ride at that effort level all day, however the watch said -5 at the beginning of the ride. I suspect corporate life has led me to be unable to recognice how my body feels and when it needs more rest. Or better, corporate life has me ignoring it.
This is not looking for recommendations on how to improve my situation (although if you have any let me have it), but more about others and what their experiences are. I keep telling myself that this merely informs RPE but does not dictate what I should or shouldn’t do. And for the most part this seems to work, I’m not sick every two weeks but seem to get on with life just fine, so long as I catch up on sleep a bit every weekend. So I’m just curious what, if any, others thoughts are on this.
Input appreciated! Thanks