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Australian National Champion Power lifter
It all began when the invention of the mobile phone allowed us to call missing training partners at 5:35am and yell, “Where the heck are you!” Now smartphones open up a whole new world of tools to help keep athletes on track. Here are four types of apps worth considering.
We can’t hold it in any longer – IPEE DAILY is way cool. This app is sure to be a great conversation-starter when you pull it out at the public urinal (especially if you’re a woman!).
Yes, this is serious – iPee Daily provides a quick but valid and reliable assessment of hydration status for athletes. The app makes the assessment by interpreting your urine colour in conjunction with a weight change from the previous day. It will automatically match the colour of your urine to a colour chart and tell you your hydration status. If you think there’s a discrepancy with the automatic match, you can manually match the colour.
IDRATED goes a little further. This app is particularly aimed at the parents and coaches of children, who can experience dehydration when they lose as little as 1% bodyweight in fluids and are seen can as being more at risk of dehydration because they simply forget to drink.
Like iPee Daily, iHydrate assesses urine colour and/or or amount of weight lost, but it also does much more. It also:
has a reference section on dehydration and heat illness prevention, signs, symptoms and treatment, and the Pre-Season Heat-Acclimatization Guidelines from the American College of Sports Medicine and seven other medical groups, including the National Athletic Trainers’ Association.
IPEE DAILY– US$1.99
Many athletes take strength through their God and religion. If that’s you, then ATHLETE’S BLUEPRINT can help with motivation and focus by delivering appropriate or favourite Bible verses at all the right times.
This app is designed to empower athletes during training, pre-game and during the game or competition by organising Bible verses into categories that cover topics such as perseverance, teamwork, leadership and strength. Athlete’s Blueprint also provides everyday guidance for off-field topics such as stress, temptation, money and humility.
You can save your favourite Bible verses to the ‘My Favorites’ folder for easy and quick access and set a ‘Gameday Alert’ for any verse that you want to pop up on your phone at the date and time of you choose.
ATHLETE’S BLUEPRINT : FREE – AVAILABLE FOR IOS
Not all of us have the luxury of a coach to analyse our technique all the time, but COACH’S EYE can fill the gap.
With slow motion, frame-by-frame analysis and other capabilities, Coach’s Eye provides video feedback to correct or compare an athlete’s action.
The app first had a strong adoption in US women’s gymnastics and US track and field.
Olympic sprinting medallistAtoBoldon uses the app for coaching track and field and for NFL athletes, focusing on people who are training for the Combine so they can hopefully get drafted or increase their position in the draft.
Coach’s Eye is available on both Android and iOS. There are now versions specific to golf swing and CrossFit.
ERNIE ELS DRIVEN is a great example of a sport-specific coaching analysis app. It offers customised training programs and video tutorials to help golfers hone their skills. The swing analysis tool is very handy, allowing you to compare your swing side-by-side with The Big Easy’s via 300 frames per second video featuring slow motion of chipping, putting, bunker shots and much more.
Mini-games, drills and challenges encourage repetition and improvement, which you can show off via progress tracking data shared to social media.
COACH’S EYE – $4.99 ON ITUNES AND GOOGLE PLAY
ERNIE ELS DRIVEN – $4.99 ON ITUNES
The big tool of the moment for athletes wishing to maximise the effectiveness of their training is heart rate variability (HRV) technology. This is used to measure how well the body is responding to a training program and provide feedback that you use to set your training volume and intensity so you stay the right side of the line on over training. Usually measured at the start of each day, HRV is a quick, easy, and totally non-invasive measure of readiness and fatigue. It takes in other factors, such as mental and emotional stress, so you know the days when you should back off in training and when you should push to the max.
Note that while it is usually recommended to measure yourself upon waking, HRV research studies have found that HRV is distorted when lying down in people with very low resting HR (50 and under) – for these people it’s best to sit down or even stand up.
ITHLETE – $9.99 for app + $79.99 for heart rate monitor and ECG receiver.Available for iOS and Android.
BIOFORCE HRV – FREE but requires purchase of additional hardware. Available for iOS and Android.
SWEETBEAT – $4.99. Available on itunes.
Studies show over and over again, “That which is measured improves.” TRAININGPEAKS ATHLETE EDITION tracks all your training, nutrition and metrics, such as weight and sleep, with charts to monitor your fitness and performance trends as they change over time.
More than this, TrainingPeaks offers a range of resources to bring your performance up to the best it can be. There’s access to a network of over 2500 professionals, which you can be matched to via a short questionnaire or use the VirtualCoach tool modelled on Joe Friel’sTraining Bible book series. You can also upload workouts recorded with one of 90+ compatible devices, including Garmin, Timex, SRM, Power Tap and others with the TrainingPeaks Device Agent. Choose from hundreds of plans written by industry-leading coaches in endurance sports, browsing by either author or by event/sport type, and pick out eating plans to help achieve your goal, whether that’s performing at an event, losing weight or simply cleaning up your diet. You can also find a route or map your own runs, rides and swims, and of course, you can share everything – workouts, meals, routes and training data – with friends on Facebook and Twitter for that extra motivation or accountability.
TRAININGPEAKS - Basic account is FREE. Premium account starts from $19.95 for one month.