Getting ready for Rio: Garmin’s technology boosts British Sailing Team training
GPS technology giant Garmin is providing members of the British Sailing Team with its cutting-edge fitness products. The aim is to help improve the athletes’ physical fitness levels and on the water performance as they train for the Olympics in Rio in 2016.
The Royal Yachting Association’s squad of sailors, at various stages of their podium-topping potential in both Olympic and Paralympic classes, are training for up to seven hours a day both on and off the water from their Performance Unit base at Portland, Dorset.
So which elements of Garmin technology are they using? Garmin’s new VIRB GPS-enabled action cameras are being used by the coaches to film the sailor’s training activities on the water.
Video footage and heart rate data combined
RYA Performance Analyst Emilie Sauven says the GPS time stamped images available from the Garmin VIRB camera, combined with data from the athlete’s Garmin Heart Rate Monitor, are used to review and analyse performance back on shore overlaying this data against specialist software.
“The ability to overlay GPS tracking with the camera images, combined with physical data from the sailor enables us to take a complex set of measurables and use this to analyse performance and look at areas for improvement,” she says.
Measuring lactate levels
Back on shore, the British Sailing Team athletes are also using Garmin’s products to measure and analyse their performance when doing their fitness training in the newly-equipped high tech gym.
Dave Macutkiewicz, the RYA Physiologist in charge of the squad training, says data from the Garmin Heart Rate Monitors are combined with other physical markers, such as blood tests to measure lactate levels, to determine the exercise intensities required for each athlete to get them performing at the optimum level.
“We can combine data from Garmin’s Heart Rate Monitors with measures of power, speed and cadence from the gym’s Wattbikes and Concept 2 rowing machines. This is then measured against blood markers to ensure we are training them effectively,” says Macutkiewicz.