By Ben Hoffman, 13x Ironman Champion
I've always thought of training for and racing triathlon as a balance between science and art, finding that line of incorporating data and hard numbers with the feelings and sensations you develop through the hours and years of dedicated and focused workouts. Being able to notice and interpret the signals your body gives you, and then knowing how those relate to actual information from the technology you incorporate, is essential for optimizing potential
With that in mind, I was absolutely thrilled to form a partnership with the company that produces the first ever non-invasive hemoglobin monitor, Cercacor. Their Ember device is the latest tool in my arsenal for tracking my body's changes through various training and environmental stresses, and it's been almost seven months now since I have incorporated the Cercacor Ember device into my training, racing, and traveling regimen. After a career spent working my way to the top levels of Ironman distance triathlon, I am still always searching for the incremental improvements that can be the difference between first and second, and that is why I started tracking my body's important biomarkers with the Ember device. Being able to instantly and non-invasively receive feedback on my oxygen saturation, hemoglobin, oxygen concentration, and several other biomarkers, I have been able to establish an important baseline of information which is helping me determine which training and recovery protocols are the most effective. Additionally, I have just begun my summer trip to Colorado for altitude training, and Ember will help me stay on track as my body adapts to the new stresses.
Although everyone has slightly different goals with regard to training, racing, or just recreation, keeping track of your hemoglobin and other biomarkers can give you valuable information about how your body is responding to different stresses so you can optimize your growth and feel your best. One of the simplest ways I use the Ember device is to make sure I am staying well-hydrated throughout the day. Additionally, seeing how my numbers are trending helps me determine the duration and intensity of future workouts, how I am responding to each cycle, and will help me optimize my altitude training protocol once I have established clear data from this block.
The future of sport is definitely in data and specialization, and learning to apply that information to the way you feel and the signals your body gives you. With Ember, you can take the next step in knowing exactly what your individual needs are, and begin applying that data to make your training more rewarding and enjoyable. Finally having the numbers behind the sensations helps me make sense of my body's natural progression through a training cycle, and gives me the confidence to make smart decisions towards constant improvement.
13X Ironman Champion