Seriously, it's an addiction. My job is to analyze data. On the weekends, I do data analytics competitions (kaggle.com). Many nights see me cursing at my homework as I complete my data science certificate. Any time I see a chance to collect data, I jump on it. I love wearing a Fitbit since I can track my activity, weight, and calorie intake over time all on one chart. But what about Theo?
Behold, my latest addition to the training arsenal: KER ClockIt.
KER ClockIt is an app I installed on my phone to help me keep track of Theo's workouts. It uses GPS to track location, elevation, and speed. You can also use a Bluetooth heart monitor to track heart rate. I'm using the Sport version. It's a free app, though there are extra bells and whistles if you get a subscription. Fun features include the option to let your coach look at all of your reports and help manage your fitness work (if anyone wants to spy on Theo, just send me your username and I'll set up a connection).
The graphs are from yesterday's ride. I turned on the app, put my phone in my back pocket, and at the end of the ride uploaded the information. This is so amazingly helpful! I now know how far I went (6 miles), how fast I was going (about as fast as a snail), and how long I spent at each gait (I swear we were cantering).
I do have to do some tweaking on the settings for what speed the app uses to determine the gaits. Theo is dramatic, but slow. I only hit BN speeds once and that was in his last canter out on the trails. I spent about ten minutes at the canter during our ride, but his canter is more in the 200 - 250 mpm range right now and the default settings on the app register that as a trot. I knew we were slow, but I didn't know we were quite that slow. We'll work on that. He's got long legs, he can canter at 300 mpm, especially out in the open. He did take the bit and open up on that last canter, which felt cool. Too bad I had to pull up before he could really get rolling, footing is still a little iffy with the recent thaw. He usually does better after a couple of gallop attempts, so hopefully if I take him out to open him up as much as possible, he'll remember that he can, in fact, gallop.
This was kind of embarrassing. These are the speeds I entered for Theo to get a more accurate view of time spent in each gait in future rides. Pony is sloooooow. They're in mpm.
But this is good information! And it accurately tracked my time in the indoor arena, so that was a big bonus. I now have a better idea of how long I can do a continuous canter on the trails. About two minutes, end to end. So if I want to really condition, I need to canter to the end, then turn and canter back. Walk through the Ritz, up to the road, and back to the end of the trail to let him catch his breath. Repeat. The trick is doing it when there aren't a bunch of kids out trail riding on school ponies. Theo is slow but big and looks very dramatic. Also, brakes can get dicey once I actually get him up and rolling. He's a big horse and goes in a double jointed egg butt snaffle. I don't want to mow down a bunch of tots on ponies.
I'm looking forward to recording the information on all of the loops and variations we use so I can make educated decisions on what to do to get the type of exercise I want. Hill days vs. gallop days vs. long trot days. I also ordered a heart rate monitor so I can start to track his fitness that way. Mi papi is excellent at acting like he's dying of exhaustion when he is, in fact, just lazy. Some hard data will help me figure out his actual fitness levels.
I love data.