X-Mas Top Picks- The Super List


I will finish off the list of my top picks for Christmas. I wanted to do one suggestion per post but I will group all of the picks together and call it a day. When I buy equipment or products I am very hard on reviews. Most products are missing that last 10% that could make them really good tools but end up being just good enough to wait for but not to buy. I have only 6 products that are top notch and they are solutions most will find helpful. Some products are systems I have mentioned before, but it’s important to share what I think works well. I am a technology addict so please forgive the bias toward the gizmos.

Two must have systems to monitor recovery are the Zeo Sleep system and the ithlete HRV system for the mobile devices. Using the two in conjunction is very powerful, as one can score the data and get objective information. A training log is great, but automatic precise scoring simply can be beat. With literally just two minutes of work a day, one is getting nearly lab quality recovery information.

Timing is perhaps the most obvious need for track coaches. I find that the Freelap system is the most affordable timing system next to building an IR system from a parts company. It’s also changing the way we see true changes in performance. I will write more about how timing should be done electronically and the feedback one gets when they are getting immediate objective data. The workflow is great with utility that uses a 10 dollar adapter to pull the splits up into a simple excel file.

I have been using the program iSMARTtrain. While I have both windows and mac, I like most of the applications mac side because it’s simple and stable. I am a minimalist in practice with physiological data, but the ease of use and the great reporting of the software will make many coaches pleased, especially if you are more distance oriented. I have been using the software for a long time and it’s just a pleasure to use.

Two apps that I like for coaches is Tapforms and Dropbox. Let’s be honest here, administration duties stink and one of my most important apps is Tapforms for getting every thing neatly into databases without the labor of using excel and excessive typing. Good technology saves time and effort, not adds more to one’s plate.
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Carl Valle

Carl Valle

Track & Field Coach
Carl is an expert coach who has produced champions in swimming, track and numerous other sports. He is one of the foremost experts in the fields of nutrition and restoration.
Carl Valle

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