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Using big data to answer key questions for endurance athletes
Am I progressing? How good am I? How can I train better?
“Trying to answer the most important questions for endurance athletes by using big data is an ambitious goal. Normally experts, research and algorithms are used to answer these questions, but we have come up with the first solutions in the world where big data is used to provide answers and facts for the athletes. The answers we have found have surprised even us. The solution itself is getting better day by day as millions of training sessions flow into the system continuously.”
— Janne Kallio Digital Lead, Performance Business
The solution is based on analysis of over 150 million training sessions by Suunto consumers who have been tracking their training during 2010-2016 with Suunto watches. The analysis has been done for the most common endurance sports including running, cycling, swimming, triathlon, trail running and mountain biking. This has given over billion metrics, which are now being utilized within Suunto Movescount to provide answers to the key questions.
For an endurance athlete, progress is measured based on how much faster/stronger/better you are in a particular sport. Suunto now provides automatic analysis that allows you to follow your long-term progress.
The new tools allows athletes and coaches to evaluate progress in comparable intensity levels. You can see the aerobic levels of runs or the an-aerobic levels of cycling power. This showcases the real performance level of an athlete, so separate performance tests are no longer needed.
We have evaluated over 1.5 million people and grouped them into standard age groups.
This gives athletes a view on how good they are compared to their age group, e.g. you belong to the top 10% of your age group in running 5km or you belong to the top 1% of your age group in 20minute cycling power.
Suunto provides training insight on how people have trained to achieve a specific goal. If your goal is to do an ironman triathlon in 11 hours, you can see how many hours a week people who have already achieved this goal have trained.
This analysis also reveals the performance requirements in shorter efforts when aiming into longer distances. Now we reveal that running 3h marathon requires to run 10km in 37min 34s or to do sub 10h ironman you need to be able to swim 1500m in 25min 51s, bike 40km in 1h 04min 49s and run 10km 38min 37s.
The new tools have been available since December and have been used by tens of thousands of athletes. There are now more than 100 different Suunto watches that connect with the solution and 1.5M individual watches linked to it. The data analysis is done in a continuous manner with hundreds of thousands exercise session on a daily bases.
This makes the solution better each day.