Interactive 3D Analysis
When doing turns, technique changes or "going over the top" in a clever way, a cross-country skier can easily win a few seconds without increased effort. To better identify these key sections and find out which "strategy" is the fastest, we created the interactive 3D analysis. This is the first feature we developed in close collaboration with our partner Team Aker Daehlie. More will follow at the end of the summer.
Saving Precious Seconds
Cross-country skiing is a very complex sport: the best, or fastest, race strategy is highly dependent on snow conditions, weather, and the athlete herself or himself. What will work well for one athlete in one situation might not work at all if the situation and/or athlete changes. Therefore, it is crucial to find out what is fastest in conditions as similar to the race as possible. For example, while training on the race-track the days before the race.
This requires a very fast and intuitive feedback, along with the possibility to explore different strategies. There are two ways to achieve this (I recommend combining both to get the most out of it).
Strategy A: Identify key sections apriori
During initial scouting of the race-track, based on your experience as a coach, identify the three most important key sections. For each key section write down up to three different strategies for maximizing performance.
- For a turn this could for example be: take it inside-out or outside-in
- For a longer uphill this could for example be: change sub-technique (gear) at 50% of the hill, at 35% of the hill, or at 75% of the hill
- For going over the top this could be: stop pushing early or continue pushing for a few more strokes until well into the downhill
Then let the athlete ski the race-track and for each lap provide him/her different instructions. Don't forget to have one lap where the athlete can choose his/her own preferred strategy. Make sure to minimize the effect of fatigue on the outcome...
Strategy B: Let the data speak
In a training race, let athletes compete against each other and/or do an interval training. You may provide a set of general instructions for each lap but otherwise don't interfere.
Find the Seconds
First, use the smart segmentation to automatically detect all laps and mark them for the in-depth processing.
Second, get an overview of what happened and where the athletes lost / gained time with the race analysis feature. Do you see some unexpected time gains or losses? Where are the sections with biggest time differences between laps and athletes? For strategy B, identify the key sections you wish to analyze further, with the interactive 3D analysis.
In this example we can see an impressive time gain of over 7 seconds during the second part of the large uphill for the light blue line compared to the reference. This could be a key section: over only 50 - 70m a potential time gain of several seconds can be reached (of course under the assumption that the athlete is able to deliver so much power).
Third, open the interactive 3D analysis via the dashboard. Mark the first key section you would like to analyze. Then select up to three athletes / laps you would like to compare against each other and click on "Analyze".
For each selected lap the system creates an interactive 3D map with the elevation profile, color-coded sub-technique and marks speed differences in red or green. The exact location of each pole push is indicated, allowing to precisely see where and how much an athlete pushed. Moreover, four graphs show time differences (waterfall plot), and compare cycle duration, cycle distance, and speed. Interactively, you can now find out what condition was the fastest and how many seconds can potentially be gained.
This is great, but how long does it take to get these results?
Results can be obtained within a few minutes and you don’t need to be an expert in data analysis. Our algorithms automatically compute everything for you. If you are using the real-time feature, first results can be obtained immediately after each lap, during the training.
And, does it help? Yes!
Contact us for a free demo and to buy your own system!
And yes, these two guys were also very happy they could prepare their world championships with the help of our products. :-)