Devotion Frees Episode #64 with Nate Dunn the Data Driven Athlete
Devotion Frees with Nate Dunn the Data Driven Athlete
This week on Devotion Frees we drop into flow with Nate Dunn.
Nate actually bought his first heart monitor as a student in high school. While exercise technology rode Moore’s Law exponential growth Nate was ecstatic throughout high school, college, and graduate school as he watched how technology enabled him to capture more and more data for his analysis. Coupled with his love for data was Nate’s life-long passion for teaching. Teaching high school students will remain one of Nate’s greatest experiences in his life.
Nate strongly feels that data and science can be impactful tools for progress, but they pale in comparison to the knowledge that a coach is rooting for you and investing in your success. It was these early experiences in the classroom that shaped much of who Nate is as a coach today.
With a background in education and a love for data, Nate started his cycling coaching company Data Driven Athlete in 2010 based on these principles:
An understanding of Exercise Science empowers a coach to make better training decisions.
Athletes get better when they use data to inform training decisions on a daily, monthly, and yearly basis.
A coaching relationship built on trust is more impactful than the perfect training plan. We are always humans first and athletes second.
TUNE IN AND LISTEN TO THE EXCLUSIVE PODCAST WITH NATE
EXTRA FUEL WITH NATE
WHAT IS YOUR ORIGIN STORY?
I'm lucky enough to belong to a species of primates that through millions of years of evolution have developed the ability to share music, art, and sport, all while making advancements in medical care that have enabled me to live longer and enjoy a vitality of life that would have been impossible at any other point in human history. It's an amazing time to be alive.
WHO INSPIRED YOU TO BE THE PERSON YOU ARE TODAY?
Without a doubt, my wife of 12 years has been the biggest inspiration to be the man, husband, and father I am today.
HOW DO YOU WANT TO IMPACT THE WORLD YOU LIVE IN?
In my realm as a cycling coach, I want to teach others the skills to be able to more fully use the bike to discover what they're truly capable of.
WHAT IS YOUR APPROACH TO NUTRITION?
You could say I'm a nutrition agnostic. If science has taught us anything about nutrition, it's that there are multiple ways (and diets) to achieve desired results. There is no "one true path"
HOW IMPORTANT IS MINDFULNESS TO REACH PEAK PERFORMANCE?
Very. While science doesn't yet have a definitive answer for this question, we do know that the mind is often the final arbiter in reaching peak performance. Taking the role of the mind into account should be a central component of every training plan.
HOW IMPORTANT IS BREATH TO REACHING PEAK PERFORMANCE?
For many different reasons breath and controlling your breathing is important to human performance.
2 TIPS TO HELP OTHERS REACH FITNESS GOALS
1. Utilize data to measure, track, and model the impact of training on future performance. 2. Surround yourself with supportive and positive people. 3. Ask yourself the "why train" question. Connect daily effort to long term goals 4. Save your best efforts for competitive scenarios. Recognize internal motivation as a limited resource.
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU ARE FEELING STRESSED OUT?
Organize and/or exercise
DO YOU UTILIZE ANY PERSONAL DATA PERFORMANCE TO ENHANCE YOUR TRAINING AND REACH YOUR GOALS?
A ton of it. Cycling is likely the most data centric sport on the planet. It's fantastic
IF YOU COULD ONLY CHOOSE THREE DATA POINTS TO ANALYZE FOR OPTIMIZING HUMAN SPORTS PERFORMANCE WHICH ONES WOULD YOU YOU CHOOSE?
1. Effort (in cycling this is power). 2. RPE (Subjective rate of perceived exertion). 3. HR (the body's response to your effort)
WHAT ARE YOUR WEAKEST AND STRONGEST CHARACTER TRAITS?
I get frustrated and angry quickly. I'm driven to complete tasks and empathetic to the needs of others.
HOW DO YOU GET INTO THE ZONE?
TELL US ABOUT YOUR CURRENT PROJECT
My biggest current project is to continue to build upon and improve the quality of our coaching at Data Driven Athlete. In a practical sense that has meant creating a collaborative curriculum with our coaches that seeks to bring more purpose and precision to each of the coaching/training challenges we face with our athletes. A lot of coaching knowledge is "contained in your head", and I my goal is to create an evolving graphical roadmap that houses not only the "best practices" for our coaching practice, but also the supportive evidence for why we've chosen specific strategies with our clients.