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On my way to Tokyo with Tanita

Govert Viergever - Dutch Olympic rower

"Measuring is to know". These three famous words underpin the importance of collecting data, because data gives us guidance.

Collecting them is hot: Big Data, wearables fitness trackers, diet and exercise apps, people measure all kind of things. Companies, dieting candy lovers, muscle loving exercisers, and like myself, an ambitious top athlete I like the data as well. Like squirrels, we gather as much data as 'knowledge is power' ... right? I have my doubts there. For what exactly is the meaning of all this data? I am afraid that the first best-squirrel knows better what he should and should not collect to get through the winter than we do.

We all can measure. But do you really know what you've learned? In practice, I see many of my friends and colleagues who maintain their weight, steps or calories, but they are just collecting what? They gather to collect. Compare it with the "hoarders" that can throw out nothing like shown in various TV shows. Nothing can leave because: "No, I'm going to use that sometime soon." Meanwhile their home grows close, so that each overview is lost.

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Fortunately we buried the data somewhere deep in the cloud and keep our collected data as the illusion that everything there is orderly and clearly preserved. But the collection of cases is a waste of time if you do not do anything with it! Also I collect a lot of data. From training, my diet, my sleep and my Tanita monitor. But all these data are useless if I do nothing with it. Data is not yet supplied information. To make data information, you need to analyse. And to date we have no program or app that analyses all this data for you personally and then give you useful information. Information that you can use in your daily life for sleeker, stronger, more energetic, be faster. You must make connections yourself between your diet, your body composition, your training and your lifestyle. And yes, it takes time and effort. But just that provides valuable information that you can use to make decisions that are in your favour.

To make a profit you should analyse your data i.e. look for correlations: if I do this, it always happens that, so I should not do that or just do that.

A squirrel gathers acorns and instinctively knows how to survive successfully. Our survival instincts have long since gone underground. Our success mainly stems from rational considerations. For example, a successful diet depends on rational decisions about what you put in your mouth. Whether a company is successful depends on strategic decisions. Therefore, they now collect as much data about consumers. For them, you are like an interesting acorn in stock where they might have something to sell to later. The same applies to the successful athlete, entrepreneur, or squirrel. I train today heavy or light? I choose target one or two? I eat the nut if I keep it? It will make the difference between profit and loss. To make a profit you should analyse your data i.e. look for correlations: if I do this, it always happens that, so I should not do that or just do that.

The data you collect every day from your Tanita monitor, your diet, your training and your feelings. There are hidden treasures. Do not be a hoarder, analyse your data. I invested in analysing the data I get from my diet, training schedule and my Tanita monitor. That information has contributed to my success at the Olympic Games in Rio. I leave you like to see how I've done in my next blog. Meanwhile, I continue to gather but also to analyse, from here to Tokyo...

  • RD-545
  • Govert Viergever
  • Athletes

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Follow me on my way to Tokyo! @Goverviergever

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