Heidi Widmer

Heidi Widmer

Occupation: Professional Athlete
Primary Sports: Cross country skiing, running, roller skiing, ski touring, cycling

“Essentially, ithlete has allowed me to train with greater confidence.”

I have been a full time cross country ski athlete since I graduated high school in 2008, but have been competing since I was 9 years old. I grew up in an athletic family in the Rocky Mountains, that meant much of our time was spent hiking, biking and skiing in the outdoors. My goals for this season are to post a top 6 result in the sprint at the 2014 Under 23 World Championships in Val di Fiemme, Italy, and to qualify to represent Canada at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. ithlete will remain a part of my training regime as an important tool as I reach towards my athletic goals for the upcoming season.

I’ve been lucky enough not to experience severe overtraining, but due to the everyday physical stress I put my body I am always riding the line between training hard and training too hard. Fatigue needs to be monitored closely in order to avoid injury and sickness. Paying attention to how my body is responding to training and adjusting training load or recovery accordingly is essential. This ensures I don’t become over trained but also makes sure I get the most benefit out of every bit of my training.

My team coach for the Alberta World Cup Academy suggested we start using ithlete some time ago. I feel like it is a consistent, reliable and accurate reading to gauge my response to training and monitor fatigue. Before this, my recovery calculations were time consuming and inconsistent. I like the simplicity and reliability of ithlete. It is also extremely important that my coach can see my readings before training every morning and we can make adjustments together if necessary. I also really like the addition of athlete comments and sleep quality rating in the newest edition of ithlete. It is great to see the correlation with my ability to train and non-training factors like sleep, diet and emotions.

It took me awhile to gather enough HRV data to understand my individual needs. I find my readings are completely individual and different from others, it’s not possible to compare between athletes, in my opinion. Once I was familiar to what trends were positive and what trends required caution for me, I could adapt my training and racing to accommodate. For instance, when to back off from an intensity session or knowing when I could return to hard training is based on my HRV readings and learned trends.

My training consists mainly of long hours as well as intensity cross country skiing in both summer and winter as well as roller skiing, weight room strength, running and cycling in the off season. I average 15 hours training per week and ithlete helps me monitor when I should do more or less. Essentially, ithlete has allowed me to train with greater confidence. Having another tool, besides personal feeling, to gauge fatigue has enabled me to train smarter and in that respect has aided me in reaching my goals.

I really enjoy using ithlete and it has become an important training tool for my coaches and all the athletes on my team.