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How Augmented Reality Can Optimize Peak Performance

In the world of an experienced endurance sports athlete, pain and training typically go hand-in-hand. An athlete tries to push through the pain and fatigue they endure in order to achieve his or her goals.

We are all familiar with the concept of “No pain, no gain.” Athletes and anyone familiar with working out or training will seek this pain in order to tell them if they’ve pushed hard enough.

For example, we all know the feeling that comes in the days following a solid training day where your legs are jello or your arm trembles as you reach for the cereal box in the cupboard. That pain is the good kind of pain we tend to revel in.

But let’s get back to the pain we experience during a training session – the no pain, no gain idea.

Imagine you’re on your bike, powerfully pedaling as you ascend a canyon road. The goal is to reach the top as swiftly as possible, but we are all too aware of the pain that will creep in as we ascend.

What happens is what we call the “dance with discomfort” – where your effort increases, the lungs shift into overdrive and your circulation increases. Thus begins the inner dialogue where one struggles with leaning into the pain and pushing harder, or pulling back and easing up to minimize discomfort.

One may look at their watch or recognize the pain level in order to draw conclusions about whether to throttle or ease. But without meaningful data, he or she is constantly aggregating a combination of objective and subjective feedback in order to determine the optimal effort.

It is extremely difficult to measure or guess such things like power, cadence, heart rate, distance to the top, elapsed time, the rate of perceived exertion (RPE), breathing rate, and much more.

Having convenient access to meaningful data in these moments can make the difference between persevering or pulling the plug.

SOLOS Smart Glasses helps optimize the efficacy and relevance of these metrics by providing them visually, in the athlete’s field of view, as well as through audio feedback. Simply put, there is nothing like it.

The audio feedback, if desired, comes in the form of a “voice notification,” featuring some good news which penetrates the athlete’s trance-like state in a way that visual-only data may not.

If mid-way through the ride, the athlete is feeling fatigue BUT sees and hears confirmation that the effort is going well, i.e. “an average power of 285w at an RPE of only 7 out of 10”, which comes across as “good news,” based on historical data and experience, he or she is far more likely to continue at that intensity, or higher, until the top of the climb.

The notification elicits excitement and energy to lean into the pain to achieve a goal.

Conversely, when absent of such supporting objective data, and given that the brain – the “Central Governor” –  is constantly trying to keep the athlete from doing damage to his or her muscles, including the heart, the athlete is far more likely to succumb to the protective and negative sensations and feedback. This will cause him or her to slow down, thereby falling short of “peak performance.”

Training in order to achieve peak performance is often a strenuous mental game where an athlete is focusing on being in the zone but is constantly juggling negative responses from the brain while also discerning subjective and objective feedback from both the body and target metrics.

SOLOS Smart Glasses gives the endurance athlete the ability to stay focused and present during training while also receiving real-time visual and audio feedback to optimize his or her efforts. The “No pain, no gain” concept is still relevant, but one will no longer have to struggle with the decision to lean into the pain or pull back from it.