Sign in

How to Make Fast Alpine Skiing Athletes Even Faster Using Speed Analysis

Valérie Grenier downhill training

It can be lonely at the top.

It’s a truism in alpine ski coaching: It can be hard to help the fastest athlete in the training group. 

The reason is simple: there’s simply no one to compare them to other than themselves. With traditional timing systems, it is a serious challenge to identify where these top athletes are being challenged and slowing down when all their times are green. 

By collecting up to 5,000 data points with Protern.io, it becomes possible to see exactly where the athlete is being challenged. This lets coaches to optimize even the most minuscule imperfections in the leaders’ runs.

Better data = better performance

Protern.io use an innovative GPS-based sensor, coupled with advanced alpine skiing analysis software. The system moves beyond traditional timing, recording an array of data including both location and speed 10 times per second. This allows more granular information, which leads to deeper analysis.

Traditional timing only gives you one metric to work with: time. And if you have only one split setup, you’re only getting two data points for the run: time at halfway and the finish.

This results in large gaps in the understanding of the athlete’s performance during the run.

For example, it is possible the fastest athlete is actually slower than the others through a combination, but makes up for it everywhere else. 

Ultimately, they still may end up with the fastest time of your team, but you lack the detailed data to show what’s really going on. Therefore, you’re powerless to address the minor hiccups that pop up during every run. This leaves the athlete stuck at the top with nowhere to improve. 

Protern.io addresses this problem head-on, giving you far more data to work with. This empowers coaches and top athletes to easily implement advanced ski performance analysis to optimize even the smallest errors in their top performers’ runs, giving them headway to hone their skills even further than before.

These same techniques also work for solo athletes, and they’re remarkably easy to implement with Protern.io.

Here’s how.

How it works

  1. Build a quantriq. To start, all you need to do is upload the data gathered from several runs from a Protern.io-equipped top athlete and build a quantriq in Protern.io.
Protern Build Quantriq page
  1. Select the runs. Select all of their runs from the session, and click “analyze runs.” This will pull up a graph that shows the data from all the runs from the session.
  1. Analyze the data. Click to organize the graph by distance, and change it to relative from absolute. This gives you a chart that shows the athlete’s relative speed run-by-run, compared to their fastest run.
  1. Look for inconsistency in speed. This chart shows you exactly where along the course the athlete is most consistent, and where their performance starts to deviate from run to run.

In our example run, you can see that this particular athlete is fairly consistent for roughly the first half of each run.

If the athlete’s performance was this consistent throughout the course, you should be finding more challenging runs for this athlete to practice.

But, as we can see, in the latter part of the course, the athlete’s performance starts to deviate much more aggressively.

This variance in speed shows us that the athlete is having issues.

  1. Use the takeaways. Now that you have identified the “challenge areas” of the course for the athlete, you can determine what they can do to improve in that area, looking at things like terrain, gate setup, or video analysis to figure out exactly what is happening.

    From there, it’s just a matter of tweaking your strategy to address these shortcomings and train where it counts most.

With the help of ski performance analysis powered by Protern.io, coaches can take their athletes to the next level by providing data-driven insights and personalized training strategies to optimize their performance on the slopes.

Get Protern today from our online store. We ship to anywhere in the world. 

Share this post

Elevate Your Performance with Protern.io

Subscribe for Exclusive Insights & Training Tips