NASCAR Cup Champions Explain How They Use Wearables #Wearables

GettyImages 845099030

Via SportTechie

When Kevin Harvick first wore a Polar heart-rate monitor during a NASACR race a few years ago, he sent the data back to the company for help with the analysis. Their response: “Wow, this wasn’t really what we were expecting.”

Few outside the sport understood the driver’s physical strain during a long race, especially this one which had few caution flags. Harvick said he burned 3,200 calories while maintaining an average heart rate of 152 over a 3-hour, 30-minute race.

“The only thing they had to compare it to was a marathon runner,” he said.

NASCAR, which begins its Monster Energy Cup Series Playoffs on Saturday, officially sanctioned the use of wearables such as heart-rate monitors in the car earlier this year, though a few drivers had already experimented with them.

Not every driver has found the devices to be useful. Kyle Busch, for instance, said he tried one once but generally believes there aren’t many insights to be gleaned other than reinforcing that healthier people — such as famed fitness aficionado Jimmie Johnson — will have lower heart rates.

“Jimmie’s resting heart rate is, like 30,” Busch said, before adding with a laugh: “He’s dead when he’s walking.”

Even those who do wear the monitors don’t always wear them weekly, noting that the data can be redundant. Harvick said, “The weeks that are the highest are the weeks that have the least amount of cautions, no matter the racetrack.”

There are more granular interpretations to be made, too. Brad Keselowski said the race he won in Atlanta back in March was particularly clear in how he could see the appropriate spikes and dips corresponding to yellow flags, restarts and passes. During strenuous moments, he said his heart rate might range from 165 to 175 for 30 straight minutes.

“It’s pretty obvious,” said Keselowski, who first tried a monitor in July 2016. “It’s a four-hour, sometimes five-hour data set, so it’s a lot to break down, but you can see action spots.”

Harvick and Keselowski both wear the monitors for workouts as well. Harvick said his aren’t anything too elaborate — “I’m a 41-year-old dad, so I’m not an avid anything,” he said — but will take spin classes, run intervals on the treadmill in his garage or just take off for a four- or five-mile run, while also doing exercises with Bosu balls, dumbbells and kettle bells.

Keselowski used to cycle regularly, like so many other drivers, but has heard about too many people getting hurt on the bike; instead, he does some interval training and also adds what he calls his “secret sauce” workout. What motivates his routine is the realization that he would feel “gassed” after driving his heart rate up to 150 during conditioning but would maintain a higher pulse during racing but be able to withstand it better and recover more quickly.

He said he has explored outside help for how to better interpret all this information, “but it’s hard to get any real actionable items. I have my own sense for what it’s trying to tell me, which is, if you’re not working out with adrenaline, you’re not really working out.”

Read more!

Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here:

Join Adafruit on Mastodon

Adafruit is on Mastodon, join in!

Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Join over 36,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community!

CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers –

Maker Business — “Packaging” chips in the US

Wearables — Enclosures help fight body humidity in costumes

Electronics — Transformers: More than meets the eye!

Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: Silicon Labs introduces CircuitPython support, and more! #CircuitPython #Python #micropython @ThePSF @Raspberry_Pi

Adafruit IoT Monthly — Guardian Robot, Weather-wise Umbrella Stand, and more!

Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Thank You!

EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey

New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — #NewProds 7/19/23 Feat. Adafruit Matrix Portal S3 CircuitPython Powered Internet Display!

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at !

No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.