Thursday, January 27, 2011

Speed Analysis

So I have been tracking Vegas' AKC agility results in quite a lot of detail for almost as long as we've been trialing with AKC, but I wanted to look at our numbers in another format. For each run I usually have the following pieces of information:

  • Date
  • Show (AKA: the hosting club)
  • Location
  • Class/Level
  • Judge
  • Dog's Time
  • Yardage
  • SCT
  • YPS
  • Surface
  • Weather Conditions (and whether we're indoors or out)
  • Comments
I use the record book put out by Clean Run and have always tracked when we earned our titles as well as more recently our MACH points and QQs. I hadn't put a lot of thought into our YPS until more recently and I've started paying attention to how Vegas runs and what affects her. For instance, what factors affect her performance? Some of those could be: surface, temperature, weather, travel distance, trial location, humidity, and even whether we've had enough rest. To assimilate the information, I took her record book and entered some of the key pieces into Excel. Here is what I came up with. 
The yellow highlight represents her fastest YPS - all over 4 and all in JWW. What I didn't learn from this - yet - is whether weather has anything to do with her runs or not. Most of what I did jot down includes cool and cold temperatures but some of them I was not good about entering that information. One was mid-80s though and her YPS was 4.13. You can see, too, surface doesn't seem to matter at all either. She pretty much ran on it all. The only thing I can tell is that she doesn't run quit as quickly on rubber matting. 

I guess my goal in all of this is to find the ideal conditions and either do what I can to replicate it, or work to make sure she's in as top form as she can be to combat any negative conditions. That's not to say she doesn't already stay conditioned, isn't already warmed up properly, that she will or won't get stretched well in one setup or another, I was just hoping to figure out a theme. I've really started to recognize that every single run - heck, ever single jump - counts with my big girl. I don't want to be one of those Dane handlers running her like crazy at 8, 9, or 10 years old. I want to save her golden years and make sure she's as spry as she can be during those times. We're not practicing at all really any more. She and I have really been fortunate to synchronize our teamwork, to come together and just "get it" in recent months and I just don't feel it's of value for us to do any more than we have to. That's not to say that we won't work things from time to time or as it appears necessary, but I just don't feel going and working her on agility weekly like I had been is something I want to do to her body. There are plenty of other activities for us to do to stimulate body and mind and I'll save the strain on her body for competition. I guess I'll continue tracking in my book and also on my spreadsheet and see if any patterns start to appear after some more time. For now it's just my ruminations, contemplations, and overactive worry center that keeps me focusing on these things and hoping to maximize our time running together. 

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