Use Google Earth and win a cycling gold medal

Womens Time Trial Gold Medalist Kristin Armstrong

Womens Time Trial Olympic Gold Medalist Kristin Armstrong

Google Earth was one of the training tools Kristin Armstrong used to win her Olympic Gold Medal in the time trial. When she did her time trials in December, 2007 in China, she took along her husband’s GPS unit to capture the elevation along the route. Then she used that data to find the best training route back home in Boise (designing a local loop that closely mimicked the Olympic course). In a guest post on the Google Lat-Long blog, Armstrong explains:

After returning home to Boise, Idaho, I exported the GPS data to several different formats, one of which I was able to launch with Google Earth. I was then able to trace the entire course from the comfort of my home half a world away and find a similar route to train on back in Boise. This capability along with having the elevation profile proved invaluable in my preparation for my Gold Medal race.

It’s great to see cyclists using technology to improve their performance. One of the side benefits is that it gives fans an unprecedented level of information and access. A great example is Team Garmin-Chipotle’s Power Blog. They’ll have posts with a rider’s profile from a given race and insight’s into their performance. As a power junkie, it’s great to compare my numbers to the pros; as a result, I have even more respect for how good those guys really are.

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