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Measuring Fitness and Training Stress
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smaryka




Joined: 07 Mar 2009
Posts: 133

PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

scratchy wrote:
1) How should I base my intensity factors? i.e. is 1 relative to anything?
2) Is there a correct intensity factor, or does it just have to be relative to other HR zones i.e. zone 2 is 1 and zone 4 is 2, or zone 2 is 2 and zone 4 is 4?
3) When I view the activities in TL, none of my activities have a training factor associated with them, its just blank, am I doing something wrong?
4) Is the aim to get a progressively higher TRIMP value over say a course of 4 weeks, and then allow fatigue to reduce and TSB to increase?
5) Is there a given rule for resting when you reach a certain negative TSB, or is this trial and error?
5) How do I manually enter activities that you talk about, and why should I be doing this?


1. 2. and 3. Have a look at my intensity factors (which I created by trial and error, using WKO+ TSS figures as a guide) and HR zones (which are personal of course, the top of zone 4 is my tested threshold HR). I think the main point is to be consistent, as you are really measuring your fitness/fatigue against itself.

4. Some people like an X weeks build, Y weeks recovery approach, others like to build recovery days into their weeks. I've done both, but either way you want to see a trending steady rise in CTL. Large rises from big weeks/weekends are great, as long as you recover from them (and you will see small drops with that recovery, which is normal). But you don't want to see huge drops in CTL or huge boosts in positive TSB as that generally means inconsistent and/or inefficient training.

5. Since going from Ironman triathlete to roadie-only, I've found I can tolerate much more negative TSB now. It used to be I would get to -30 or so in running + cycling together and really start to feel it, but now I see that was mostly due to running. So I would say you can generally stress yourself more on the bike and should be careful with the stress you incur in running as it's much harder on the body. Here's what my run TSB looked like in my major race builds last year (from WKO, but looks very similar to ST). As you can see, -12 was about my tolerable max in running, whereas I've recently done -50 on the bike in Lanzarote and was tired and sore but not dead. The -18 I had before IMLP ended up being way too much, so I corrected it for Kona.

In all of this, I think the biggest thing to remember is TSB is "Training Stress Balance" with emphasis on balance. ATL (fatigue) and CTL (fitness) live in a balance, so what you want is to fatigue yourself enough to make major fitness adaptations in the long run, but not so much that you lose quality in your workouts. It's no good running a -15 run TSB only to find you can't come close to your ideal pacing in mile repeats or whatever because you're too tired!
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scratchy




Joined: 25 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, that's great guys!

One last question, is there a way to create recurring workouts in sports tracks i.e. a daily commute, or do you have to manually enter each day?

Regards
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jibberjim




Joined: 15 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You have to enter each day, although you can just copy a previous workout and change the date.
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chrisg




Joined: 19 Aug 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 1:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Measuring Fitness and Training Stress Reply with quote

jibberjim wrote:


The fatigue - the average of your recent Training Scores, is called your ATL (Acute Training Load), and typically set up to respond to the previous 5-15 days of training.

The fitness - the average of your longer Training Scores, is called your CTL (Chronic Training Load), and typically set up to respond to the previous 6 weeks of training.

The form - the difference between your Fitness and your Fatigue, is called your TSB (Training Stress Balance) and is simply the difference between your CTL and ATL.



Since this post was put up I've started to look properly at my training and measuring the effects. So thanks Jim. But I think there is a problem to this approach. I have it set that ATL is measured over 15 days and CTL to 45 days. I got to a point where it suggested high levels of fatigue as I was in a phase of training nearly every day, but I've now gone and had a few days off and the fatigue is dropping nicely. But as ATL is just a 15 day rolling average then the value will be the same after 15 days if I did 1 day of loads of training followed by 14 days of nothing compared to 14days of nothing and 1 day heavy training, but obviously wouldn't do this as a pre-race strategy.

So is there a way to weight the rolling average so the measure of fatigue will be less with method 1, but also performance might be lower as there was no training for 2 weeks?
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scratchy




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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jibberjim wrote:
You have to enter each day, although you can just copy a previous workout and change the date.


Sounds silly, but how to I copy a workout? If I use the right click -> copy. When i paste it, it just pastes in loads of text.
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jibberjim




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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With a workout selected, just select copy from the workout actions list.
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scratchy




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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jibberjim wrote:
With a workout selected, just select copy from the workout actions list.


Thanks very much!

I have 1 more question Wink

If i want to track swimming in there (I have read the swim smooth / WKO stuff). Obviously i have to use HR. So would I have to manually work it out for each swim by adding in a HR which gives me the desired TSS?
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jibberjim




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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

scratchy wrote:
If i want to track swimming in there (I have read the swim smooth / WKO stuff). Obviously i have to use HR. So would I have to manually work it out for each swim by adding in a HR which gives me the desired TSS?


just add TRIMP=XXX in the description box.
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Russ C




Joined: 04 Oct 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 1:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Measuring Fitness and Training Stress Reply with quote

chrisg wrote:
jibberjim wrote:


The fatigue - the average of your recent Training Scores, is called your ATL (Acute Training Load), and typically set up to respond to the previous 5-15 days of training.

The fitness - the average of your longer Training Scores, is called your CTL (Chronic Training Load), and typically set up to respond to the previous 6 weeks of training.

The form - the difference between your Fitness and your Fatigue, is called your TSB (Training Stress Balance) and is simply the difference between your CTL and ATL.



Since this post was put up I've started to look properly at my training and measuring the effects. So thanks Jim. But I think there is a problem to this approach. I have it set that ATL is measured over 15 days and CTL to 45 days. I got to a point where it suggested high levels of fatigue as I was in a phase of training nearly every day, but I've now gone and had a few days off and the fatigue is dropping nicely. But as ATL is just a 15 day rolling average then the value will be the same after 15 days if I did 1 day of loads of training followed by 14 days of nothing compared to 14days of nothing and 1 day heavy training, but obviously wouldn't do this as a pre-race strategy.

So is there a way to weight the rolling average so the measure of fatigue will be less with method 1, but also performance might be lower as there was no training for 2 weeks?


ATL and CTL are normally weighted so most recent training has a bigger influence rather than a straight average. When I've implemented a performance management chart in Excel the formula I use is like this:

Code:
CTL = TSS * (1 - e^(-1/CTL_Constant)) + yesterday_CTL * e^(-1/CTL_Constant)


Where the CTL_Constant is the number of days for CTL so 45 in your case. The same formula is used for ATL too of course. It gives you an exponentially decaying value for each. Hopefully that horrible notation gives you some idea what I mean!

Not sure if that's what you're looking for. If you're trying to implement this in Excel I can send you a spreadsheet that does this.
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chrisg




Joined: 19 Aug 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 3:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Measuring Fitness and Training Stress Reply with quote

Russ C wrote:
chrisg wrote:
jibberjim wrote:


The fatigue - the average of your recent Training Scores, is called your ATL (Acute Training Load), and typically set up to respond to the previous 5-15 days of training.

The fitness - the average of your longer Training Scores, is called your CTL (Chronic Training Load), and typically set up to respond to the previous 6 weeks of training.

The form - the difference between your Fitness and your Fatigue, is called your TSB (Training Stress Balance) and is simply the difference between your CTL and ATL.



Since this post was put up I've started to look properly at my training and measuring the effects. So thanks Jim. But I think there is a problem to this approach. I have it set that ATL is measured over 15 days and CTL to 45 days. I got to a point where it suggested high levels of fatigue as I was in a phase of training nearly every day, but I've now gone and had a few days off and the fatigue is dropping nicely. But as ATL is just a 15 day rolling average then the value will be the same after 15 days if I did 1 day of loads of training followed by 14 days of nothing compared to 14days of nothing and 1 day heavy training, but obviously wouldn't do this as a pre-race strategy.

So is there a way to weight the rolling average so the measure of fatigue will be less with method 1, but also performance might be lower as there was no training for 2 weeks?


ATL and CTL are normally weighted so most recent training has a bigger influence rather than a straight average. When I've implemented a performance management chart in Excel the formula I use is like this:

Code:
CTL = TSS * (1 - e^(-1/CTL_Constant)) + yesterday_CTL * e^(-1/CTL_Constant)


Where the CTL_Constant is the number of days for CTL so 45 in your case. The same formula is used for ATL too of course. It gives you an exponentially decaying value for each. Hopefully that horrible notation gives you some idea what I mean!

Not sure if that's what you're looking for. If you're trying to implement this in Excel I can send you a spreadsheet that does this.


Ok I assume then Training Load in sports tracks does a similar thing, as the ATL,CTL,TSB are decaying functions when I see what the future would show. so it is actually cleverer than I thought, I just thought it took a straight average.
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jibberjim




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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 3:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Measuring Fitness and Training Stress Reply with quote

chrisg wrote:
Ok I assume then Training Load in sports tracks does a similar thing, as the ATL,CTL,TSB are decaying functions when I see what the future would show. so it is actually cleverer than I thought, I just thought it took a straight average.


Yes, all the ATL/CTL calcs are EWMA's (exponentially weighted moving averages) so the numbers you enter for the CTL/ATL constants are not the number of days that actually impact the workout, all workouts impact it, just that after a certain number of days the amount of impact from the longer ago efforts is tiny.
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scratchy




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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's the difference between TSS and TRIMP.

Also, can intensity factors be calculated without power?
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Russ C




Joined: 04 Oct 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

scratchy wrote:
What's the difference between TSS and TRIMP.


TSS is modelled after TRIMP.

TRIMP uses duration and heart rate as the basis of its calculations whereas TSS is based on duration and Intensity Factor. They differ in their formulas, but both provide a means of tracking training load.

scratchy wrote:
Also, can intensity factors be calculated without power?


Simple answer is yes. By example WKO+ calculates a run TSS for run workouts. To do this it needs an intensity factor for a run. It uses run pace instead of power determining the IF as the percentage of your threshold run pace you were at.

Intensity factor is basically a measure of what percentage of a given threshold value you were working at. If you can determine a threshold pace for running, swimming or other sports you could calculate an IF. This won't necessarily take into account other circumstances though - running up a hill is harder than the same pace on the flat so there are other factors. Certainly I find IF from pace in running seems a little high for me.

Less of an issue with a power meter as you're measuring the power applied at the pedals against the threshold power eliminating concerns about terrain/environment.

Hope that helps.
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scratchy




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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

brilliant, thanks
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benjipeg




Joined: 19 May 2010
Posts: 468
Location: Anglesey

PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for the link jim sure i`ll be quizzing you about it all soon

cheers
ben
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