Training Load

by mechgt

Downloads: 12,931 (48) • Reviews: 18




Aug 26, 2015

Training Load Introduction

Training Load Introduction

Postby mechgt » Sun Apr 12, 2009 10:24 am

This plugin and these theories are not biased toward running, cycling, or any other specific sport. They are however specific to endurance sports, (and do not apply to sports like weightlifting) so whatever you read should apply to running, cycling, and any other endurance sport.

Theory & Concept:
I thought this was a pretty good sites explaining some of the ideas and theories behind this:
Part 1: Pretty Graphs ... ty-graphs/

Part 2: ATL, CTL & TSB explained ... explained/

Brief Basics:
TrImp: Training Impulse
The TRIMP concept was developed in the 70's by Eric Bannister. This is a training score based on heart rate during an activity. It is measured in arbitrary units and represents an intensity score for an activity. The score is based on time spent in various heart rate zones. The higher your heart rate, the more 'points' you get for it. A 1 hour activity with a generally low heart rate will give you a lower TrImp score than a 1 hour activity with a generally high heart rate (which would be a more intense activity.)

Currently any reference to TSS (Training Stress Score) in this plugin can be assumed to be synonymous with TRIMP. I've learned I inadvertantly used incorrect terminology, which will be corrected in future releases of this plugin. (TSS refers specifically to a power based intensity score and was developed by Andy Coggan, whereas TRIMP is heart rate based and developed by Eric Bannister and colleagues.)

CTL: Chronic Training Load
Calculated as something similar to a long term moving average of your TrImp scores. The recommended time constant for this is around 45 days (can be set on the settings page). This is often referred to as your 'fitness'. You have to work harder and longer to move this number, because it moves slower, but as it creeps up, it represents your improved conditioning.

ATL: Acute Training Load[u]
Similar to a short term moving average of your TrImp scores. The recommended time constant for this is around 15 days (which is different from the default when this plugin was initially released!) This is often referred to as your 'fatigue'. As you train, you need to recover. A high ATL indicates a lot of recent training, and may indicate a need for some recovery.

[u]TSB: Training Stress Balance

This is simply CTL - ATL. This is often referred to as your 'performance'. The more positive this number, the beter trained and well rested you are. A high TSB is what you want just prior to race day. As you rest, ATL (fatigue) decays quickly, and CTL (fitness) decays slowly - makes sense, right? So, TSB will generally start to climb and will eventually peak and then begin to fall. Turn on the 'Forecast' checkbox setting and your TSB chartline to see this. Training Load predicts - or 'Forecasts' - 1 week past when TSB peaks.

Influence Chart and Target Date:
This is not covered in the above websites. It is from a study cited earlier in this thread.
First off, set an upcoming race day by selecting race day on the calender, then clicking Set Target Date under Tasks, then show the Influence chart. This chart shows how positively impactful training is for your upcoming race. On the dates where it peaks, it'll have the most impact on giving you a positive TSB on race day - if you can only train 1 day for a race, this is the day to train. Where it goes negative (this is theory now), you are contributing more to fatigue than you are fitness, so it will bring your TSB down. A strict adherence to this theory would be that you quit cold-turkey all training at this point, or maybe just recovery level activities (nothing intense). The date seems too early, but the research (and my personal experience to a limited extense) indicated this is not the case.
Last edited by mechgt on Sun Feb 14, 2010 4:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Enhance SportTracks with Training Load, Fit Plan and more plugins at Garmin FR310XT & iBike iPro
Posts: 1188
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:13 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA, USA

Postby mechgt » Sun Feb 14, 2010 4:05 pm

Newly updated features as of version 1.4:

Power charts:
The biggest addition is that power is now integrated with it. There's a pull-down to switch from HR/Trimp based calculations, to Power based calculations. The power calculations are primarily oriented toward our cyclists out there (for now...), however I've found Trimp to be very helpful for running (and cycling), so there's no changes there.

Note that the terminology 'Trimp' now correctly refers to HR based calculations (from Dr. Eric Bannister), and TSS or Training Stress Score refers to power based calculations (from Dr. Andy Coggan).

Mean-Max Chart:
There's a new Mean-Max chart in the main Activity Details drop down. It's a little slow now, but hopefully I can get that to calculate a little faster in the future. See this topic for more information and questions: Mean-Max explanation

Calcs at startup:
Training Load should load faster. However, if you don't like training load as much as I do and don't want programs doing stuff you didn't ask them to do, you can disable it. The 'preload' option runs in the background in low priority and shouldn't slow down ST starting up. I suggest you enable this.

Functional Threshold Power:
Users need to enter this data (necessary for TSS calculations) in your choice of Athlete data fields: Skinfold, BP High, BP Low, or BodyFat. The default is SkinFold, but there's an option to change it to another category if you're already using that.

Sorry for the 'hack', but until we get customized athlete fields, this was what would most closely replicate that.

Smaller details:
- Default zoom changed to 6 months
- ZoomToFit button defaults to this period (6 months). double click on chart to see 'everything'
- Activities with no 'score' (TSS or Trimp) are shown in italics to highlight activities being skipped by the charts. You may need to go and do manual entry on these activities to include them.
- Chart includes ALL activity dates instead of starting with the first 'scored' activity (let me know if this has any unintended consequences).
- Couple of new columns... normalized power, intensity factor, TSS, etc.
- TSS can be manually entered like 'TSS=xxxx' anywhere in Notes field.
- TL data can be exported to csv file. See export task underneath calendar.
- Double-click activity in table to go to main activity view.

Other plugins can access Training Load Data:
- Plugin developers should now be able to access Training Load data from the TrainingLoad.Data namespace. Post a message in the developers forum for questions/requests on this topic.
Enhance SportTracks with Training Load, Fit Plan and more plugins at Garmin FR310XT & iBike iPro
Posts: 1188
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:13 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA, USA

Re: Training Load Introduction

Postby EXTREMEENDURANCE » Wed Apr 20, 2011 9:26 am

Great introduction... Exactly what I needed.
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2011 3:29 am

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