Training Load

by mechgt

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Aug 26, 2015

What value should I have in CTL, ATL and TSB

What value should I have in CTL, ATL and TSB

Postby mnn » Mon Jul 18, 2011 3:38 pm

I am new to this plugin and have just installed. It seems to work great, but in order to evaluate my training "situation", I would like to know, where CTL, ATL and TSB should be (I know current shape is individual, but how do I know if TSB is too high = rest needed)?

My data are:
CTL: 59
ATL: 68
TSB: -12

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Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:02 pm

Re: What value should I have in CTL, ATL and TSB

Postby the5krunner » Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:13 pm


TRIMP is how hard you've been trying. Fair enough, you can always try harder on any one day I guess. So it's just a 'fact' of your last exercise.
CTL is a long term mov avg of TRIMP - i guess for anyone training it should IDEALLY trend upwards regardless of anything else?
ATL is cumulative short term TRIMP
- too high suggests over-training. BUT what is too high?
- I guess you recover by taking it more easily for a while. A quieter training week every month is my rule of thumb.
TSB - needs to be as POSITIVELY (?) high as possible for the target race day. Again my rule of thumb would be that exercise takes about 2 weeks to my taper would be 2 weeks long so building TSB by then lowering ATL. With a big reduction 3-4 days prior to the event.

I guess all the CTL/ATL/TSB figures help you work out if the "2-week recovery" and "one week per month lighter training" rules of thumb are right or not for you.

Discuss !!(Simply please)
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Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 1:41 pm

Re: What value should I have in CTL, ATL and TSB

Postby Daniel Panev » Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:35 pm

OK, some theoretical/technical background could be found here.
In the above mentioned document Andrew Coggan wrote:Training stress balance, or TSB, is, as the name suggests, the difference between CTL and ATL, i.e., TSB = CTL – ATL.

So I guess you'd like to minimize the TSB (meaning dropping it "as negatively as possible") which would mean that you're improving your fitness. Of course this is valid only when you're not tapering and should go positive as you are reducing your training during the taper period.
According to this document:
Hunter Allen wrote:You might also want to change the STARTING VALUE for both the CTL CONSTANT and the ATL CONSTANT. We recommend that you multiply the average amount of hours per day that you ride, by 30, then multiple that by .70, and that should give you a starting point. Use this value for both the ATL and CTL.

If you do as advised by Hunter Allen in the beginning of your season/training cycle you'll get some values for your initial CTL and ATL. As these values will be equal your TSB will be 0. Then you start training and TSB will start to change :lol:
Daniel Panev
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Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 1:56 am
Location: Sofia, Bulgaria

Re: What value should I have in CTL, ATL and TSB

Postby the5krunner » Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:15 pm

:-) thanks Daniel...still not sure of the answer tho!

I'm on

TRIMPS ranging usually from 50-160, peaking at 300 (race!) should be 100-190 for me I reckon but that's my problem with slacking.
CTL 64 (trending upwards...yeah! seems right)
ATL 68 (JUST down from a recent peak of just under 90 but i don't know why as i'e been slacking a bit for the last 4 weeks or more could be a manually added swim data issue?)
TSB -10 (been negative for last couple of weeks to -20 when i started to correct my slacking a bit) next race in March?

I reckon, by "feel", that I should be training 50% as hard over the week. But that my 'fitness level' as shown by CTL feels about right from September to now.

So I suspect that what mnn and me are both saying is "the past historical graphs look good, in fact fantastic, but what do I do tomorrow and next week' ie how do you plan for your training future with the numbers that come out.

Or would you get your 12 week plan sorted and then adjust it as you go along to ensure you improve whilst not fatiguing too much whilst following your plan?

I think I'm gonna have to unlock this plugin as I need to see what I was doing leading up to september when i was dead on my feet for 10 weeks!
Posts: 458
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 1:41 pm

Re: What value should I have in CTL, ATL and TSB

Postby scotti » Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:44 pm


been a training load user since August. Use it for long term development, i.e. CTL growing continuously. More CTL is always good. So training load shows if your training is good enough (in TRIMPs) to increase your CTL (fitness). But there is no specific value to aim for. It can also tell you, if your training plan (recommend Fitplan for this) is going to bring you to a certain CTL level.
Keep an eye on your ATL level not to overshoot (into negative). Generally you cannot build CTL without "investment" in ATL. You can build CTL faster, when you allow higher ATL. If it gets too high, you overtrain. Again, there is no fixed value.
TSB is just the calculated difference between CTL and ATL. When I train, it is almost always negative, unless regenerating or tapering. For the event, it should be at a max.
Very important is the influence, it describes the effectivity of your training towards a preset (date) event. Training Load provides you 3 dates: your target date (preset), your maximum efficiency date (the training around this date has biggest impact for your defined event), and your taper date. All TRIMPs beyond this date will actually have a negative impact on your form on your target date, as the fatigue (expressed in ATL) will be higher than your fitness (in CTL), so your TSB will be lower, when you train at all after your taper date.

I recommend to unlock, will give you an idea of your form in the past. May give you an impression how changes to CTL and TSB affect your ability at a race event.

Hope that helps you further.
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Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:52 pm

Re: What value should I have in CTL, ATL and TSB

Postby the5krunner » Sat Dec 17, 2011 5:19 am

This definitely rates as a QI subject to me! ty for the response.

I presume my TRIMP is BROADLY the same as yours (IF WE BOTH 'DO' 100 FOR EXAMPLE) - ie psysiologically speaking, same bodily effort. Of course your 1 TRIMP might 'get you further than mine' if you are 'better' - is that right?

Same for CTL? yours and mine are same??

SWIMMING: Does 2 TRIMPs per 25m length sound about right (ttl 30 single one minute[?] lengths, rubbish technique. Effort is nowhere near as hard as at the end of a 1 minute running interval. Maybe 2 TRIMPS per length is too high?)

Yet my 5k recent running PB was TRIMP=61 (that 'must' be right?) but sounds low compared to other exercises? I'm a relatively good runner.

If I'm training for a sprint triathlon and you are training for an IM then how does this factor in. You'll be doing more minutes of exercise than me, albeit at a lower intensity. But will all your ATL/CTL/TRIMPs be higher as well? I'm sort of thinking NOT as our bodies can only take the same (relative to our fitness) training load. But then again you'll be tweaking various bodily systems/thresholds differently to me

ATL: did you mean to say "overshoot ATL to negative"?
TSB - how negatively low can you go?

fitplan looks *VERY* interesting but my wife hasn't seen me for about a week as i sit in front of this computer. So it's probably a plugin too far! I'm resolved to having to unlock this (trianing load) baby however.
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Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 1:41 pm

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