Training Load

by mechgt

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Aug 26, 2015

TRIMP and Daniels' VDOT training points

TRIMP and Daniels' VDOT training points

Postby BigMike » Thu Feb 16, 2012 7:29 pm

I’ve been experimenting with automatically calculating Daniel’s VDOT points (from “Daniels’ Running Formula” second edition) in the TrainingLoad plug-in. Wherever I refer to Daniels’ work in this posting, the info is drawn or paraphrased from his book. I want to share my results and hopefully get some feedback from someone doing this better.

Daniels describes VDOT training points as a way of converting runs of different intensities and durations into points. Daniels’ Table 2.2 ‘Intensity Training Table’ converts runs of different intensities and durations to training points. When planning your training, he suggests beginning runners might shoot for a total of 50 points a week, advanced high school runners around 100 points, and collegians about 150. Elite athletes might accumulate 200 points/week. Here is how I set up the TrainingLoad plugin to calculate VDOT points.

When initially setting up the TrainingLoad plug in, we went into Categories/Heart Rate Zones, and created a list of heart rate zones probably called ’Training Load’. Then, under Settings/Plugins/Training Load you see training load factors were spread across the range of heart rate values in that list.
Daniels’ VDOT points are analogous to how the training load factor is used to determine TRIMP, only the factors are different. So, go back into Categories/Heart Rate Zones, select the ‘Training Load’ category you created already, and select ‘Duplicate’. I call the new category VDOT. The VDOT list will now have all the same heart rate ‘bins’ that your TrainingLoad list has.

Now, under Settings/Plugins/Training Load, you can see the new category of ‘VDOT’ under HR Zones. Using the data from Daniels’ table 2.2, you put in the factor (from the table showing how many VDOT points you get for 1 minute in this HR range). I then selected the VDOT category, and selected ’single zone’. In the Training Load view, I selected ‘Recallculate’.

From this point on, any graph that shows TRIMP is now actually showing VDOT training points. For example, Rolling Sum 1 is the sliding weekly VDOT points total, CTL and ATL are now long term and recent averages of daily VDOT training points.

Conclusions so far?
- TRIMP and VDOT points are similar … both scales reward higher intensity training with more points, but Daniels’ VDOT factors give you more points for higher intensities than the TRIMP factors (and of course VDOT points are smaller - you might get 100 a week instead of 100 a day)
- It’s nice to have the software convert your training history into VDOT points, when you’re looking at the Daniels book and laying out a training plan
- It’s surprisingly easy to get TrainingLoad to talk in VDOT training points, it shouldn’t be too hard to build it in and have the factors preloaded, and allow the graphs to use VDOT terms in labeling
- It would be especially neato if our personal HR categories could be replaced by pace categories with associated VDOT training point factors – then you could calculate VDOT training points from pace and/or HR data
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Re: TRIMP and Daniels' VDOT training points

Postby the5krunner » Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:28 am

The title of this intrigued me to read more. Some good work well done and well written.

I might be interested to see how VDOT points compare to TRIMP, just as a sense check. Maybe one would 'feel' better than the other.

There would still be the same issue for me of converting or getting all the data for cycling and swimming as well and combining all in a meaningful way.

If you are just doing it for running...sure it must be fine. maybe better, maybe not...i don't know.

As you say the two are analagous and so could you just not use either? Is there really a benefit from using VDOT? (unless maybe to track that you have done the vdot you set out to - ironically i'm off for an hour of such VDOT fun in a few minutes!). Maybe the vdot could better link in with the training planning plugin? (although i'v not looked at that one yet and momentarily forget its name).

Although as you say having a target number of VDOT point a week is good. Currently with this plugin i think i'm right in saying we don't have trimp targets as such just the desire to have our fitness curve going ever skywards...
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Re: TRIMP and Daniels' VDOT training points

Postby BigMike » Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:58 pm

TRIMP and VDOT are indeed similar ... they both give you more points for longer and/or harder workouts, though they use different scales. They're both useful. Daniels' book is based on his experience with runners and I thought it would be interesting to be able to compare my training history and training plan to the training he might expect the runners he coaches to do. Tracking VDOT is going to be helpful to runners who are trying to follow Daniels' approach, maybe less so to cyclists and swimmers.

I like your thought on a connection with a Training Plan plug-in. I'm interested in how self-coached athletes approach planning a training and racing season. It's hard to take a 24 week calendar, break it into phases, identify the right workload and training objectives for each phase, and then lay it all out in a detailed day-by-day plan. On the other hand, whether you had a formal plan or not, your log book (SportTracks and TrainingLoad for us) tells the story of the path/plan that got you where you are. In effect, the story of your last training cycle is likely going to be the basis of your next training cycle plan. You just need to figure out what you need to change ...
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Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:16 pm

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