Training Load

by mechgt

Downloads: 12,931 (48) • Reviews: 18




Aug 26, 2015

pace-based training

pace-based training

Postby BigMike » Mon May 07, 2012 11:46 am

For runners, TrainingLoad calculates TRIMP based on heart rate data. I'd like to see an option in TrainingLoad to plan and measure workouts based on pace.

Heartrate measurements are generally a fine way to monitor training level-of-effort. Heart rate measurements 'automatically' take into account varying terrain (hills) and weather variations.

Jack Daniels and others emphasize pace-based workouts. Based on current performance levels (racing results) you can estimate the optimal pace for running workouts. Especially at the higher levels of effort (fast repeats) it is more accurate to talk pace when heartrate no longer correlates with pace (i.e. you have some speed when you hit max heart rate, but you can still run faster).

A real advantage of tracking pace instead of heartrate is that pace data (from either a shoe pod or GPS) seems much more reliable than heartrate. The dcrainmaker blog discusses this periodically (see for example ... pikes.html) and I've tried a number of hr straps and gels. I still have many of my runs with missing HR data and estimated TRIMP. I really like TrainingLoad, but it needs good data to work good!

Here is how I think pace-based TRIMP calculation might work in TrainingLoad ...

TrainngLoad already supports heart rate zones and running pace zones. When setting up TrainingLoad there are instructions that end up with a factor being applied to each heartrate zone. What we need is the same process for applying factors to each running pace zone. Then in the TrainingLoad plug-in settings, you would setup how to use heartrate and pace-based TRIMP calculations.

Getting the two calculations calibrated to produce the same TRIMP is problematic - there have been discussions in the forum here about people trying to resolve differences between different estimates already. But they are both unit-less measures intended to represent the relative difference between different workout efforts. The "shape of the curve" is the same for both HR and pace-based estimates; hard workouts score higher in both methods; a simple calibration to get the mid-points and high-end of both scales about the same would be be good enough. I'd like to have the option of being "HR calculation preferred, but use pace-based calculation if selected" (like I now have to select "use manually entered data instead of calculated data" for all my runs with bad HR data) on a run-by-run basis.

What do you think?
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Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:16 pm

Re: pace-based training

Postby the5krunner » Mon May 07, 2012 2:05 pm

Here is a link to one of those pace based tables.

Personally I keep switching between preferring pace and HR based training.

I think you basically have to draw the line somewhere on which to use. I use pace for my faster running workouts (VO2 and over LTHR) and speed/power for my faster bike workouts. I use HR for longer run sessions..basically anything to do with LTHR and aerobic threshold

Playing devil's advocate. You prefer pace. So If I run downhill and you run uphill at the same speed are we expending the same effort? If we do the same speed into- and with-the-wind again who is trying hardest? If you run above 16 celcius one day and the next day is colder than 16, again at the same speed, which is the harder?

So your request sounds straightforward but incorporating all of that info accurately must be a nightmare (incidentally I think someone has tried to do it on a bike power plugin - which is similar to what you are asking)

Of course I appreciate cardiac drift and all the rest of the anti-HR arguments. HR is just a measure of how fast your heart is beating after all ! nothing else. We just use it as an imperfect proxy for other things.
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Re: pace-based training

Postby BigMike » Thu May 17, 2012 1:19 pm

I agree with you on the many things in favor of heart rate based training. I watch my HR on every run, and I depend on it for computing TRIMP in training load. But, cyclists get to use power-based calculations in training load, and I think it would be pretty straightforward to add running pace-based calculations. I thought there would be some support for such a feature!

If I were going to try to get my mile time (or my 5K time) down, my workouts would be pace-based, with pace determined by my most-recent best effort.
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Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:16 pm

Re: pace-based training

Postby King of Waffles » Fri May 18, 2012 6:21 pm

The vast majority of your training is well below VO2max, and unless you're a 100-400m sprinter, aerobic fitness is the #1 predictor of performance. TL is mostly an indicator of aerobic fitness, which is why heart rate is a very good measure of that. You should have a pretty good idea of what paces you run at what heart rates anyway, given a flat course.
King of Waffles
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