Training Load

by mechgt

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2.0.7

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Aug 26, 2015

So the key is *NOT JUST* to get TSB as high as possible

So the key is *NOT JUST* to get TSB as high as possible

Postby the5krunner » Thu May 24, 2012 5:26 pm

Here is an interesting article by Joe Friel: http://www.trainingbible.com/joesblog/2008/07/strong-and-weak-form.html. The bit I'm referring to, below, comes towards the end of his article. (Joe Friel is one of the most well known triathlon coaches)

Whilst a high TSB is important. It is not the be-all and end-all.

Joe says that TSB SHOULD BE HIGH *BUT* TSS (read CTL for HR based analysis) should not fall by more than 10% during the taper...

This seems to make sense to me (although I don't know where the 10% comes from) because if you try to absolutely maximise TSB then you must do absolutely no exercise from about 2 weeks before race day. And that can't be right as 'proper' athletes do not do that. If you do even small amounts of exercise then the peak of the TSB curve gradually gets further and further away/after race day.

does that sound right? discuss.

If so any chance of a 90% of recent peak CTL horizontal/future line on the graph to further complicate it for the newbies ;-) Or maybe this sort of thing is in fit-plan i've not delved into that too much yet.
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Re: So the key is *NOT JUST* to get TSB as high as possible

Postby BigMike » Thu May 24, 2012 7:43 pm

Timely post! I just started tapering today, for a big goal race.

Joe Friel's site is great. But I think I originally found the link to the article "Optimizing athletic performance by influence curves" by Fitz-Clarke on this forum somewhere. There are certainly plenty of caveats in the article. The shape of the curve now seems like common sense. The length and depth of the taper is variable - they note that if the training period is long, the taper could be shorter. They talk about how hard you taper - it depends on whether you are peaking for a single event, or multiple events. And I think the question is most important to someone trying to eek out the last few seconds of performance.

But as far as thinking about how much you will detrain ... for a lower performer like me, there are other factors like I am just not comfortable not training for 11 days or longer, even though a next ultra will be far enough away to be considered having its own training cycle. Maybe the 10% number is a reasonable amount to detrain for someone who plans multiple events in a race season. I just figure that if my daily TRIMP equals my current CTL, that my CTL will stay constant (that is, if my TRIMP today is higher than my CTL my CTL will improve and vice versa).

To tell the truth, I don't even usually display TSB curve - I just look at CTL and ATL and I know that when my ATL/recent training load is lower than CTL I feel ready to run strong. I do have a blog ... you might be interest in taking a look at my my training load graph today at the start of my taper ...
http://mikeonfoot.blogspot.com/
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Re: So the key is *NOT JUST* to get TSB as high as possible

Postby King of Waffles » Sat May 26, 2012 1:18 pm

One thing to consider is that CTL is a measure of chronic load, not exactly fitness. We often talk about CTL as if it's fitness but it's not. Fitness implies that you can handle a high CTL, but having a high CTL does not necessarily imply that you're fit and letting your CTL drop doesn't necessarily mean that you're no longer fit. It's well established that you can take a week off of training and lose a negligible amount of fitness, but this model would have you believe that you're losing a lot (if you equate fitness with CTL), and it's not clear exactly what TSB i.e. "freshness" has to do with that fitness.

Secondly, it's not unusual for an elite athlete to take a month off for an injury. Fitness is lost during that time, but if you only consider CTL you'd be under the impression that the athlete would return to a state of almost zero fitness, which is not true at all. Most of these people are back to world class levels of competition within a few weeks of training, even if out of shape by elite standards. So there is definitely a very long term effect of training adaptation that is not reflected by this model.

Another thing I should mention is that the TRIMP model reflect basically aerobic training load, so if you take 10 days off your TSB will go way up, but that only means you're aerobically ready for a peak effort. During the time of complete rest you may have developed some scar tissue, tendinopathy, or some other flaw in healing tissue that changes your biomechanics sets you up for injury. I think this is the main reason why it isn't ideal to just train hard and then do nothing for a week before a race.

Someone correct me if you know better.
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Re: So the key is *NOT JUST* to get TSB as high as possible

Postby the5krunner » Mon May 28, 2012 7:44 am

I agree with the previous two posts...

Bear in mind the following (true in my case, with caveats)

When my TSB is 0 then I am about 10% off my PBs
When my TSB is 20 or so, then I do PBs and/or race well.

So clearly the taper is critical to eak out performance improvements from all the hard effort you have just put in.

I'm just trying to find a QUANTIFIABLE way (using TRIMPs) that I can improve on my usual 'do nothing 5-7 days before the race' taper. Which generally works very well....I just want it to work VERY VERY well !! :)
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Re: So the key is *NOT JUST* to get TSB as high as possible

Postby BigMike » Mon Jul 02, 2012 7:03 pm

I just read this race report (http://www.irunfar.com/2012/06/patience ... eport.html) from Ellie Greenwood, and in the first part she discusses her long taper before the Western States 100 this year. The long taper worked for her - she took 50 minutes off the women's course record held by no less than Ann Trason ...
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Re: So the key is *NOT JUST* to get TSB as high as possible

Postby the5krunner » Tue Jul 03, 2012 5:45 pm

Apparently longer races do require longer tapers.

i'm looking into all of this a bit more and will hopefully revert back to here. Apparently POLAR have an implementation of trainingload that has other inputs such as VO2max and age/sex to determine recovery.
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Re: So the key is *NOT JUST* to get TSB as high as possible

Postby Hussa » Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:57 am

I am still trying to get my head around the Training Load universe and the metrics used. Maybe someone could share his/her thoughts.

Let’s assume I am training 7 days a week, one hour each day and I am producing 100 Trimps in each training. Just for arguments sake let’s assume I get the 100 Trimps out of a 12km run which takes exactly 1 hour. Eventually (let’s say after a 6 months or so training period) my CTL and ATL will rise until they both approach 100 and my TSB will be 0. (I know that this training plan is ignoring resting days, not avoiding overtraining, not using proper periodization and so on…all but ideal but that’s not the point I wish to make)

Now during this 6 months I became stronger, faster, fitter and my resting heart rate will very likely be lower than it was before. This increased fitness means that I now can run i.e. 13km in one hour and I can do that with the same average heart rate which I had when I ran the 12km to start with. I obviously increased my fitness but given the same average heart rate my Trimp for the 13km in one hour is still 100 and my CTL, ATL or TSB will not show any change.

On the other hand if I run my old 12km/per hour pace it takes me now less effort, my average heart rate for this 1 hour will be lower (given my increased fitness) and my Trimp will be lower than 100 making CTL fall.

I assume the same logic holds true when I manage to run 14km per hour another 6 months down the road.

I don’t believe that an absolut level of the CTL, ATL, TSB metrics are of any value per se but it is supposed to be rather useful as a guide for relativ changes reflecting training efforts and the impacts on your bodysystem but still: If I don’t want to increase my training time above and beyond 1 hour on every single weekday, in what situation and under what circumstances will my TL metrics after hitting 100 increase further to reflect my increasing fitness level? Is it purely a shortcoming of using Trimp instead of TSS measures to calculate CTL and ATL? Or is my understanding of the whole concept flawed?
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Re: So the key is *NOT JUST* to get TSB as high as possible

Postby dirk66 » Tue Jan 28, 2014 1:57 pm

Hussa wrote:I am still trying to get my head around the Training Load universe and the metrics used. Maybe someone could share his/her thoughts.

I suppose you have read this: http://www.zonefivesoftware.com/sporttracks/forums/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=5467 If not it helps to understand the metrics of this plugin.

To my knowledge: when you train harder in a specific amount of time the trimp of that training will be higher. Simply because a harder training will cause a higher hr. But then comes nature in. When you train harder and harder you will become tired. And when you become tired, either you can't train harder or your hr can't get as high as it could be when you aren't tired. Also everybody has a max hr and when you approach your max hr increasing your hr goes less faster. Or, when hitting your max hr, even will go down as you can't stay at your max hr a very long time.

The trick with training is to improve yourself by doing the right things at the right moment. Not only training, but also taking a rest. And doing something different to keep your body awake! The training load plugin is there to help you. By implementing some metrics as described in the links in the topic listed above. Which in short means the effect of a training impuls takes about 40 days of fitness and about 10 days of fatigue(ness). (if i use the correct English words)

The difficulty with this plugin is setting the right hr zones and give them the right score. The zones can be calculated from your rest hr and max hr. However, how sure are you about your max and rest hr? Maybe when you have done a specific sporttest, you can. Otherwise it's an assumption.
For the rest: listening to your body is very important! The plugin can't replace that. If this plugin calculates that you have a positive TSB but you 're feeling tired, you are tired! Either the calculation is wrong or you are fighting against some illness or whatever other cause.

Just some thoughts.
Regards
Dirk
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Re: So the key is *NOT JUST* to get TSB as high as possible

Postby the5krunner » Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:49 am

Hussa wrote:I am still trying to get my head around the Training Load universe and the metrics used. Maybe someone could share his/her thoughts.

Let’s assume I am training 7 days a week, one hour each day and I am producing 100 Trimps in each training. Just for arguments sake let’s assume I get the 100 Trimps out of a 12km run which takes exactly 1 hour. Eventually (let’s say after a 6 months or so training period) my CTL and ATL will rise until they both approach 100 and my TSB will be 0. (I know that this training plan is ignoring resting days, not avoiding overtraining, not using proper periodization and so on…all but ideal but that’s not the point I wish to make)

Now during this 6 months I became stronger, faster, fitter and my resting heart rate will very likely be lower than it was before. This increased fitness means that I now can run i.e. 13km in one hour and I can do that with the same average heart rate which I had when I ran the 12km to start with. I obviously increased my fitness but given the same average heart rate my Trimp for the 13km in one hour is still 100 and my CTL, ATL or TSB will not show any change.

On the other hand if I run my old 12km/per hour pace it takes me now less effort, my average heart rate for this 1 hour will be lower (given my increased fitness) and my Trimp will be lower than 100 making CTL fall. (With my zones, which may be wrong, somewhere around 60-70 TRIMP/day keeps TSB constant)

I assume the same logic holds true when I manage to run 14km per hour another 6 months down the road.

I don’t believe that an absolut level of the CTL, ATL, TSB metrics are of any value per se but it is supposed to be rather useful as a guide for relativ changes reflecting training efforts and the impacts on your bodysystem but still: If I don’t want to increase my training time above and beyond 1 hour on every single weekday, in what situation and under what circumstances will my TL metrics after hitting 100 increase further to reflect my increasing fitness level? Is it purely a shortcoming of using Trimp instead of TSS measures to calculate CTL and ATL? Or is my understanding of the whole concept flawed?


I'll try to answer some of your points approximately in the order you make them (there were a lot of them)

training at 100trimps/day will make tsb negative. you are thinking of tss=100 I think. anyway putting that to one side and discussing your 'equilibrium state' ??!!??

" I obviously increased my fitness" - yes you will have and you should change your training zones accordingly ie your HR zones. and so your TRIMPs for that 12km/h effort will be less than 100/day as you get fitter

"I don’t believe that an absolute level of the CTL, ATL, TSB metrics are of any value per se". For CTL and ATL I agree. But the TSB is of value for tapering and knowing when to push the next day's training or hold back a bit, for example. Also when tapering you should not let your CTL fall by more than 10%...so, again, a relative change IS certainly important.

"14km per hour another 6 months down the road" may well be the same TRIMPs as your 12 km/h now...

so even if you train by power as you get fitter you will re-test your FTP and you training zones there will change as well.
if you read Joe Friel's book and blog you will find that he really favours HR based training over 30 minutes and ftp based training for shorter intervals.

IMHO the use of the default zones in trainingload IS flawed to a degree as you cant readily determine your max and min hr. I use zones based on FTP & LTHR (again a-la-Friel) you can lab test LTHR and if you train regularly you will be able to 'feel' roughly where it is to back up the estimates you get from 20/30 minutes tests.

"I don’t want to increase my training time above and beyond 1 hour on every single weekday" - fine, so change the intensity. and it depends what you are training for

"in what situation and under what circumstances will my TL metrics after hitting 100 increase further to reflect my increasing fitness level" if your TSB is negative you are getting fitter. but you might be too fatigued to immediately realise that fitness.
Last edited by the5krunner on Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: So the key is *NOT JUST* to get TSB as high as possible

Postby the5krunner » Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:00 am

dirk66 wrote:
Hussa wrote:I am still trying to get my head around the Training Load universe and the metrics used. Maybe someone could share his/her thoughts.

I suppose you have read this: http://www.zonefivesoftware.com/sporttracks/forums/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=5467 If not it helps to understand the metrics of this plugin.

To my knowledge: when you train harder in a specific amount of time the trimp of that training will be higher. Simply because a harder training will cause a higher hr. But then comes nature in. When you train harder and harder you will become tired. And when you become tired, either you can't train harder or your hr can't get as high as it could be when you aren't tired. Also everybody has a max hr and when you approach your max hr increasing your hr goes less faster. Or, when hitting your max hr, even will go down as you can't stay at your max hr a very long time.

The trick with training is to improve yourself by doing the right things at the right moment. Not only training, but also taking a rest. And doing something different to keep your body awake! The training load plugin is there to help you. By implementing some metrics as described in the links in the topic listed above. Which in short means the effect of a training impuls takes about 40 days of fitness and about 10 days of fatigue(ness). (if i use the correct English words)

The difficulty with this plugin is setting the right hr zones and give them the right score. The zones can be calculated from your rest hr and max hr. However, how sure are you about your max and rest hr? Maybe when you have done a specific sporttest, you can. Otherwise it's an assumption.
For the rest: listening to your body is very important! The plugin can't replace that. If this plugin calculates that you have a positive TSB but you 're feeling tired, you are tired! Either the calculation is wrong or you are fighting against some illness or whatever other cause.

Just some thoughts.
Regards
Dirk


+1
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Re: So the key is *NOT JUST* to get TSB as high as possible

Postby Hussa » Mon Feb 10, 2014 10:45 am

Thanks for the input everybody. Food for thought!
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Re: So the key is *NOT JUST* to get TSB as high as possible

Postby wizbang » Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:13 pm

Great discussions thanks for sharing.
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