Training Load

by mechgt

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Aug 26, 2015

What is the Influence Chart?

What is the Influence Chart?

Postby mechgt » Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:35 pm

Question I was recently asked:
hi have a question, what is the significance of the training parameters influence and how is this to understand and optimally adjust the calendar?

Which parameters should be based on the rising influence training curve?
Thanks for the info and for this ingenious tool

friendly greetings

What is it?
The influence chart, simply put, tells you what kind of impact a training session 'today' (or some particular day) will have on your performance on some date in the future (such as a scheduled race). Select date on calendar and click Set Target Date to pick your 'race day' and adjust this curve. The profile is the same regardless of what activities you've been doing; it's calculated based on some of your Training Load settings but generally about the same for everyone. The basic idea is to maximize TSB on race day (high CTL/fitness + low ATL/fatigue = high TSB/performance capacity).

Points of Interest
Pay attention to the profile, not the values for this chart. Here are a few points of interest:

2013-03-21_2357_001.png (47.22 KiB) Viewed 8897 times

Green arrow:
Activities on this date give you the most bang for your buck. The date is close enough to race day that performance gains will still be effective on race day, but not so close that you'll still be feeling the effects of an intense training session. Your body will have time to rebuild from training so that you can realize the performance gains.

Yellow arrow:
Training before this date will mathematically have a positive effect on your TSB, and after this date will have a negative effect on your selected race day. After this date, your body won't have time to recover and rebuild before race day. This isn't to say you shouldn't train after this day, but rather it's giving you more information for you decide how to shape your fitness plan.

Red Arrow:
This is Race Day. This is the reference point for all other dates.

Training regions:
The positive/negative magnitude tell you just how much you'll gain/lose by training on a particular day.

2013-03-21_2357_002.png (41.49 KiB) Viewed 8897 times

White Section:
Imagine if you ONLY trained far in advance of a race... in the white section. There'd be minor impact as a lot of the gains you made would be lost over time. That's reflected here as the orange value is relatively close to zero.

Green Section:
This is the optimal period. If you could only train in 1 period, this would be it. This might be where you would schedule your most intense training in preparation for an upcoming race. Close enough to be useful, far enough in advance to have plenty of time for recovery: this is the optimal training period for race specific workouts. This is the most positive region on this chart line.

Imagine an intense workout the day before your race... you're going to be tired on race day. That obvious observation is what this section is showing you. Notice how sharply it drops as race day approaches... the more negative, the more it hurts your TSB. Anywhere that this chart line is below 0 (the red section), training will have a negative effect on your TSB on race day.

All of this isn't a black and white blanket statement as to when you should or should not train, but take is as additional information in helping you shape your fitness plan.
Enhance SportTracks with Training Load, Fit Plan and more plugins at Garmin FR310XT & iBike iPro
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Re: What is the Influence Chart?

Postby the5krunner » Fri Mar 22, 2013 4:48 am

Exactly so!

And it also explains why we do long boring stuff over winter in low HR zones where the bodily systems we train have a more longstanding effect. eg( i think) the ability to burn fat as an energy source stays with us for a long time.

and it also explains why we need that peak period in training where we want the most bang-for-our-buck on the faster stuff before the effect quickly wears off.

And it also patly explains why tapering is pretty important

Apart from those "trivial" things it's pretty useless :-)

Note that you SHOULD still train when the influence curve goes negative, even though you will not get the TSB benefit. You need to LIMIT THE FALL in the fitness you have AS WELL AS reducing your fatigue - that's tapering. But when negative all those mega-sessions should generally be a no-go zone.
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