Training Load

by mechgt

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Aug 26, 2015

Use Pace instead of HR

Use Pace instead of HR

Postby SamuelCallan » Wed Sep 02, 2009 3:42 pm

I would prefer you use pace instead of HR to determine training load. Steve McGregor at Eastern Michigan has been doing work in this area.

Not everyone uses HR.
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Re: Use Pace instead of HR

Postby mechgt » Wed Sep 02, 2009 4:09 pm

SamuelCallan wrote:I would prefer you use pace instead of HR to determine training load. Steve McGregor at Eastern Michigan has been doing work in this area.

Not everyone uses HR.


If you have more details on this (research papers, etc.) I'll be happy to at least look into it as an option. I assume this would be specific to running.
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Postby danieljohngreen » Sun Oct 25, 2009 2:44 am

Hi Mechgt

This is something that I would be very interested in seeing developed more. I can give you more specific information of how a speed TRIMP is calculated, and your assumption is quite right, this is only really applicable to running and then doesn't necessarily take into consideration altitude, running surface, shoes worn or weather conditions (i.e. hot or cold, headwind or tailwind).

Firstly you need to correct or normalise the speed for the gradient. This would have to be done using a corrected gradient, as the gradient from a Garmin 405 (for example), is just not accurate enough.

It is still up for debate what the best correction to use is, but we have completed some work at the Australian Institute of sport to suggest that 1% is roughly equal to 0.5km/h in the range of -4% to 8%.

Then the most commonly used method is to apply a similar formula to the normalised speed as used with cycling wattage in a TSS. That is you take a rolling average (say 30 seconds) of normalised speed, you raise each value to the 4th power and take a sum of each value of the time period you have run for. Then take the 4th root of the calculated sum. Now if you want to relate this to your capabilities, it is a little different in running compared to cycling. In cycling they typically calculate an IF as the wattage you can sustain for an hour. My feeling is that for running your intensity factor (IF), should be what speed you are able to maintain for 10km and this should then be used as your intensity factor.

I am assuming you have seen Andy Coggan's model for calculating the TSS for cycling? It is basically following this, but using it for normalised speed rather than watts.

Regards
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Postby gerhard » Sun Oct 25, 2009 5:45 am

There are a number of alternatives to calculate a running training load:
* GOVSS. Explanation see here: http://www.physfarm.com/inside/articles_training.html
* Running Training Stress Score in WKO+ (This is the Coggan/McGregor index). http://home.trainingpeaks.com/articles/ ... score.aspx
* Running Power as in GPS2Power plugin.

The algorithms will all use elevation in the calculations.

The problem is to get the formulas right. The general explanations on the websites are to my understanding not enough to implement the algorithms. The formulas are to some extent copyrighted, so a license might be needed to use them.

I have only used GPS2Power but stick to TRIMP for the following reasons:
* I feel TRIMP gives a better estimation of the effort - there are too many unknowns at the calculations: Off-trail is harder than roads, elevation is hard to get correct etc.
* TRIMP gives better comparisons running/cycling. (But I also feel that Running should have slightly different factors, it takes longer time to recover.)

So this is not trivial.
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Postby mechgt » Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:58 am

As a coincidence, I've just been doing quite a bit of reading on this topic, specifically GOVSS. To my knowledge, the algorithms that these researchers have developed, are not trademarked however some of the terms are (I've recently learned that TSS and Normalized Power are trademarked in Europe by Training Peaks.) Dr. Philip Skiba has released an excellent research paper describing the GOVSS algorithm... both how to implement it, and the supporting research behind it.

From what I read, here's the Reader's Digest version of the implementation of GOVSS:
- Determine Functional Threshold Power, max normalized sustainable power for 10k - 1hr run.
- Calculate a power track for an activity using a specific equation (<-- this is the part that seems specific to GOVSS)
- Normalize the power track (4th order 120 sec. rolling avg, 4th root)
- Compare normalized power to FTP to find intensity factor
- Calculate training score from intensity factor

Long story short, I want to implement these various algorithms (GOVSS (from Dr. Skiba) & TSS (Dr. Coggan's algorithm)) in to TL. My holdup on GOVSS is the power track calculation. I can easily do this, but GPS2PowerTrack already does all this, and in the interest of cooperation and the ST community it seems like GPS2PowerTrack should do this particular part. IMO, this power calculation is independent of Training Load and would just be a batter way to calculate a power track for runners. We'd need to petition OMB for this task though, or is it the opinion of the community that I should implement this in TL?

If you note at the end of the above referenced paper by Dr. Skiba, he asserts that the GOVSS algorithm is more repeatable than Dr. Bannister's TRIMP. He only shows I believe 3 data points, but it does sound very reasonable. HR is affected by lots of environmental factors, fatigue, hydration, etc., etc.; and the GOVSS algorithm produces repeatable results. I'm unsure if this is a positive/desirable thing, or just different.

I'm not 100% sure how to best implement this though. It seems that they're all on approximately the same scale... Can you put scores from 3 different algorithms (TRIMP, GOVSS, and TSS) on the same chart? These algorithms might be associated each with an activity category; so running is calculated with GOVSS, and cycling with TSS (or TRIMP if you don't have a power meter maybe), etc. I believe that I could break up CTL/ATL by category (think parent category, 3 or 4 categories max in most cases) similar to what Smaryka had noted.

I don't want TL to get too complicated, so I could mask all these setting under an advanced setting or something. I'll handle keeping TL simple out of the box.
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Postby jibberjim » Sun Oct 25, 2009 9:33 am

All of the pace based running suffer from the ground problem, running speed is impacted not just by gradient, but also by surface. Running by pace is great for a track, for cross country, it's awful, and for all other running it relies on accurate elevation data.

Not having looked at GOVSS, but having looked at TSS / NP, I actually prefer TRIMP to measure load. TSS and NP suffer from great oddities themselves so I'm not convinced they're better(they suffer from how you treat stopped periods, 30seconds coasting on a bike is different to 30seconds stopped - despite no physilogical difference, and for some inexplicable reason the first 29 seconds of an interval carry a different weight to every other second.)

Combination will as you say require a normalisation of the factors to be combinable - but then I think there is a general issue about combining different sports in any case. Another combination error is likely not too much of an issue.

So please in an advanced setting, and keep the TRIMP there!
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Postby gerhard » Sun Oct 25, 2009 11:22 am

mechgt wrote:Long story short, I want to implement these various algorithms (GOVSS (from Dr. Skiba) & TSS (Dr. Coggan's algorithm)) in to TL.

Great
Does this include rTSS too?

I believe that I want to be able to limit a method to certain activities, and choose what methods that are shown. So separate scales for TRIMP, TSS, rTSS, GOVSS etc. Maybe separate rTRIMP/cTRIMP/cTSS too?

(I am not asking for all of this now, it will be interesting to see the results from something like GOVSS to see how useful it is. Setting the direction is interesting.)

mechgt wrote:My holdup on GOVSS is the power track calculation. I can easily do this, but GPS2PowerTrack already does all this, and in the interest of cooperation and the ST community it seems like GPS2PowerTrack should do this particular part. IMO, this power calculation is independent of Training Load and would just be a batter way to calculate a power track for runners. We'd need to petition OMB for this task though, or is it the opinion of the community that I should implement this in TL?


From a concept point of view, I would like to keep pure Power calculation separate from the Training Load. If this is done by GPS2Power, a power meter, TL or another plugin should not matter. For now, just use what happens to be in the Power track.

The GPS2Power is a great plugin, the difficult part is probably not the pure Power calculation (I have implemented that...) but the GUI and Weather part. Good if omb is involved, there may be need for cooperation (for instance to sync calculations at import).

I believe that the biggest hurdle to good calculations is handling elevation in ST itself. For a start, smoothing and elevation zones should be per category, Power should ignore flat zones (?).
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Postby mechgt » Sun Oct 25, 2009 2:02 pm

jibberjim wrote:So please in an advanced setting, and keep the TRIMP there!


Definitely. This is not planned to change. I would like for the other algorithms to be available as supplemental. GOVSS and TSS are so similar, that once one is implemented, the other will pretty much be there as well. As far as I can guess, most (not all of course) of the ST and TL community has HR meters and GPS; however they don't have power meters ($$$$ - myself included, I wish I did though :) .) Based on that, TRIMP is the most widely applicable algorithm, and can be used for many sports; so it definitely stays, and will probably always be the center-piece.

gerhard wrote:Does this include rTSS too?

Do you have a link to any research describing this?
gerhard wrote:I believe that I want to be able to limit a method to certain activities

I propose this would be through associating a category with an algorithm. If you don't like GOVSS (jibberjim) then just keep TRIMP associated with running (or whatever category.) For those without power meters, they may prefer to ignore the TSS calcs... or not. Up to the user.
gerhard wrote:From a concept point of view, I would like to keep pure Power calculation separate from the Training Load. If this is done by GPS2Power, a power meter, TL or another plugin should not matter. For now, just use what happens to be in the Power track.

That's what I was thinking as well. TL is not a power track calculator, it an analysis tool. I know there was a GPS2PowerTrack thread a while back on creating a power track for running, and OMB (and others) were looking for how to calculate it. Result was to use the bike algorithm with modified 'constants'. This seemed to me little more than a guess especially since wind resistance is negligible in running, although it was the best info we had at the time; so props to everyone involved for even getting that far. I tend to think that this is may now be better information that has been studied and researched.
gerhard wrote:The GPS2Power is a great plugin, the difficult part is probably not the pure Power calculation (I have implemented that...) but the GUI and Weather part. Good if omb is involved, there may be need for cooperation (for instance to sync calculations at import).

I don't think the calc is that hard. It would however be a completely different algorithm. Again, I think it would simply be associating an algorithm with a category, but this discussion is probably more appropriate in an OMB forum.
gerhard wrote:I believe that the biggest hurdle to good calculations is handling elevation in ST itself. For a start, smoothing and elevation zones should be per category,

As far as I can tell, these items are (and should be) outside of my realm. These are more global items I believe.
gerhard wrote:Power should ignore flat zones (?).

Why would power ignore flat zones? I work pretty hard on the flats :)
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Postby jibberjim » Sun Oct 25, 2009 2:16 pm

mechgt wrote:however they don't have power meters ($$$$ - myself included, I wish I did though :) .) Based on that, TRIMP is the most widely applicable algorithm,


My TL calculated TRIMP and my WKO calculated TSS have been under 5% different throughout the season. The only time they've been decidedly different is when the TSS has been inflated (e.g. the 11 hour log of Ironman watching which included 2 hours of hard riding and some running got a TSS of 800, but a much more realistic TRIMP.)

So if it's just about load - I wouldn't worry too much about not having a Power Meter!
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Postby danieljohngreen » Sun Oct 25, 2009 9:24 pm

Hi All

Some fantastic discussion on this subject.

Jibberjim, what you have highlighted is probably one of the most important concepts of this whole discussion on what method to use to normalise and quantify training loads.

In cycling, watts and HR are linearly related for all watts below your aerobic threshold. Similarly in running there is a very tight linear relationship between velocity and HR below an individuals aerobic threshold. Therefore any training stress score (rTSS, TSS, GOVSS, etc) will relate very well to a HR based TRIMP. Where a HR based TRIMP falls down is once you exceed your aerobic threshold. This is because at this point significant energy contributions to your output are now coming from your anaerobic system which has no further HR response (an aerobic metabolism occurs in the absence of oxygen therefore no additional blow flow is required). So if you are doing a set of high intensity 1 minute intervals (running or riding), a TSS score will be very different from a HR based TRIMP.

If you are using these measures more for monitoring longer endurance based activities, then a HR TRIMP is going to be best as it takes into account all factors - heat, running surface, gradient, head wind, tail wind etc. This is because HR is an internal measurment of workload.

My theory to what will be the ultimate solution would be a model that uses a HR TRIMP for intensities up to an individuals aerobic threshold (30-40 minute running time trial, or 1 hour cycling time trial capability), and then switches to an output based measure (velocity or wattage based TSS) above this threshold.

What weighting factors you use with your TRIMP or TSS is then a completely different story. Simply using a 4th order equation is not necessarily the answer. It could well be a 2.5 order, or maybe even a 5th order? And the TRIMP values used at the moment are totally arbitary. Give me about 18 months and we will have a great research paper that looks specifically at this.

Regards
Daniel
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Postby jibberjim » Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:16 am

danieljohngreen wrote:So if you are doing a set of high intensity 1 minute intervals (running or riding), a TSS score will be very different from a
HR based TRIMP.


This may not be te place to discuss this, but...

I've been cycle racing - so lots of anerobic intervals - and I've still seen similar scores.

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't the anaerobic systems still reliant on oxygen to complete - but instead of the response being within the time period of the work the requirements just come after? i.e. inflated HR for longer period re-supplying the oxygen. I guess if that's so, the total oxygen required is different to the same HR response to aerobic needs - hence the non-linearity?

What is the difference in oxygen requirements?

danieljohngreen wrote:Then switches to an output based measure (velocity or wattage based TSS) above this threshold.


I like it.

danieljohngreen wrote: Give me about 18 months and we will have a great research paper that looks specifically at this.


I'd love to be kept up to date if you have anything more on this!
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Postby mechgt » Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:03 pm

danieljohngreen wrote:If you are using these measures more for monitoring longer endurance based activities, then a HR TRIMP is going to be best as it takes into account all factors - heat, running surface, gradient, head wind, tail wind etc. This is because HR is an internal measurment of workload.


I dig that, and it completely makes sense to me. These are all external variables that impact HR/load/etc. I like that TRIMP automatically takes these variables into account.

What about some of the internal things? Specifically, say I do the exact same workout on two different days. I'm fresh and well rested for the first, and fatigued from previous training on the second. Even if I do the same effort/pace/etc., my HR is depressed if I'm fatigued (which impacts my TRIMP score.) Any thoughts on this? Is the second activity not just as physiologically valuable as the first?
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Postby gerhard » Tue Oct 27, 2009 5:14 pm

mechgt wrote:
gerhard wrote:Does this include rTSS too?

Do you have a link to any research describing this?


No direct explanation, but calculations are similar to (Cycling) TSS. Some hints how to calculate the Normalized Graded Pace and Functional Threshold Pace (all trademarked by Training Peaks):
http://home.trainingpeaks.com/search-re ... earch=rtss

mechgt wrote:
gerhard wrote:I believe that I want to be able to limit a method to certain activities

I propose this would be through associating a category with an algorithm. If you don't like GOVSS (jibberjim) then just keep TRIMP associated with running (or whatever category.) For those without power meters, they may prefer to ignore the TSS calcs... or not. Up to the user.

A power meter for running would be fun...

My ideal implementation would be:
* Possibility to limit a calculation to a certain activity. Can be done by associating a category with a calculation or using equipment. (I prefer equipment). This is not strictly necessary as the "global category filter" can be used, but improves user experience for next steps.
* Control what calculations that are shown. It can be interesting to see GOVSS compared to rTSS and TRIMP in same graph.
* If "category limitation" as before is possible, i.e. TRIMP (running)+TSS (cycling) could be compared to GOVSS+TSS. (the number of possibilities should be limited.

mechgt wrote:
gerhard wrote:From a concept point of view, I would like to keep pure Power calculation separate from the Training Load. If this is done by GPS2Power, a power meter, TL or another plugin should not matter. For now, just use what happens to be in the Power track.

That's what I was thinking as well. TL is not a power track calculator, it an analysis tool. I know there was a GPS2PowerTrack thread a while back on creating a power track for running, and OMB (and others) were looking for how to calculate it. Result was to use the bike algorithm with modified 'constants'. This seemed to me little more than a guess especially since wind resistance is negligible in running, although it was the best info we had at the time; so props to everyone involved for even getting that far. I tend to think that this is may now be better information that has been studied and researched.

The "running" adjustment includes a "downhill factor" that is set in configuration files.
The algorithm works to some extent, effort within an activity can be compared, but not different type of running activities or running/cycling. That is a problem with all calculations (what smaryka and other triathletes says).
A separate Power method can be required if there are special requirements, but that is a later problem/plugin?
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Postby danieljohngreen » Tue Oct 27, 2009 11:05 pm

[quote]Please correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't the anaerobic systems still reliant on oxygen to complete - but instead of the response being within the time period of the work the requirements just come after? i.e. inflated HR for longer period re-supplying the oxygen. I guess if that's so, the total oxygen required is different to the same HR response to aerobic needs - hence the non-linearity?[/quote]

Hey Jibberjim - this is not quite how it works. Anerobic just means that the metabolism can take place in the absence of oxygen, and practically means the system can produce energy must faster than the aerobic system. There is some delayed oxygen consumption that some people have attempted to use an a proxy for estimating the amount of anerobic contribution - this has been termed Exercise Post Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) - but this area is still very poorly understood and the amount of EPOC doesn't come even at all close to being representative of the anerobic contributions.

[quote]What about some of the internal things? Specifically, say I do the exact same workout on two different days. I'm fresh and well rested for the first, and fatigued from previous training on the second. Even if I do the same effort/pace/etc., my HR is depressed if I'm fatigued (which impacts my TRIMP score.) Any thoughts on this? Is the second activity not just as physiologically valuable as the first?[/quote]

Good question mechgt. This is a hard one to explain and no one yet really knows why some people will exhibit a blunted HR response when they are heavily fatigued. Is there a corresponding increase in Stroke Volume of the heart to therefore ensure that Cardiac Output is matched? Although usually when you have a blunted HR response, I find that I am unable to train at the same intensities I could when I am not fatigued. But this is still pretty poorly understood - however even with this limitation, I think HR is still by far the best measure when quantifying activities that are predominantly aerobic. And would allow you to combine overall load if you were running and riding by having a Cycling TRIMP and a running TRIMP each with different weighting factors.

Regards
Greeny
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Postby mechgt » Wed Oct 28, 2009 9:44 am

danieljohngreen wrote:...Good question mechgt. This is a hard one to explain and no one yet really knows why some people will exhibit a blunted HR response when they are heavily fatigued. Is there a corresponding increase in Stroke Volume of the heart to therefore ensure that Cardiac Output is matched? Although usually when you have a blunted HR response, I find that I am unable to train at the same intensities I could when I am not fatigued. But this is still pretty poorly understood

Another question I have is regarding how the TRIMP factors are calculated:

Currently Training Load uses an equation similar to below:
Code: Select all
factor = % of Max HR * factorA * EXP(factorB * % of Max HR)

...where factorA and factorB are male or female dependant constants (currently it assumes male constants as ST does not have this option in the Athlete view), and % of Max HR is the % of the usable HR range (max - rest) for a particular HR zone.

I had originally found this formula from one of our ST forum members (thanks mazoaguirre!!!) but have since seen it in several other places on the internet (sorry, I'm not sure who originally came up with it.) It provided clean results, and seemed to produce numbers that were very comparable with other established calculations.

Here's the question:
Factor calculation is based on HRmax and HRrest. HRmax is very stable and unchanging, and I understand that theoretically HRrest moves around somewhat (although I think mine has been relatively stable.) With training you can move your LT (lactate threshold) around, while the other two values (max & rest) may not necessarily move. Should the TRIMP factors not be somewhat centered around your LT? This seems to be the concept that Coggan and others have adapted with TSS... the basis of scoring is on a 1 hour time trial activity (which is reported to highly coorelate to your LT.) This could be partly due to this being the most stable anchor points for their particular data (no max/min power exists, etc.) I've never seen a calculation that included LT in the factor calculation. Thoughts? Are you aware of any other accepted means for TRIMP factor calculation?
Image
I wonder if I'm just splitting hairs here and trying to get finer precision than the data will support... These numbers (CTL, ATL, TRIMP, TSB) are all big picture numbers none of which are exact to 6 decimal places.... :?

danieljohngreen wrote:...however even with this limitation, I think HR is still by far the best measure when quantifying activities that are predominantly aerobic. And would allow you to combine overall load if you were running and riding by having a Cycling TRIMP and a running TRIMP each with different weighting factors.

Regards
Greeny


When you say factors, I suppose you're referring to separate factors as discussed above (different 'factor curves')? or are you referring to 'weighting' sports differently in order to put them on the same relative scale (100 TRIMP runnning = 100 TRIMP cycling... similar time duration and effort?) Is it generally accepted that LT for running is different from LT for cycling (as far as how HR relates to blood lactate levels)? I'm assuming that blood lactate limits are absolute, but the relationship of HR to blood lactate levels may be on a different scale for different sports.
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Postby danieljohngreen » Wed Oct 28, 2009 5:48 pm

Hi mechgt

My understanding of the TRIMP calculation is that it is looking at what your theoretic HR range is (ie. max - rest) and then looking at how you are working within this range. This is more accurate than just taking a % of max HR, as people have different resting HRs and so the first calculation takes this into account. And as you mention, resting HR is not necessarily a stable entity either, but you can get a good feel for it if you take a 7 day average.

In terms of HR at LT, from my experiences this is actually very stable. If you are at least at a reasonable level of fitness, you will lactate to HR relationship for a given activity will be very very simliar. If you because untrained then it will shift, but once you are fit, this seems to be very stable. But what changes is the output you are able to maintain for your LT, whether this is cycling or rowing power output, or running or swimming velocity.

The concept of a TRIMP factor calculation can be as complicated or as simple as you like. You can just use arbitary weightings, or try to base it off some physiology construct (similar to what they have tried to do with TSS). But in my opinion, I haven't seen any which have been extensively proven to be accurate over a wide range of subjects.

And in regards to the different weighting for a TRIMP for cycling and running, you are exactly correct. HRs on a bike are usually 8-10 beats lower than running and your HR zones based on a lactate curve will be different for the two modalities. Therefore is people have access to lactate testing, they will be able to develop a cycling TRIMP and a running TRIMP based on HR zones developed from lactate data for each modality. Otherwise it becomes very difficult to try and compare the two activities simply off HR alone.

Further this is only ever going to be a good estimate of the training adaptations that will occur will cycling and running, as it is only taking into account HR, but not tissue damage and other physiological differences that occur between running and cycling. But, having said that it would be a huge step forward compared to what is being used at the moment.

Regards
Greeny
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