A brief rundown of TrainingPeaks metrics and some of the ways we interpret data. TrainingPeaks does a nice job of interpreting data sets and estimating thresholds for heart rate and pace, but in the initial phases of training we usually like to prescribe a threshold test designed to extrapolate specific threshold speeds and heart rates. Most of you would be familiar with the 30 minute effort, or some variation of this effort as a means of testing threshold run speed and heart rate. Once we've ticked that test off and the data has been input to TrainingPeaks each of your activities receives a Training Stress Score (TSS), represented in running activities as rTSS where r = running, as well as a measure of Intensity Factor (IF). TSS is a score based on duration and how intense the activity was relative to the your threshold. IF is represented as a percentage of your threshold, so a higher IF indicates that activity was closer to your threshold, a lower IF indicates that activity was further away and easier with regards to intensity.
What do the numbers mean on the right hand side of the calendar?
Fatigue, represented in pink as Acute Training Load (ATL) is a weighted average of training stress from the last 7 days, or an estimate from the previous 14 days of activities. Fitness, represented in blue as Chronic Training Load (CTL) is an exponentially weighted average of the last 42 days of training and reflects the training you have done over the last 3 months. It's important to note that workouts you have done more recently will have a greater bearing on your fitness than the workouts you did 6 weeks ago. Form, represented in yellow as Training Stress Balance (TSB) is a number generated by subtracting yesterday's fatigue from yesterday's fitness. TSB gives a decent understanding of fatigue and readiness to race, however this metric needs to be considered within your specific context. A negative TSB indicates you're carrying more fatigue. What makes up the dashboard and the Performance Management Chart?
Blue dots = IF Red dots = TSS Blue line = Fitness CTL Pink line = Fatigue ATL Yellow line = Form TSB Some important things to note! 1. Wrist heart rate can be inaccurate and affected by wrist shape, body hair, tattooed skin and environmental conditions. To gain a more accurate picture of heart rate and the impact on TSS, a chest strap is recommended. 2. Metrics are only useful when viewed within the context of the individual, the specific race and goals of the athlete. You aren't a measure of numbers, algorithms and colours on a chart and your ability to perform runs deeper than everything detailed above. 3. Progress isn't linear and we always want to emphasise the importance of long term development. _ Stay tuned for the next post as we take a deeper dive into metrics within workouts.