Accounting for work in training stress calculations

  • Creator
  • #13715

    I’m intrigued to know what the consensus here is on accounting for work loads in planning training and recovery, for those of us who do more or less physical work.

    I work as a surgeon, so I’m standing all day, walking around the hospital constantly etc. A days work doesn’t feel like training , but I do finish it feeling tired, legs a bit sore, etc.

    I got curious and measured my heart rate throughout the day before putting it on training peaks. Using Hr TSS, my standard 10 hour workday came out to 260TSS. Now clearly that’s not quite accurate in a training sense or NHS surgeons would be more represented in the ranks of world class alpinists. However there’s obviously some fatigue from work to take account of in planning training loads- I wondered if anyone else has a perspective on this?

  • Participant
    hafjell on #13721

    Will let the experts chime in, but I suspect your job will be a hindrance to training, not an enhancement. Since you’re training, presumably, for an event which requires constant movement up and downhill, your work is likely just draining you. Make sure to be honest with yourself when you need extra rest.

    tomtolley on #13723

    I fear you’re right about that- lots of fatigue from work without much adaptation.

    I’ve certainly been guilty of resting too little after long runs of work before- which is what partly gave me the idea of trying to quantify work fatigue to plan around it.

    Anonymous on #13738

    @tomtolley: Excellent question.

    I’ve often thought that Training Peaks should allow for a new activity in the app: Life Stress. It’d be great if you could roughly add a Stress Score for non-training daily activities that would affect the fatigue numbers without being included in the calculation for Chronic Training Load. (And abandoning the notion that CTL represents fitness would be a bonus too.)

    Without that option though, the best thing that I can suggest is to watch the Training Stress Balance (TSB) number in Training Peaks to get a feel for what your personal “floor” is. For example, although -20 is often talked about being a typical floor, you may not want to go below -15 or -10. With time, you should be able to roughly account for your job by limiting how low you let the “fatigue” number get (TSB).

    Another option is to experiment with your periodization. If you’ve been going 3-and-1 for build and recovery weeks, try 2-and-1 or 1-and-1. With more frequent recovery weeks, you should be able to keep your energy levels up. Your patients probably want your energy levels as high as possible… 🙂

    Early on, I wanted to train with a 3-and-1 schedule to maximize fitness. However, I couldn’t sustain and would often break down and get sick. I switched to a 2-and-1 schedule, and it’s made a big difference. I can be much more consistent, and over the long-term, my progress has been much more steady.

    I hope that helps.

    hafjell on #13742

    Brilliant. Thanks for the periodization advice; that’s a good permission slip.
    Funny how when I started my first transition phase I didn’t want to take the rest weeks and even ran all of my recovery walk/runs. Second time around, I really look forward to the decreased volume of the rest weeks, and am frequently walking my recovery walk/runs.

    tomtolley on #13812


    Thanks for your thoughts – lots of angles to work on this from.

    I’ll put these ideas together and see how things go over the next few months.

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