Questions about Training Peaks Metrics

  • Creator
  • #58750
    Edgar Carby

    I know this will be covered on our next call but I thought I’d get it out there –

    I’ve read on the Uphill Athlete website and elsewhere that TP’s CTL is not the ultimate metric to focus on. I’m also aware that CTL is more backwards than forwards looking so it’s not a great tool to plan training on other than to compare historical results with the training that led to those results to know what to do/not to do.

    But I’ve also seen generalizations that Denali requires a 90 day CTL of 75, Everest 120, etc.

    So CTL is still a big part of tracking fitness for Uphill Athlete, but I’m wondering what other TP metrics we should be looking at. Weekly duration in Zone 2 in conjunction with weekly TSS? In other words, trying to reach a target TSS number all in Zone 2 (which will lead to CTL increases)?

  • Moderator
    MarkPostle on #58757

    Great topic and we’ll spend some time on it next week for sure. I would say CTL is the metric in TrainingPeaks I look at the most but it is still just one metric. We do indeed talk about a CTL of 80-120 for various big mountain objectives. Of course those are very individual and only taking into account the last 42 days of training. Honestly I mostly use the CTL to hold athletes back more than push them. If they’re making big jumps in CTL every week then overtraining is a strong possibility. I like to try and paint a big picture using CTL, TSB (form), total training time, and vertical gain/loss to keep track of where we are and how were progressing. The overarching question in my mind regardless of the metrics is the athlete recovering from the workload in an acceptable way. I would way rather send someone off on a big objective with a CTL of 90 healthy and rested than with a CTL of 101 overtrained. Its a fine line sometimes.

    Everett Moran on #58854

    What is “CTL?” Also, can someone please clarify how TrainingPeaks needs to integrate with the 12 week Big Mountain Training Group… e.g. is this a fee-based add on? Which plan should I choose?

    Edgar Carby on #58881

    I’ll let the experts give the real explanation but CTL is chronic training load and is based on a rolling 42 day average of TSS or training stress score. TSS is the core of training peaks. It’s a score on a scale of 100 that indicates the strain/stress/impact of a workout and is based on pace/heart rate zones that you input. These inputs need to be accurate and up to date or the whole concept is skewed.

    CTL shows the cumulative effect of your workouts over 6 weeks and is good indicator of your fitness BUT must be understood in conjunction with ATL or acute training load (fatigue) and TSB or training stress balance (form). TSB is the difference between CTL and ATL and basically indicates fit and fresh ready to go or fit but tired and in need of recovery. It’s pretty individual. I always feel better with a barely negative TSB on race day but some people need a positive TSB score. If you let it get too high, it indicates detraining.

    Obviously, lots going on here and it takes some time to learn the nuances as well as what works for you.

    If you have historical Garmin data, you can import it into Training Peaks as well so you can get a better idea of where you are.

    Edgar Carby on #58882

    Then all that TSS, CTL, ATL, TSB data shows up in the PMC or performance manager chart.

    I’ve uploaded my PMC for the last 90 days or so which shows me screwing around in the spring, doing Rainier in mid-June and then prepping for a 50k trail race in Chattanooga in early October.

    The red line is ATL which jumps around depending on how hard the workouts were over the last 7minute days. The yellow line is TSB which moves opposite ATL and the blue filled in area is CTL.

    You can see that while there is nothing too impressive about my summer, the steady up trend of the blue area indicates climbing CTL and improving overall fitness although there were periods when I was totally trashed (ie, bigger training blocks) and periods where I wasn’t working too hard (ie, recovering from the training blocks).

    Hopefully I haven’t grossly misstated anything but if I have, somebody please correct me.

    MarkPostle on #58883

    Everett- Trainingpeaks is the calendar based platform that houses both the training plan schedule and the data from completed workouts. It is free at its basic level and the premium level upgrade is fee based but is included for the paid mountain training group members. As for CTL and TSS – exactly what Edgar said. We’ll dig into these metrics a bit more in the next zoom call as many folks are not familiar with them

    Edgar Carby on #58886

    Issues uploading the screenshot.

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    Anna Hern on #58897

    How do you upload past Garmin data into training peaks?

    Edgar Carby on #58902

    Garmin Auto-Sync

    Anna, try this. I’ve only done it with Garmin but assume it’s the same/similar for Suunto, Coros, etc

    Anna Hern on #58903

    thank you!

    Niv Slama on #59122

    Hi there, I have a quick question regarding recording and uploading the data from my watch to the Trainingpeaks website and calendar. I synced my watch with TP and I can see my runs on the calendar, but on Monday, for example, when I did my test, on my watch I marked it as a “treadmill running”, so I can see this completed workout on the calendar but the calendar shows that I did’t do my test, how do I make sure it’s recording my workout correctly and paint them in a nice green color? Also, for days like Tuesday and today, when it was mobility and the ChamFit workouts, how do I record those? Thanks in advance for your help.

    Edgar Carby on #59127

    You can drag your workout onto the scheduled workout and they should mesh and you get the nice green compliance color. Sometimes, if they are way off from each other, the workout won’t change color.

    You can manually create an event (via the little hamburger menu in the top right of the day on the calendar) and log the suggested TSS from the Chamonix workout into the manual workout, or on your watch you can record an event (say Cardio on a garmin watch) and then manually change the TSS.

    No TSS for Mobility. Just record an “Other” event and the time. Probably no harm in not recording your mobility workouts as they have no TSS value and so won’t effect your CTL/ATL/TSB

    Niv Slama on #59128

    Hi Edgar, thanks very much for the info. Niv

    MarkPostle on #59163

    Niv- Heres an answer I wrote to a similar question about recording Strength and TSS on the forum.
    You have a couple of options here depending on how your want to treat the data. Strength work is a bit different in that youre not actually all that concerned about the HR nor is HR a great metric for how much “work” is being done during the workout. I think with the Chamfit the simplest thing is not to wear the HR monitor at all then just manually go into TrainingPeaks and plug in the time and TSS. I use a flat TSS of 50 for an hour of this kind of strength work. Alternatively you can add a Strength choice to the activities on your Garmin by navigating to: Menu>>Settings>>Activity Profile>>Add New>>Strength then pick a color and add. Then you can record the duration and HR of the Chamfit and it should auto pair in TrainingPeaks. Usually the hrTSS for a chamfit workout will be 35-45 and I still go in and manually bump it to 50 as I think that’s a more realistic representation of the training stress.

    Niv Slama on #59189

    That’s great Mark, thank you

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