Training Peaks: Which "form" matters?

  • Creator
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  • #38146
    tbrough197
    Participant

    Hi Uphill Athletes,

    I’m relatively new to the program and to Training Peaks in particular. In TP I see two different “form” scores, one on the Home Page and one on the Calendar Page. Which one matters to me? In case these images don’t attach, the home page score is -41 and the calendar page score is -24. With an understanding that dipping below -30 indicates risk of injury/OT etc, that -41 number is a little worrisome.

    For context, I’m about two and a half weeks into Steve’s 5-week Foundation for Rock Alpinists Plan. I feel tired for sure, and definitely feel some wear on shins/knees/hips. I’m hesitant to back off training and feel like I could “push through” the fatigue I’ve built up, but I understand this could be inexperience and misguided enthusiasm. Is it too soon to put stock in these training peaks numbers?

    Thanks all!

    -Tim

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  • Participant
    OwenFW on #38150

    Yes, it is too soon.

    The numbers on the calendar page are projections based on the planned TSS values in your scheduled workouts. The UA programs don’t have planned TSS values filled in, so the projected Fitness, Fatigue, and Form will all decline as you look forward in the calendar. If you wanted, you could go in and add planned TSS values (https://uphillathlete.com/trainingpeaks-metrics-ctl-tss/). The values on the Home page are your current values. However, all of it is based on the data TP has about your past workouts. Since you’re just starting, you don’t have 42 days of chronic training load (ie Fitness) history, so the numbers are pretty meaningless.

    If you look at the settings for the Performance Management Chart on your Dashboard, you can enter an estimated beginning CTL (Fitness). That’s the critical number you’re missing, since the other two are shorter term but dependant on the CTL.

    https://help.trainingpeaks.com/hc/en-us/articles/230903988-Estimate-Starting-Fitness-CTL-

    https://help.trainingpeaks.com/hc/en-us/articles/226119807-Adjusting-CTL-ATL-Parameters

    You are not nearly as fatigued as your numbers make you look because you didn’t actually start with zero fitness. I mean, unless you spent several months before you started the plan lying in bed.

    Also, and maybe you already know this, for any of your TSS values to be helpful, you need to have accurate threshold values in your zone settings. The program needs to know the fastest you can run for an hour, the highest heart rate you can maintain for an hour, the fastest you can swim for an hour, and the most power you can generate on a bike for an hour, depending on what activities you’re hoping to track. Heart rate is the big one for this crowd, followed by running pace. All of the TSS calculations depend on those threshold numbers, since they tell TP how close to your max you’ve been exercising at (closer to max=higher Intensity Factor). At the beginning of each new training cycle, and occasionally during them if they’re really long, it’s a good idea to retest your thresholds. And to clarify, these are NOT the aerobic thresholds (AeT) people talk about so much in this forum, they’re anaerobic thresholds (AnT)–they aren’t the paces you can maintain for many hours, they’re the average paces you can only hold for 45-60 min and then you have to slow way down or you’re keel over.

    Moderator
    Scott Semple on #38192

    What @owenfw said!

    Also, TSB needs to become personalized. You can read about some general rules of thumb, but it’s important to discover what works for you. Among the athletes that I coach, there’s a huge range. I have one athlete who can regularly drop to a TSB of -40, but he bounces back amazingly fast. I have another for whom I get nervous if TSB is below -10.

    Generic formulas describe populations, not individuals. Be humble and conservative when finding out what works for you.

    Participant
    tbrough197 on #38322

    Scott and Owen,

    Thanks very much for your quick and timely responses! The nuances of the Training Peaks app are starting to clear up a little, and I’m starting to understand the difference between individual needs and generic training plan guidance.

    Thanks again!

    -Tim

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