Training Volume in Transition Phase

  • Creator
  • #7793
    Paul Montoya


    I am just starting the first week of the Transition phase. I have not been on a structured training plan for about 10 years and am excited to use your book. Most of my training has been sporadic and focused on strength and short bursts of max effort (sport specific for wrestling). I have the purchased the logbook and am not sure how to log my training volume. From what I have read on this forum, it seems that some individuals record all hours of training (Running, hiking, strength, climbing, etc) as part of the volume and others only record aerobic activities (Running, etc) as part of the training volume. What would be the ideal method for someone beginning their mountain fitness journey?

    Thank you,

  • Inactive
    Anonymous on #7795

    Hi Paul,

    Personally, I record it all, but for a couple of different reasons.

    The most important thing for me is to keep an eye on fatigue. I use Training Peaks as my log, so that makes it easier, because their metrics quantify fatigue. It’s not three-decimal-place accurate, but it’s better than what I would do on my own.

    The second reason I track everything is to motivate me to do more of it. I’m a big believer in “what gets measured gets managed”. If I don’t track something, usually I stop paying attention to it.

    In that spirit, I’ve also started tracking recovery activities that have no direct fitness impact. Although I don’t count these as training hours, I know I’ll do more of them if I can see recovery volume rising.

    I hope that helps.

    Scott S.

    Brandt on #7868

    Hi Scott, interesting that you are tracking your recovery activities. Are you doing that in Training Peaks and seeing your ATL drop?

    How do you differentiate it from your training hours?

    I’ve been trying to more accurately track and adjust my TSS to keep track of CTL and ATL in Training Peaks and compare it to how I’m actually feeling. In a couple of weeks I will be starting a Recovery Period and tracking these recovery activities would help to keep my TP numbers as correct as possible.

    Also, what types of recovery activities are you tracking? Is this typically anything with a “Recovery” heart rate and is there a good rule of thumb for determining a recovery heart rate?
    My Garmin gives me a rate at the end of each activity but Scott Johnston has turned me into a skeptic when it comes to Garmin heart rate algorithms.


    Robert on #7870

    I agree with Scott on recording all activities that include anything above true resting. This includes active recovery, something that can be important for efficient training progression. For me active recovery includes a daily 5km, 50m ascent bike ride to the grocery, wood chopping, ski waxing and scraping, and other similar actives.

    It never detracts to include records of such activities, However, if you do not record them then you cannot reliably discern if they are making any impact on your training progression- per the valid “what gets measured gets managed” argument that Scott provides above. These activities, although at a relatively low level of output, are real and do impact your ability to recover. So I promote recording all such activities along with the scheduled aerobic, intensity, and strength work. I also find that TP does a good job of incorporating the active recovery sessions into the ATL, CTL, and TSB provided that you are using reasonable numbers for the TSS of these sessions.

    FirstBeat goes one step further and includes estimates of the effect of overnight sleep quality into the overall training stress by monitoring HRV and other metrics during sleep. I know a few World Cup Skiers who are using this and they have indicated that it is effective in determining stress state on a day-by-day basis thereby allowing for adjustments in trading that are aligned with actual training response. Great for professionals, but even as a dedicated amateur, I still refuse to wear a HR monitor to bed!

    Anonymous on #7984

    I only count the time for recovery activities like stretching, yoga, etc, but I never wear a heart rate monitor for these or assign a TSS value.

    I want my CTL and TSS to reflect fitness or a fitness stimulus rather than every activity.

    The reason I track recovery time is to trick myself into doing more of it, not because the amount of time is important in itself. I know I’ll pay more attention to things I track, so I track them.

    Lastly, I would be careful with HRV apps. Both Scott and I have seen them do more damage than help training. The main risk is that they seem to regularly issue false positives: telling athletes to train when they should rest. Here’s an article on our experience:

    Instead of HRV, we’ve both had great success with a more manual, more cumbersome, but much more reliable method called the Rusko Orthostatic Heart Rate Test:

    Interestingly, Rusko is the founder of FirstBeat.

Viewing 4 replies - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.