Using Intermediate and Advanced Plan Based on Goal Event

  • Creator
  • #65862
    keith brown

    I’m finishing up the Base plan and will transition to the Intermediate plan within the next few weeks. I want to understand (I’m a metrics guy) how the Intermediate and Advanced plan could drive peak CTL. Understanding CTL being just one data point we’re looking at to peak for different events (e.g. target CTL will be different for Rainier vs Denali vs a Himalayan peak), what should an Intermediate plan peak CTL look like? What should the Advanced plan CTL look like?

    I’m unable to compare the two plans, and assuming the peak CTL is higher with the Advance plan, I also understand the ability to modify plans driving different a CTL. BL – what number could I expect for each plan?

    If moving from Intermediate to the Advance plan, is there a direct transition, or some return to Base before moving to Advanced?

  • Participant
    Nate Emerson on #66122

    Hi Keith,

    For a given plan, the CTL will vary from one individual to the next. Many reasons could play a factor: hrTSS in a particular intensity zone will vary depending on the proximity of AeT to AnT; hrTSS is a proxy but not a direct assessment of fitness; the TSS fudge factors might need to be optimized for many athletes; some athletes need to do more capacity-building workouts in Zone 1 vs Zone 2 (or vice versa); athletes vary widely in movement efficiency and overall movement economy.

    Currently, there is large range in the forecasted CTL in the 2.0 plans. In the advanced plan, some individuals are looking to peak over 90 or even 100. Other athletes that are fairly compliant might peak in the 70’s. The intermediate plan is showing a range that looks like 60’s to 80’s for the generally compliant athletes. By compliant, I mean athletes that are completing nearly all scheduled workouts.

    Rather than focus on the numbers, a more prudent approach would be to identify what training plan fits with your training history and your capacity to train (make sure to look at peak build weeks as well as consider the specific workouts). Being very compliant with any of these programs will put your CTL in a solid range for many objectives. Missing one workout per week will dramatically affect your CTL. For the athletes with challenging schedules, modifying workout volumes to cover the missed volume can help, but remember that frequency and consistency with workouts does matter with aerobic adaptations.

    Also consider the other stressors in your life: if you have a high workload at your job and/or have a lot of family/life stress, a high CTL may not have the same effect. An overworked and under-rested athlete’s 90CTL may be a lot different from the next athlete’s 90CTL who is healthy and well-rested. The first athlete might not have an accurate TSB going into their goal climb, and might be setting up for an injury or poor performance.

    Regarding the transition of plans: Our Mountaineering Training Group (MTG) plans have been developed with a target climb taking place roughly spring to summer (e.g, Everest, Denali, Rainier, US western high points). MTG 1.0, included transition and base training. 2.0, the current iteration, has plans emphasizing specific training. Our next round (3.0) plans are still being developed, but the themes will likely include transition, base, and “in-season”. With these themes, compliance might be a little easier, since general training is usually easier to implement than specific training – this is another point to consider in selecting a plan.

    Disclaimer: While we cite some CTL ranges that have indicated success on various peaks, please keep in mind some athletes with high CTL’s have performed poorly on their climb while some athletes with low CTL’s have succeeded. These performances are at the ends of the distribution for sure. Please remember CTL is not a guarantee of performance. It’s a *personalized* measure of fitness best used to examine previous training and to structure future training.

    kazu.ishidera on #66182

    Thank you, Nate. (and Kieth for asking the question) I had the same question. I recently pulled my lower back by trying to catch up? with the CTL to my goal. I needed to take a week off. Fortunately, the recovery is much faster. I am back on the schedule. I learned to listen to my body rather than my apps and the numbers. However, those numbers certainly motivate or remind me to work. I feel good about the improvement in my overall fitness through the training program. I hope that I am strong enough to climb on the event.

    MarkPostle on #66183

    Kazu, I think that’s a really good way to think about the CTL. Use it as a way to keep track and motivate but don’t let the cart drive the horse ultimately. Train as best you can given your specific circumstances and ability to recover. Be a bit wary of trying to “make up” missed training in the short term.

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