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2013-11-18 10:30 AM

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Subject: Peak Fitness vs General Fitness
Now that most of everyone has moved into the off-season on this board I just wanted to bring up an issue that I find lots of athletes misunderstand. While most, if not, all athletes end their season with their peak A race, many suddenly worry that after 1-2 week later they are "out of shape" or have lost a significant amount of fitness. This couldn't be more from the truth.

You can only hold your peak fitness for so long, and with endurance athletes, you can only that that 1-2x a year. The more you are trained the more you can peak. Once you have peaked you need to let your body rest and recover, if you don't you will see your performance levels decrease over time. Even after your recovery is complete don't expect to see the same number as you did right before your A race, those were peak numbers.

Peak Fitness
This is the fitness level you have built your training around. As stated earlier you can only hold onto this for so long. This is because you have built a up a large amount of volume, coupled in with the intensity to reach your peak level. This level is meant for a short duration of time a.k.a your peak.

General Fitness
This is your baseline level of fitness. If you train properly every year, your baseline should increase over time (hence be faster). You won't start each year as being more fit, but rather, you will be able to tolerate the loads more efficiently.

This is just a rough description and lot more goes into the dynamics of this. While this is a simple concept I feel that many athletes misunderstand what peak vs general is and often get frustrated 2 months after the season has finished and recovery is complete that they can't do what they did in their A race.


2013-11-18 11:48 AM
in reply to: bcagle25

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Subject: RE: Peak Fitness vs General Fitness

This is an interesting conversation topic, Ben.  I think you make some good points.

I've found using Training Peaks' Performance Management Chart to quantify Chronic Training Load (Think of this as the total training you've done the last 6 weeks), Acute Training Load (what you've done the last week), and Training Stress Balance (How the last week average compares to the 6 week average) to be a good way to educate my clients about how this all works.  Using this system, I can show them in numbers why they're experiencing what they are at different times.

After a peak for an 'A' race, training volume is reduced to allow recovery.  During this time period, you are applying an average daily training stress that's less than you did in the previous 6 weeks, so you are losing some fitness while you recover.  

It can also be helpful to understand what tapering is and physiologically why it works.  Basically, it exploits that fact that fatigue dissipates at a faster rate than fitness is lost.  This means that the goal of a taper is to arrive on race day with very little fatigue, but still carrying a high level of fitness.  After the race (which can add a considerable amount of training stress which increases fatigue), we need to rest and recover, so some more fitness is lost during this period, but not all the fitness that we worked so hard for in the months leading up to that 'A' race.  Only some of it.

On a side note Ben, I see you've added CSCS (pending) to your sig line.  Does that mean you've sat for and passed your exam, but are waiting for official notice from NSCA?  If so, congratulations!  That's not an easy exam.

 

2013-11-18 1:20 PM
in reply to: TriMyBest

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Subject: RE: Peak Fitness vs General Fitness

You all make me want to hire a coach just to help me understand how to train to avoid hurting myself .

This is a concept I really struggle with.

I don't carry a lot of heavy volume as compared to lots of triathletes or at least people training for IM or marathons. The result of this is I feel like I never really peak so I never really take recovery time either. I just keep going a little bit every day and some days I go a little bit more.

Until now. I am in the middle of a complete rest week for the first time in my adult life and guess what - it's not so bad after all.

2013-11-18 1:55 PM
in reply to: trigal38

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Subject: RE: Peak Fitness vs General Fitness

Originally posted by trigal38

You all make me want to hire a coach just to help me understand how to train to avoid hurting myself .

This is a concept I really struggle with.

I don't carry a lot of heavy volume as compared to lots of triathletes or at least people training for IM or marathons. The result of this is I feel like I never really peak so I never really take recovery time either. I just keep going a little bit every day and some days I go a little bit more.

Until now. I am in the middle of a complete rest week for the first time in my adult life and guess what - it's not so bad after all.

To be fair, many AG athletes never really "peak" and don't have to go through the process being discussed.  For them, a meaningful recovery period after racing season is unnecessary.  Maybe even unproductive.  But it's he same process that you can employ on a 'micro' level during a phase of trianing where you create a higher level of training stress and then back-off or plateau and allow your body to adapt so that you can then do a little more and gradually advance your overall fitness level.  It's essentially where 'rest weeks' come from in generic training plans (that get hotly debated because people misunderstand their purpose).  But those periods are short enough that you shouldn't really notice any 'de-training' as you might after a long, hard season and the ensuing recovery. 

2013-11-18 2:00 PM
in reply to: TriMyBest

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Subject: RE: Peak Fitness vs General Fitness
Originally posted by TriMyBest

This is an interesting conversation topic, Ben.  I think you make some good points.

I've found using Training Peaks' Performance Management Chart to quantify Chronic Training Load (Think of this as the total training you've done the last 6 weeks), Acute Training Load (what you've done the last week), and Training Stress Balance (How the last week average compares to the 6 week average) to be a good way to educate my clients about how this all works.  Using this system, I can show them in numbers why they're experiencing what they are at different times.

After a peak for an 'A' race, training volume is reduced to allow recovery.  During this time period, you are applying an average daily training stress that's less than you did in the previous 6 weeks, so you are losing some fitness while you recover.  

It can also be helpful to understand what tapering is and physiologically why it works.  Basically, it exploits that fact that fatigue dissipates at a faster rate than fitness is lost.  This means that the goal of a taper is to arrive on race day with very little fatigue, but still carrying a high level of fitness.  After the race (which can add a considerable amount of training stress which increases fatigue), we need to rest and recover, so some more fitness is lost during this period, but not all the fitness that we worked so hard for in the months leading up to that 'A' race.  Only some of it.

On a side note Ben, I see you've added CSCS (pending) to your sig line.  Does that mean you've sat for and passed your exam, but are waiting for official notice from NSCA?  If so, congratulations!  That's not an easy exam.

 




NSCA is dangling it in front of me until I give them my final transcripts in May. Interesting exam, but the 2 years I spent on campus with several courses specific towards the exam helped. Read the book, reviewed, took the practice exams and it was easier then I thought.

Onto the points made, I think the PMC chart is good for this in reviews and comparisons of past years. Obviously the best way to measure progress each year is measures such as FTP, specific swim sets, etc. But again, the PMC chart is great for that post-season recovery period and setting up the next season and when specifically to do these test where you are well rested and not in a deep well of fatigue.

For the taper I think you described it well. I'll add to tapering that you want to chase a feeling of being "fresh". Like Bryan said on here before "You want to feel like you are being shot out of a cannon on race day". The number chasing, and relying on specific numbers and paces in training goes out the window. I think too many times athletes get too wrapped up in this before the race when all they are supposed to be doing is rest. The outcome is a race where they feel fatigued going in, can't finish strong, or just generally feel flat.
2013-11-18 2:10 PM
in reply to: JohnnyKay

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Subject: RE: Peak Fitness vs General Fitness

Originally posted by JohnnyKay

Originally posted by trigal38

You all make me want to hire a coach just to help me understand how to train to avoid hurting myself .

This is a concept I really struggle with.

I don't carry a lot of heavy volume as compared to lots of triathletes or at least people training for IM or marathons. The result of this is I feel like I never really peak so I never really take recovery time either. I just keep going a little bit every day and some days I go a little bit more.

Until now. I am in the middle of a complete rest week for the first time in my adult life and guess what - it's not so bad after all.

To be fair, many AG athletes never really "peak" and don't have to go through the process being discussed.  For them, a meaningful recovery period after racing season is unnecessary.  Maybe even unproductive.  But it's he same process that you can employ on a 'micro' level during a phase of trianing where you create a higher level of training stress and then back-off or plateau and allow your body to adapt so that you can then do a little more and gradually advance your overall fitness level.  It's essentially where 'rest weeks' come from in generic training plans (that get hotly debated because people misunderstand their purpose).  But those periods are short enough that you shouldn't really notice any 'de-training' as you might after a long, hard season and the ensuing recovery. 

I agree with JK that most AGer's don't reach their peak potential, and are unlikely to need as much recovery time as pros or elites, but disagree with the implication that a meaningful recovery period after their 'A' race doesn't provide value.  Sure, for pros and elites, they may need the physical rest, but if you consider that we respond similarly to all types of stress, whether it's training, work, family, emotional, insufficient sleep, etc, a recovery period becomes helpful for most and necessary for some AGer's, even if it's mostly for psychological purposes, because they've often spent months juggling extremely tight schedules and structured lives.  A few weeks of unstructured time before the transition phase/out season/base training or whatever you want to call it, can be very beneficial because they're then ready to enter structured training with renewed enthusiasm.

 



2013-11-18 2:23 PM
in reply to: TriMyBest

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Subject: RE: Peak Fitness vs General Fitness

Originally posted by TriMyBest

Originally posted by JohnnyKay

Originally posted by trigal38

You all make me want to hire a coach just to help me understand how to train to avoid hurting myself .

This is a concept I really struggle with.

I don't carry a lot of heavy volume as compared to lots of triathletes or at least people training for IM or marathons. The result of this is I feel like I never really peak so I never really take recovery time either. I just keep going a little bit every day and some days I go a little bit more.

Until now. I am in the middle of a complete rest week for the first time in my adult life and guess what - it's not so bad after all.

To be fair, many AG athletes never really "peak" and don't have to go through the process being discussed.  For them, a meaningful recovery period after racing season is unnecessary.  Maybe even unproductive.  But it's he same process that you can employ on a 'micro' level during a phase of trianing where you create a higher level of training stress and then back-off or plateau and allow your body to adapt so that you can then do a little more and gradually advance your overall fitness level.  It's essentially where 'rest weeks' come from in generic training plans (that get hotly debated because people misunderstand their purpose).  But those periods are short enough that you shouldn't really notice any 'de-training' as you might after a long, hard season and the ensuing recovery. 

I agree with JK that most AGer's don't reach their peak potential, and are unlikely to need as much recovery time as pros or elites, but disagree with the implication that a meaningful recovery period after their 'A' race doesn't provide value.  Sure, for pros and elites, they may need the physical rest, but if you consider that we respond similarly to all types of stress, whether it's training, work, family, emotional, insufficient sleep, etc, a recovery period becomes helpful for most and necessary for some AGer's, even if it's mostly for psychological purposes, because they've often spent months juggling extremely tight schedules and structured lives.  A few weeks of unstructured time before the transition phase/out season/base training or whatever you want to call it, can be very beneficial because they're then ready to enter structured training with renewed enthusiasm.

 

It's not even AGers don't reach their "peak" potential, many don't even train to reach any kind of meaningful peak (they just build their fitness, little by little, and take what they have to race day).  I realize some do and this kind of information can be quite useful.  I also get having the 'mental' break that some may need (although that is very different that what the thread started out discussing).  But my guess is that someone in trigal's position only has to worry about recovering like this if he or she is also worried about changing how they train.  Now, if they feel they need it because training is becoming a burden and they are losing enthusiasm then, by all means, take an unstructured break or rest and don't get overly concerned about giving up some fitness during that time.

2013-11-18 2:47 PM
in reply to: JohnnyKay

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Subject: RE: Peak Fitness vs General Fitness

Originally posted by JohnnyKay

Originally posted by TriMyBest

Originally posted by JohnnyKay

Originally posted by trigal38

You all make me want to hire a coach just to help me understand how to train to avoid hurting myself .

This is a concept I really struggle with.

I don't carry a lot of heavy volume as compared to lots of triathletes or at least people training for IM or marathons. The result of this is I feel like I never really peak so I never really take recovery time either. I just keep going a little bit every day and some days I go a little bit more.

Until now. I am in the middle of a complete rest week for the first time in my adult life and guess what - it's not so bad after all.

To be fair, many AG athletes never really "peak" and don't have to go through the process being discussed.  For them, a meaningful recovery period after racing season is unnecessary.  Maybe even unproductive.  But it's he same process that you can employ on a 'micro' level during a phase of trianing where you create a higher level of training stress and then back-off or plateau and allow your body to adapt so that you can then do a little more and gradually advance your overall fitness level.  It's essentially where 'rest weeks' come from in generic training plans (that get hotly debated because people misunderstand their purpose).  But those periods are short enough that you shouldn't really notice any 'de-training' as you might after a long, hard season and the ensuing recovery. 

I agree with JK that most AGer's don't reach their peak potential, and are unlikely to need as much recovery time as pros or elites, but disagree with the implication that a meaningful recovery period after their 'A' race doesn't provide value.  Sure, for pros and elites, they may need the physical rest, but if you consider that we respond similarly to all types of stress, whether it's training, work, family, emotional, insufficient sleep, etc, a recovery period becomes helpful for most and necessary for some AGer's, even if it's mostly for psychological purposes, because they've often spent months juggling extremely tight schedules and structured lives.  A few weeks of unstructured time before the transition phase/out season/base training or whatever you want to call it, can be very beneficial because they're then ready to enter structured training with renewed enthusiasm.

 

It's not even AGers don't reach their "peak" potential, many don't even train to reach any kind of meaningful peak (they just build their fitness, little by little, and take what they have to race day).  I realize some do and this kind of information can be quite useful.  I also get having the 'mental' break that some may need (although that is very different that what the thread started out discussing).  But my guess is that someone in trigal's position only has to worry about recovering like this if he or she is also worried about changing how they train.  Now, if they feel they need it because training is becoming a burden and they are losing enthusiasm then, by all means, take an unstructured break or rest and don't get overly concerned about giving up some fitness during that time.

Yep, that describes me pretty well. I'm dealing with 5 years of "consistency" with s/b/r and very little of that 5 years spent following any kind of meaningful training plan. Now factor in that I am not getting any younger and it is time for me to reassess and yes, look at how I train.

General fitness in my mind makes me think of my fitness life before triathlon. For me that was a workout most days of the week but those workouts were more diverse and included a day yoga or strength or a hike. I swam and road my bike and went for a run but I did not focus so overwhelmingly on only those 3 activities. And I did not need a period of recovery unless I had a running injury which of course I did .

2013-11-18 2:56 PM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: Peak Fitness vs General Fitness

Originally posted by bcagle25 Now that most of everyone has moved into the off-season on this board I just wanted to bring up an issue that I find lots of athletes misunderstand. While most, if not, all athletes end their season with their peak A race, many suddenly worry that after 1-2 week later they are "out of shape" or have lost a significant amount of fitness. This couldn't be more from the truth. You can only hold your peak fitness for so long, and with endurance athletes, you can only that that 1-2x a year. The more you are trained the more you can peak. Once you have peaked you need to let your body rest and recover, if you don't you will see your performance levels decrease over time. Even after your recovery is complete don't expect to see the same number as you did right before your A race, those were peak numbers. Peak Fitness This is the fitness level you have built your training around. As stated earlier you can only hold onto this for so long. This is because you have built a up a large amount of volume, coupled in with the intensity to reach your peak level. This level is meant for a short duration of time a.k.a your peak. General Fitness This is your baseline level of fitness. If you train properly every year, your baseline should increase over time (hence be faster). You won't start each year as being more fit, but rather, you will be able to tolerate the loads more efficiently. This is just a rough description and lot more goes into the dynamics of this. While this is a simple concept I feel that many athletes misunderstand what peak vs general is and often get frustrated 2 months after the season has finished and recovery is complete that they can't do what they did in their A race.

 

I agree with what you are saying, except I would totally use the phrase, "out of shape" when coming back from some time off.

For an "A" race I taper down quite significantly before the race 2-3 weeks out. Then I race. Then I typically take a few days completely off, followed by some time "off" where I run with no specific training. (usually somewhere in the 2-3 week range.) At this point, I am anywhere from 4-6 weeks without any significant volume and only a few key workouts and of course, the "A" race.

If I go and do my first race after my time off, I'm not say, a couch potato, but I would totally use the term "out of shape."

Do you disagree?

 



Edited by Asalzwed 2013-11-18 2:56 PM
2013-11-18 4:31 PM
in reply to: Asalzwed

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Subject: RE: Peak Fitness vs General Fitness
Originally posted by Asalzwed

Originally posted by bcagle25 Now that most of everyone has moved into the off-season on this board I just wanted to bring up an issue that I find lots of athletes misunderstand. While most, if not, all athletes end their season with their peak A race, many suddenly worry that after 1-2 week later they are "out of shape" or have lost a significant amount of fitness. This couldn't be more from the truth. You can only hold your peak fitness for so long, and with endurance athletes, you can only that that 1-2x a year. The more you are trained the more you can peak. Once you have peaked you need to let your body rest and recover, if you don't you will see your performance levels decrease over time. Even after your recovery is complete don't expect to see the same number as you did right before your A race, those were peak numbers. Peak Fitness This is the fitness level you have built your training around. As stated earlier you can only hold onto this for so long. This is because you have built a up a large amount of volume, coupled in with the intensity to reach your peak level. This level is meant for a short duration of time a.k.a your peak. General Fitness This is your baseline level of fitness. If you train properly every year, your baseline should increase over time (hence be faster). You won't start each year as being more fit, but rather, you will be able to tolerate the loads more efficiently. This is just a rough description and lot more goes into the dynamics of this. While this is a simple concept I feel that many athletes misunderstand what peak vs general is and often get frustrated 2 months after the season has finished and recovery is complete that they can't do what they did in their A race.

 

I agree with what you are saying, except I would totally use the phrase, "out of shape" when coming back from some time off.

For an "A" race I taper down quite significantly before the race 2-3 weeks out. Then I race. Then I typically take a few days completely off, followed by some time "off" where I run with no specific training. (usually somewhere in the 2-3 week range.) At this point, I am anywhere from 4-6 weeks without any significant volume and only a few key workouts and of course, the "A" race.

If I go and do my first race after my time off, I'm not say, a couch potato, but I would totally use the term "out of shape."

Do you disagree?

 




I wouldn't disagree but I would look at the context of the phrase and your relation to it.

To me "out of shape" is a sedentary adult

What you define as "out of shape" I would more say is "not in peak shape" as you are still generally fit.

BTW nice pug!
2013-11-18 4:54 PM
in reply to: bcagle25

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Subject: RE: Peak Fitness vs General Fitness

Originally posted by bcagle25
Originally posted by Asalzwed

Originally posted by bcagle25 Now that most of everyone has moved into the off-season on this board I just wanted to bring up an issue that I find lots of athletes misunderstand. While most, if not, all athletes end their season with their peak A race, many suddenly worry that after 1-2 week later they are "out of shape" or have lost a significant amount of fitness. This couldn't be more from the truth. You can only hold your peak fitness for so long, and with endurance athletes, you can only that that 1-2x a year. The more you are trained the more you can peak. Once you have peaked you need to let your body rest and recover, if you don't you will see your performance levels decrease over time. Even after your recovery is complete don't expect to see the same number as you did right before your A race, those were peak numbers. Peak Fitness This is the fitness level you have built your training around. As stated earlier you can only hold onto this for so long. This is because you have built a up a large amount of volume, coupled in with the intensity to reach your peak level. This level is meant for a short duration of time a.k.a your peak. General Fitness This is your baseline level of fitness. If you train properly every year, your baseline should increase over time (hence be faster). You won't start each year as being more fit, but rather, you will be able to tolerate the loads more efficiently. This is just a rough description and lot more goes into the dynamics of this. While this is a simple concept I feel that many athletes misunderstand what peak vs general is and often get frustrated 2 months after the season has finished and recovery is complete that they can't do what they did in their A race.

 

I agree with what you are saying, except I would totally use the phrase, "out of shape" when coming back from some time off.

For an "A" race I taper down quite significantly before the race 2-3 weeks out. Then I race. Then I typically take a few days completely off, followed by some time "off" where I run with no specific training. (usually somewhere in the 2-3 week range.) At this point, I am anywhere from 4-6 weeks without any significant volume and only a few key workouts and of course, the "A" race.

If I go and do my first race after my time off, I'm not say, a couch potato, but I would totally use the term "out of shape."

Do you disagree?

 

I wouldn't disagree but I would look at the context of the phrase and your relation to it. To me "out of shape" is a sedentary adult What you define as "out of shape" I would more say is "not in peak shape" as you are still generally fit. BTW nice pug!

Ah ok, that makes sense.

And thank you! She would probably be a good example of your definition of "out of shape"



2013-11-18 6:36 PM
in reply to: bcagle25

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Subject: RE: Peak Fitness vs General Fitness
Good post and something that athletes who are attempting to follow some type of periodized plan should bear in mind when trying to put together a plan.

I think it also is worth considering (to JohnnyK's point) that while many athlete's will target a race to peak for, they don't really achieve a "peak" but rather just get to the highest point of fitness for the season. The difference may be subtle but there is a difference between a progressive overload through training that builds fitness before tapering off just before a race and trying to wring every last bit of fitness out of an athlete.

Shane
2013-11-19 7:18 AM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: Peak Fitness vs General Fitness
Originally posted by trigal38

Originally posted by JohnnyKay

Originally posted by TriMyBest

Originally posted by JohnnyKay

Originally posted by trigal38

You all make me want to hire a coach just to help me understand how to train to avoid hurting myself .

This is a concept I really struggle with.

I don't carry a lot of heavy volume as compared to lots of triathletes or at least people training for IM or marathons. The result of this is I feel like I never really peak so I never really take recovery time either. I just keep going a little bit every day and some days I go a little bit more.

Until now. I am in the middle of a complete rest week for the first time in my adult life and guess what - it's not so bad after all.

To be fair, many AG athletes never really "peak" and don't have to go through the process being discussed.  For them, a meaningful recovery period after racing season is unnecessary.  Maybe even unproductive.  But it's he same process that you can employ on a 'micro' level during a phase of trianing where you create a higher level of training stress and then back-off or plateau and allow your body to adapt so that you can then do a little more and gradually advance your overall fitness level.  It's essentially where 'rest weeks' come from in generic training plans (that get hotly debated because people misunderstand their purpose).  But those periods are short enough that you shouldn't really notice any 'de-training' as you might after a long, hard season and the ensuing recovery. 

I agree with JK that most AGer's don't reach their peak potential, and are unlikely to need as much recovery time as pros or elites, but disagree with the implication that a meaningful recovery period after their 'A' race doesn't provide value.  Sure, for pros and elites, they may need the physical rest, but if you consider that we respond similarly to all types of stress, whether it's training, work, family, emotional, insufficient sleep, etc, a recovery period becomes helpful for most and necessary for some AGer's, even if it's mostly for psychological purposes, because they've often spent months juggling extremely tight schedules and structured lives.  A few weeks of unstructured time before the transition phase/out season/base training or whatever you want to call it, can be very beneficial because they're then ready to enter structured training with renewed enthusiasm.

 

It's not even AGers don't reach their "peak" potential, many don't even train to reach any kind of meaningful peak (they just build their fitness, little by little, and take what they have to race day).  I realize some do and this kind of information can be quite useful.  I also get having the 'mental' break that some may need (although that is very different that what the thread started out discussing).  But my guess is that someone in trigal's position only has to worry about recovering like this if he or she is also worried about changing how they train.  Now, if they feel they need it because training is becoming a burden and they are losing enthusiasm then, by all means, take an unstructured break or rest and don't get overly concerned about giving up some fitness during that time.

Yep, that describes me pretty well. I'm dealing with 5 years of "consistency" with s/b/r and very little of that 5 years spent following any kind of meaningful training plan. Now factor in that I am not getting any younger and it is time for me to reassess and yes, look at how I train.

General fitness in my mind makes me think of my fitness life before triathlon. For me that was a workout most days of the week but those workouts were more diverse and included a day yoga or strength or a hike. I swam and road my bike and went for a run but I did not focus so overwhelmingly on only those 3 activities. And I did not need a period of recovery unless I had a running injury which of course I did .




I think someone else said it TP has a performance chart that takes a lot of the guesswork out. You do need to at least measure heart rate on the bike, for the swim and run it approximates from threshold pace. But heart rate for both is probably more accurate (I use the Mio Global heart rate watch, no strap...good under water).

I think this chart is worth using for everyone, even those who aren't interested or knowledgeable about peaking. The basics of the chart lines and dots and what they mean in english are covered in the FAQ and elsewhere. Focus less on the detail numbers and more on the trends if you are a newbie to it. Also, need to estimate your thresholds and ranges in the accounts section (and have the chart recalculate if you change those). TP will automatically adjust those based on your training data.

Aside from finer details, the chart tells you the effects of recent training (last 10 days) versus long term training (last 6 weeks) and how it affects your level of rest against the training (TSB). It helps you understand if you're overtraining (purposefully or otherwise), undertraining or just holding steady. And it can be broken up by discipline ore put together for all disciplines. It can help you monitor tapering and recovery, and you can "predict" your fitness by entering past stress scores into future similar workouts. This is particularly powerful and helping timing to peak or recover.

If you start a new training plan, that's a good opportunity to track the effect on the chart.

Edited by FranzZemen 2013-11-19 7:21 AM
2013-11-19 8:53 AM
in reply to: FranzZemen

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Subject: RE: Peak Fitness vs General Fitness
Originally posted by FranzZemen

Originally posted by trigal38

Originally posted by JohnnyKay

Originally posted by TriMyBest

Originally posted by JohnnyKay

Originally posted by trigal38

You all make me want to hire a coach just to help me understand how to train to avoid hurting myself .

This is a concept I really struggle with.

I don't carry a lot of heavy volume as compared to lots of triathletes or at least people training for IM or marathons. The result of this is I feel like I never really peak so I never really take recovery time either. I just keep going a little bit every day and some days I go a little bit more.

Until now. I am in the middle of a complete rest week for the first time in my adult life and guess what - it's not so bad after all.

To be fair, many AG athletes never really "peak" and don't have to go through the process being discussed.  For them, a meaningful recovery period after racing season is unnecessary.  Maybe even unproductive.  But it's he same process that you can employ on a 'micro' level during a phase of trianing where you create a higher level of training stress and then back-off or plateau and allow your body to adapt so that you can then do a little more and gradually advance your overall fitness level.  It's essentially where 'rest weeks' come from in generic training plans (that get hotly debated because people misunderstand their purpose).  But those periods are short enough that you shouldn't really notice any 'de-training' as you might after a long, hard season and the ensuing recovery. 

I agree with JK that most AGer's don't reach their peak potential, and are unlikely to need as much recovery time as pros or elites, but disagree with the implication that a meaningful recovery period after their 'A' race doesn't provide value.  Sure, for pros and elites, they may need the physical rest, but if you consider that we respond similarly to all types of stress, whether it's training, work, family, emotional, insufficient sleep, etc, a recovery period becomes helpful for most and necessary for some AGer's, even if it's mostly for psychological purposes, because they've often spent months juggling extremely tight schedules and structured lives.  A few weeks of unstructured time before the transition phase/out season/base training or whatever you want to call it, can be very beneficial because they're then ready to enter structured training with renewed enthusiasm.

 

It's not even AGers don't reach their "peak" potential, many don't even train to reach any kind of meaningful peak (they just build their fitness, little by little, and take what they have to race day).  I realize some do and this kind of information can be quite useful.  I also get having the 'mental' break that some may need (although that is very different that what the thread started out discussing).  But my guess is that someone in trigal's position only has to worry about recovering like this if he or she is also worried about changing how they train.  Now, if they feel they need it because training is becoming a burden and they are losing enthusiasm then, by all means, take an unstructured break or rest and don't get overly concerned about giving up some fitness during that time.

Yep, that describes me pretty well. I'm dealing with 5 years of "consistency" with s/b/r and very little of that 5 years spent following any kind of meaningful training plan. Now factor in that I am not getting any younger and it is time for me to reassess and yes, look at how I train.

General fitness in my mind makes me think of my fitness life before triathlon. For me that was a workout most days of the week but those workouts were more diverse and included a day yoga or strength or a hike. I swam and road my bike and went for a run but I did not focus so overwhelmingly on only those 3 activities. And I did not need a period of recovery unless I had a running injury which of course I did .




I think someone else said it TP has a performance chart that takes a lot of the guesswork out. You do need to at least measure heart rate on the bike, for the swim and run it approximates from threshold pace. But heart rate for both is probably more accurate (I use the Mio Global heart rate watch, no strap...good under water).

I think this chart is worth using for everyone, even those who aren't interested or knowledgeable about peaking. The basics of the chart lines and dots and what they mean in english are covered in the FAQ and elsewhere. Focus less on the detail numbers and more on the trends if you are a newbie to it. Also, need to estimate your thresholds and ranges in the accounts section (and have the chart recalculate if you change those). TP will automatically adjust those based on your training data.

Aside from finer details, the chart tells you the effects of recent training (last 10 days) versus long term training (last 6 weeks) and how it affects your level of rest against the training (TSB). It helps you understand if you're overtraining (purposefully or otherwise), undertraining or just holding steady. And it can be broken up by discipline ore put together for all disciplines. It can help you monitor tapering and recovery, and you can "predict" your fitness by entering past stress scores into future similar workouts. This is particularly powerful and helping timing to peak or recover.

If you start a new training plan, that's a good opportunity to track the effect on the chart.


I agree the PMC chart is good but it has some faults.

It doesn't track sleep which is huge. No matter how fit you are if your not well rested forget about it. The swimming is still iffy. Differences in stroke efficiencies is not trackable in the PMC chart and has a huge carry over to the difficulty of the swim.

Overall I think the PMC is good for the big picture but you cannot depend on it, too many other variables outside of your thresholds that you train at.
2013-11-19 12:20 PM
in reply to: bcagle25

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Pro
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Harrisburg, PA
Subject: RE: Peak Fitness vs General Fitness

Originally posted by bcagle25
Originally posted by FranzZemen
Originally posted by trigal38

Originally posted by JohnnyKay

Originally posted by TriMyBest

Originally posted by JohnnyKay

Originally posted by trigal38

You all make me want to hire a coach just to help me understand how to train to avoid hurting myself .

This is a concept I really struggle with.

I don't carry a lot of heavy volume as compared to lots of triathletes or at least people training for IM or marathons. The result of this is I feel like I never really peak so I never really take recovery time either. I just keep going a little bit every day and some days I go a little bit more.

Until now. I am in the middle of a complete rest week for the first time in my adult life and guess what - it's not so bad after all.

To be fair, many AG athletes never really "peak" and don't have to go through the process being discussed.  For them, a meaningful recovery period after racing season is unnecessary.  Maybe even unproductive.  But it's he same process that you can employ on a 'micro' level during a phase of trianing where you create a higher level of training stress and then back-off or plateau and allow your body to adapt so that you can then do a little more and gradually advance your overall fitness level.  It's essentially where 'rest weeks' come from in generic training plans (that get hotly debated because people misunderstand their purpose).  But those periods are short enough that you shouldn't really notice any 'de-training' as you might after a long, hard season and the ensuing recovery. 

I agree with JK that most AGer's don't reach their peak potential, and are unlikely to need as much recovery time as pros or elites, but disagree with the implication that a meaningful recovery period after their 'A' race doesn't provide value.  Sure, for pros and elites, they may need the physical rest, but if you consider that we respond similarly to all types of stress, whether it's training, work, family, emotional, insufficient sleep, etc, a recovery period becomes helpful for most and necessary for some AGer's, even if it's mostly for psychological purposes, because they've often spent months juggling extremely tight schedules and structured lives.  A few weeks of unstructured time before the transition phase/out season/base training or whatever you want to call it, can be very beneficial because they're then ready to enter structured training with renewed enthusiasm.

 

It's not even AGers don't reach their "peak" potential, many don't even train to reach any kind of meaningful peak (they just build their fitness, little by little, and take what they have to race day).  I realize some do and this kind of information can be quite useful.  I also get having the 'mental' break that some may need (although that is very different that what the thread started out discussing).  But my guess is that someone in trigal's position only has to worry about recovering like this if he or she is also worried about changing how they train.  Now, if they feel they need it because training is becoming a burden and they are losing enthusiasm then, by all means, take an unstructured break or rest and don't get overly concerned about giving up some fitness during that time.

Yep, that describes me pretty well. I'm dealing with 5 years of "consistency" with s/b/r and very little of that 5 years spent following any kind of meaningful training plan. Now factor in that I am not getting any younger and it is time for me to reassess and yes, look at how I train.

General fitness in my mind makes me think of my fitness life before triathlon. For me that was a workout most days of the week but those workouts were more diverse and included a day yoga or strength or a hike. I swam and road my bike and went for a run but I did not focus so overwhelmingly on only those 3 activities. And I did not need a period of recovery unless I had a running injury which of course I did .

I think someone else said it TP has a performance chart that takes a lot of the guesswork out. You do need to at least measure heart rate on the bike, for the swim and run it approximates from threshold pace. But heart rate for both is probably more accurate (I use the Mio Global heart rate watch, no strap...good under water). I think this chart is worth using for everyone, even those who aren't interested or knowledgeable about peaking. The basics of the chart lines and dots and what they mean in english are covered in the FAQ and elsewhere. Focus less on the detail numbers and more on the trends if you are a newbie to it. Also, need to estimate your thresholds and ranges in the accounts section (and have the chart recalculate if you change those). TP will automatically adjust those based on your training data. Aside from finer details, the chart tells you the effects of recent training (last 10 days) versus long term training (last 6 weeks) and how it affects your level of rest against the training (TSB). It helps you understand if you're overtraining (purposefully or otherwise), undertraining or just holding steady. And it can be broken up by discipline ore put together for all disciplines. It can help you monitor tapering and recovery, and you can "predict" your fitness by entering past stress scores into future similar workouts. This is particularly powerful and helping timing to peak or recover. If you start a new training plan, that's a good opportunity to track the effect on the chart.
I agree the PMC chart is good but it has some faults. It doesn't track sleep which is huge. No matter how fit you are if your not well rested forget about it. The swimming is still iffy. Differences in stroke efficiencies is not trackable in the PMC chart and has a huge carry over to the difficulty of the swim. Overall I think the PMC is good for the big picture but you cannot depend on it, too many other variables outside of your thresholds that you train at.

Agreed.  This raises another important issue.  No matter what system you use to quantify training stress, fitness, recovery, and level of freshness, it's necessary to cross check it against how you feel.  This can help compensate for shortcomings in management systems such as TP's PMC as well as adjust for other stress factors such as inadequate recovery due to inadequate sleep.  This is one of the reasons that I ask my athletes to include subjective notes about how they feel in their logs rather than just uploading GPS, HR, and power data, and I talk to them regularly.  I'm always watching to make sure the numbers match what they are feeling.  If there is a disconnect for more than a couple days, we're digging into things to figure out what's going on and adjust their training accordingly.

 

2013-11-19 4:29 PM
in reply to: TriMyBest

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5002525
Grapevine, TX
Subject: RE: Peak Fitness vs General Fitness
Originally posted by TriMyBest

Originally posted by bcagle25
Originally posted by FranzZemen
Originally posted by trigal38

Originally posted by JohnnyKay

Originally posted by TriMyBest

Originally posted by JohnnyKay

Originally posted by trigal38

You all make me want to hire a coach just to help me understand how to train to avoid hurting myself .

This is a concept I really struggle with.

I don't carry a lot of heavy volume as compared to lots of triathletes or at least people training for IM or marathons. The result of this is I feel like I never really peak so I never really take recovery time either. I just keep going a little bit every day and some days I go a little bit more.

Until now. I am in the middle of a complete rest week for the first time in my adult life and guess what - it's not so bad after all.

To be fair, many AG athletes never really "peak" and don't have to go through the process being discussed.  For them, a meaningful recovery period after racing season is unnecessary.  Maybe even unproductive.  But it's he same process that you can employ on a 'micro' level during a phase of trianing where you create a higher level of training stress and then back-off or plateau and allow your body to adapt so that you can then do a little more and gradually advance your overall fitness level.  It's essentially where 'rest weeks' come from in generic training plans (that get hotly debated because people misunderstand their purpose).  But those periods are short enough that you shouldn't really notice any 'de-training' as you might after a long, hard season and the ensuing recovery. 

I agree with JK that most AGer's don't reach their peak potential, and are unlikely to need as much recovery time as pros or elites, but disagree with the implication that a meaningful recovery period after their 'A' race doesn't provide value.  Sure, for pros and elites, they may need the physical rest, but if you consider that we respond similarly to all types of stress, whether it's training, work, family, emotional, insufficient sleep, etc, a recovery period becomes helpful for most and necessary for some AGer's, even if it's mostly for psychological purposes, because they've often spent months juggling extremely tight schedules and structured lives.  A few weeks of unstructured time before the transition phase/out season/base training or whatever you want to call it, can be very beneficial because they're then ready to enter structured training with renewed enthusiasm.

 

It's not even AGers don't reach their "peak" potential, many don't even train to reach any kind of meaningful peak (they just build their fitness, little by little, and take what they have to race day).  I realize some do and this kind of information can be quite useful.  I also get having the 'mental' break that some may need (although that is very different that what the thread started out discussing).  But my guess is that someone in trigal's position only has to worry about recovering like this if he or she is also worried about changing how they train.  Now, if they feel they need it because training is becoming a burden and they are losing enthusiasm then, by all means, take an unstructured break or rest and don't get overly concerned about giving up some fitness during that time.

Yep, that describes me pretty well. I'm dealing with 5 years of "consistency" with s/b/r and very little of that 5 years spent following any kind of meaningful training plan. Now factor in that I am not getting any younger and it is time for me to reassess and yes, look at how I train.

General fitness in my mind makes me think of my fitness life before triathlon. For me that was a workout most days of the week but those workouts were more diverse and included a day yoga or strength or a hike. I swam and road my bike and went for a run but I did not focus so overwhelmingly on only those 3 activities. And I did not need a period of recovery unless I had a running injury which of course I did .

I think someone else said it TP has a performance chart that takes a lot of the guesswork out. You do need to at least measure heart rate on the bike, for the swim and run it approximates from threshold pace. But heart rate for both is probably more accurate (I use the Mio Global heart rate watch, no strap...good under water). I think this chart is worth using for everyone, even those who aren't interested or knowledgeable about peaking. The basics of the chart lines and dots and what they mean in english are covered in the FAQ and elsewhere. Focus less on the detail numbers and more on the trends if you are a newbie to it. Also, need to estimate your thresholds and ranges in the accounts section (and have the chart recalculate if you change those). TP will automatically adjust those based on your training data. Aside from finer details, the chart tells you the effects of recent training (last 10 days) versus long term training (last 6 weeks) and how it affects your level of rest against the training (TSB). It helps you understand if you're overtraining (purposefully or otherwise), undertraining or just holding steady. And it can be broken up by discipline ore put together for all disciplines. It can help you monitor tapering and recovery, and you can "predict" your fitness by entering past stress scores into future similar workouts. This is particularly powerful and helping timing to peak or recover. If you start a new training plan, that's a good opportunity to track the effect on the chart.
I agree the PMC chart is good but it has some faults. It doesn't track sleep which is huge. No matter how fit you are if your not well rested forget about it. The swimming is still iffy. Differences in stroke efficiencies is not trackable in the PMC chart and has a huge carry over to the difficulty of the swim. Overall I think the PMC is good for the big picture but you cannot depend on it, too many other variables outside of your thresholds that you train at.

Agreed.  This raises another important issue.  No matter what system you use to quantify training stress, fitness, recovery, and level of freshness, it's necessary to cross check it against how you feel.  This can help compensate for shortcomings in management systems such as TP's PMC as well as adjust for other stress factors such as inadequate recovery due to inadequate sleep.  This is one of the reasons that I ask my athletes to include subjective notes about how they feel in their logs rather than just uploading GPS, HR, and power data, and I talk to them regularly.  I'm always watching to make sure the numbers match what they are feeling.  If there is a disconnect for more than a couple days, we're digging into things to figure out what's going on and adjust their training accordingly.

 




Just in case some readers are not familiar with TP, you can record sleep, sleep quality and other metrics. You can't graph those on the PMC, but you can graph them on the dashboard (at least those you record using the numerical scales).


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