I am finding performance management charts more and more helpful in assessing my level of fitness, fatigue, and where I need to focus. I could probably tell you how I feel overall and it would be similar to what the performance management chart says about today, which to me has provided some confidence in the calculations. An analysis tool that told me something quite contradictory to how I felt would probably not seem valid. Although I can pretty accurately tell if my current training load is high, and if I feel fatigued or not, it is the historical data and trends that I find very useful. I can look back at peaks and troughs in the CTL curve and recall races or other things going on in my life at that time and compare those periods to how the curves look now.

I’ve been using WKO+ version 2.2, and still am, but today loaded up the performance management charts in Training Peaks. In WKO+ I only have run and bike data loaded. I log all my workouts in Training Peaks, and it calculates a Training Stress Score by several different methods. With Training Peaks I have TSS calculations for my swim workouts and for bike workouts that I didn’t use a power meter, but used a heart rate meter. Some bike workouts (such as the tandem rides) I had to estimate my TSS. Comparing the calculations on Training Peaks I was surprised at how close I came in my estimate, but there were a few rides where I had estimated about 10% higher than Training Peaks. I went through the logs and made corrections where it was needed.

Previously I hadn’t worried much about the training stress from swimming, so I only used the PMC for cycling, running, and then combined cycling + running. Looking at the charts made for swimming by Training Peaks I can see times when I wasn’t swimming much at all, and times when I swam a lot. This past week I have been back swimming, and it is definitely not “rest” as would be indicated by my PMC that only included cycling and running.

My initial review of my new PMCs noted some big discrepancies between Training Peaks and WKO+. Training Peaks actually runs multiple calculations, similar to WKO+, but also includes HR calculations. The threshold data I was using was quite conservative, but decided to go through each workout and determine threshold data for each month this year. The threshold data I am using now is still conservative, but I think will provide better CTL calculations overall.

Chart Peak CTL past year Date Peak CTL Current CTL
Swim 20.3 4/21/2010 10.3
Bike 89.2 7/24/2010 79.1
Run 47.9 9/05/2009 47.1
All 3 141.0 7/24/2010 137.5

My bike and run CTLs are very high right now. Besides this month, the previous bests are:

Chart Peak CTL before 7/2010 Date
Swim 20.3 4/21/2010
Bike 68.9 4/18/2010
Run 47.9 9/05/2010
All 3 123.4 4/18/2010

Here are the 4 PMCs: