Friday, February 8, 2008

Planning a training season around TSS

I know I just posted yesterday, but I've been kicking these ideas around for a few weeks and wanted to get them down while fresh in my mind. I'm completely revamping the way I train this year for two reasons: 1) out of necessity. I don't have as much time this year due to career stuff, so I have to find a way to get faster with less time. I ran across these articles (by Mark van Akkeren and the other by Terry Kerrigan and Phil Skiba). They really made me think about how to train to get faster. And 2) I think I can train more effectively on less time using a training plan based on TSS (see TrainingPeaks WKO+) rather than distance or time. Overall, the goal is to get faster without putting in 20 hr training weeks!

I've picked up some ideas on message boards and kicked around a few of my own on how to train most efficiently with the above two limitations. Here's what I've developed so far:

General progression
  • Workouts with TSS greater than CTL provide stress stimulus.
  • Workouts with TSS = CTL are maintenance.
  • Workouts with TSS less than CTL are recovery.
  • Increase CTL 5-7 points per week (bike), 3-5 points per week (run), and 3-5 points per week (swim)
  • Increase CTL using stress stimulus workouts until I reach a threshold CTL, at which time I'll incorporate more of the 2nd and 3rd types of workouts to avoid overtraining.

Bike workouts

  • If 3x per week: 1 at FTP, 1 with VO2max intervals, 1 in L2 (endurance; my long ride).
  • If 4x per week: the above, plus 1 FTP/tempo.
  • Replace intervals with maintenance/recovery if bordering on overtraining.

Run workouts

  • If 3x per week: 1 at threshold/10K pace, 1 speedwork (VO2max intervals at track), 1 in L2 (long, endurance run).
  • If 4x per week: the above, plus 1 threshold/tempo.
  • If 5-6x per week: the above plus recovery run(s).

Swim workouts...well, I haven't quite figured those out yet.

Really the goal of all the above workouts is to achieve the right stress to show consistent improvement without progressing too fast (injury) or too far (overtraining). I'll do that by continually monitoring CTL (fitness) and managing the amount of stress using TSS. After I start to get that figured out, then I'll next be figuring out how to maximize TSB (training stress balance) on race day!!


Lee said...

You're too kind.

Regarding hitting zones in training, as you probably read in the power reserve article: There's gold to be mined in "no-mans land" of Friel zone 3 / Coggan L3 / Daniels M pace.

Since I struggle with the ITBFS, I really like fartlek style runs - I think that changing the pace helps slightly change the friction point, but that's just conjuecture. I think if you're only going to run a few times a week, the biggest bang for the buck might be had with multispeed training within the runs. Daniels plans always seem to use this tactic -- I've seen his long runs include some M & T pace, the quality runs will include some I pace along with T pace. He also has some killer-looking fartlek runs listed that have a little bit of everything plus the kitchen sink in them.

Just a thought.

Kris K said...

I'll have to go back and review the power reserve article. Now that you mention it, it rings a bell, but I don't remember specifics.

Right now, thinking about mixing paces within a run is more than my mind can handle. I'm not that organized this early in the season...frankly, I'm lucky if I get a workout in these days. But I may hit you up for ideas on this later in the summer.