Handling Cross-Training workouts in wko+

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by SolarEnergy, Jul 8, 2009.

  1. SolarEnergy

    SolarEnergy New Member

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    Hi,

    OK, I'd like to finally see how a PMC would look for me. However, a significant volume of training is done off bike.

    These workouts are in general very simple, very iso-power, and I could at least fair-guess TSS values. For instance, my 60min StairMaster workout is costing me pretty much the same as a 60min somewhere in the "threshold spectrum" (fair guess would be 90-95% FTP). Some power figures are getting calculated by the machine, HR values are pretty consistent with what I'd experiment riding etc...

    I do realize that mixing apples and potatoes isn't ideal, but that is the only way for me to use wko+ to its full extent.

    Otherwise, all I can do with this is to analyse my ride files on a per file basis. PMC looks awful with curves that go in all directions etc.

    Worst case, I guess I could create pseudo-files similar to those generated by my powertap hub, and have wko+ to import 'em as pure ride files, but is there any other way?

    Thanks
     
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  2. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    There are differing opinions on whether or not you should include cross training in your PMC, but I'm with you and include relevant endurance oriented cross training in my PMC and weekly TSS/hours totals.

    The arguments usually go along the lines of whether the cross training directly translates to greater cycling fitness and whether you're using the PMC to primarily model fitness or fatigue. From a cycling fitness modeling standpoint it's hard to say whether an hour on the stair climber helps your cycling in the same way an hour on the bike at similar intensity might. But there's no doubt that hour on the stair climber contributes to overall fatigue and burns calories so it can be worth tracking for those reason alone.

    Anyway, FWIW for my first PMC season I tracked every sport whether endurance oriented aerobic or not including things like a day of rock climbing to try to model fatigue. For the past two seasons I've stuck to aerobic sports including: cross country ski skating, running, rollerblading, gym bikes, etc. CTL based purely on endurance sports tracks my fitness better and I just have to allow for some extra fatigue following other activities that I don't currently track same way I would for excessive work stress.

    I use a method like you describe by entering a manual workout from the WKO+ journal page for the day in question or use "add new workout" from the calendar screen on days where I ride a PT equipped bike and do some form of cross training and then add the manual workout from the journal page of the additional daily workout. I just estimate IF and record time and then make sure to use the sports pull down menu to label the activity as something other than "bike". The dialog computes TSS and AP (really NP since it stems from IF estimates). I look at the estimated power and often bump the IF estimate down if the power seems too high for the duration (and have to go back and retweak the time based on the way the dialog box works).

    Back in the Athlete's Home Page I include all sports in charts like weekly hours, energy burned and TSS - actually I run two data series for those charts. The first series shows total hours, kj, TSS, etc. for all sports and the second for "bike" only and show them as bar charts which shows at a glance how much total vs. PT logged training I did in each category.

    Charts like the power distribution histograms and MMP curve are filtered to only show "bike" time using the sports tab so I don't get huge spikes or false MMP plateaus representing the manually entered workouts since they store data as if the entire workout occcured at the estimated NP.

    The PMC of course uses all sports but any best efforts like best 20 minute or best hour efforts are filtered to only show "bike" workouts for the same reason as above.

    There's plenty of room for debate about cross training effectiveness in trained athletes, but most of my cross training is during early winter training when I'm stuck indoors or am using ski skating to replace longer Tempo rides. During road season the vast majority of my time is actually on the bike but I'll start running again as cross season approaches and I'll log those workouts for PMC purposes.

    Anyway, I agree that if you do a fair amount of cross training, especially endurance oriented cross training then it makes sense to log that time. If nothing else it may help you understand fatigue and performance following big cross training sessions.

    -Dave
     
  3. SolarEnergy

    SolarEnergy New Member

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    I am interested in following Fatigue level (metabolic depletion) as well as overall work capacity. I don't expect nor do I need CTL to be cycling specific. I am not a cyclist.
    You quickly got to the main reason why I intend including 'em.

    For what it's worth for the debate, speaking of stair climbers, I've been studying its potential for improving cycling performances (1 n though) for little less than 10years now. 1hour of this certainly won't match 1hour of cycling (at least not during cycling specific season). However, training on this machine (off season) does have serious benefits on ability to get back to cycling past season FTP scores very rapidly, given that you train at this intensity of course. Took me only 4 weeks this season, after having spent the whole autumn/winter season off bike, doing just stair as endurance activity. Of course, one might want to include lower level cross training as part of his off season generic Base.

    Not sure I am understanding every bit of info here, but you're basically confirming that I won't need to create fake files and import them?

    You're saying that the wko+ system has existing mechanisms that allow for manually inputing all variable required to process PMC chart?

    Not much debates as far as I am concern. My coaching experience is mainly oriented around triathlon. Guys that can lower the 40k under the hour on pretty much any course type (before running 10k in 35min) with no more than 250-300k of bike per week during spring/summer, off bike for the whole automn/winter season (didn't even know how to clip a bike on a wind trainer back then). Only one explanation, every minute spent in doing something increases their CTL, at least from an overall work capacity stand point.
     
  4. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Yes, there are a couple of ways to create estimated TSS built into WKO+, the method I like uses a pulldown menu from the "journal" page of a given workout.

    Say you're entering a running workout on a day when you didn't ride. Go to that day on the calendar page, double click the date to get a blank workout. Enter workout notes as text and use the options pulldown arrow in the upper right hand corner of the journal page to get to "enter new manual workout" enter time and IF and it will calculate the rest or enter time and wattage or time and TSS if you prefer. Use the sports tag for filtering purposes as described above, exit the dialog and save the workout from the journal page.

    That's about it and it's easy. And as mentioned above your multisport or daily crosstraining athletes can have multiple workouts for a given day so it's easy to have true PM data imported the normal way for one workout. Add another workout for the same day on the calendar page (right click the date and use the add new workout option) for manually entered crosstraining.

    -Dave
     
  5. SolarEnergy

    SolarEnergy New Member

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    that's the bit I was missing!!!

    Veni Vici Vici ! Thanks Dave (I wish I'd asked this question before :))
     
  6. SolarEnergy

    SolarEnergy New Member

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    Dave, (if you're still following up on this thread)

    I booked all my cross-training workouts (from March Year-to-date) and my PMC of course is starting to make sense now.

    I booked swim workouts which have been pretty much the same ever since (20-30 min of L2 Butterfly, I am a 200 BF specialist studying the impact of swimming all Base volume in Butterfly instead of traditional FreeStyle approach). I gave these an IF of .80, which translates into 20tss or so.

    I also booked cross-training cardio workouts which have also been very similar (either straight 30min max power for the duration or 2x20 same principle). I gave these an IF ranging from 1.10 to 1.15 and which translate into 60-65 TSS. I am pretty confident with these numbers although they may be little overestimated on the intensity side.

    Now I am getting nice CTL/ATL curves. However, I notice that my ATL is pretty much all the time higher than CTL.

    Would this be normal you think? I do not feel I train hard enough to rest and let it drop.

    Since March 1th, I have never really done any long steady low intensity work. Just threshold work all the time. Booking around 240tss/week (spread over 5 to 6 workouts) for a rolling avg CTL of 28, until the cycling kicked in late May. Then of course I have done mostly SST on bike (initial bike FTP was surprisingly fairly high given the 7months or so off bike), while keeping at least 1 or 2 Cross-training workout always at threshold intensity. CTL including cycling is now up to little under 50TSS, and I will probably grow it to over 60 little under 70. So I don't expect ATL to go down until I get to my CTL target.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  7. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    It's pretty typical for ATL to stay above CTL during build cycles. During the winter and spring I typically have 8 to 12 week steady CTL ramps where my ATL is always above my CTL and my TSB is always negative in the -7 to -15 range. During that time of year my TSB typically only turns positive when some family or work obligation interrupts training and then I don't sweat it and take the extra rest.

    Once racing or even high end training (more VO2 Max, L6, pure sprinting) starts I get more peaks and valleys in ATL and TSB is positive more often. That's when CTL tends to stagnate or drop which is pretty normal as well but I'll take some time away from competition to do midseason CTL rebuilds when it's dropped too far and I'll do some focused steep CTL preloads about 10 days before A races followed by tapers. Those preload cycles typically preclude anything above L4 work so that I can accumulate a lot of TSS in a short time.

    Anyway, your observations about CTL and ATL seem reasonable. I guess the only thing I'd question is whether you're estimating your swim and cross training workouts accurately. I'd expect shorter Butterfly efforts to yield more than 0.8 IF for instance. How does your pace during those efforts relate to an hour all out at that activity? Is there any additional warmup, cooldown on rest between intervals during those workouts that would drive your TSS above 20? I've got no experience with swim coaching so that might be totally normal but I'd expect more TSS for most focused workouts.

    You might want to check out Dr. Phil Skiba's Race Day software:
    PhysFarm Training Systems 2009
    He's done a lot of multisport work and might have better ways of estimating workload for someone engaged in so much crosstraining. His models are also based on Banninster's impulse response model (which is the basis of the PMC in WKO+) but he takes a slightly different approach that you might find useful.

    -Dave
     
  8. SolarEnergy

    SolarEnergy New Member

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    wow. Are you a swimmer? How do you know these things? :)

    I'm studying something new this year. I managed to bring the effort of swimming Butterfly down to high L2 low L3 (while keeping the technique intact). I do this to increase my efficiency. Having a relatively low Vo2Max and wanting to do well at 200, that's my best bet I believe. Currently, my workout is always the same: 5x200 bf off 5 minutes. I touch 3:30 - 3:40 (leaving over 1 minute of rest, mainly to allow very small muscles responsible for maintaining good technique to recover). Soon I am going to complete these as a full kilo. In preparation for this autumn, I want to build this up to 3x1000 Butterfly off 20min. I expect these to be corresponding to an L3 effort (maybe low L4).

    After this, I will start building speed and power in preparation for next spring's State championship (where I may have a good chance for the gold).

    The stair climbing (stepper) sessions are little more difficult to rate though, and I believe I might have overrated them by a little (maybe 5 but no more than 10 TSS per 30min session).
     
  9. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Not since I was a kid, but I guess I never took it far enough to figure out how to do the Butterfly at L2. That stroke pretty much wiped me out.

    Remember FTP for various activities is defined by your ideal pace for roughly an hour and L3 and L2 fall well below that pace. Are you really saying your Butterfly pace is such that you could sustain it for several hours? If so, what sort of fitness improvements do you expect by doing 20 to 30 minutes of an exercise at your multi-hour endurance intensity? I'm no swimmer, but just from a stress adaptation standpoint that sounds strange. I'm not a big fan of Long Slow Distance work, but Short Slow Distance is even harder to understand.

    -Dave
     
  10. SolarEnergy

    SolarEnergy New Member

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    Oh my!! This swimming discussion is like candy for me... (sorry cyclists :p)

    Dave, not sure that Phil Skiba defines swimming FTP as being equivalent to max mean power over 60min.

    Matter of fact, last time I followed his works on Running and Swimming stress scores, he was rather advocating using different durations that are more specific per sport.

    Running stress score was based, to the best of my knowledge, on 40min MMP.

    For swimming, in the past, I was using best effort over 20min. Late '80s, I was already coaching triathletes by prescribing distances and speed by using the Threshold speed (expressed in m/s). And that threshold speed was based on their time for 1500.

    So logically, one can simply figure out these duration by looking at the Classic Distance of a triathlon (Best 20min Swim, Best 60min Cycling, Best 40min Run ).

    Bare in mind that swimming is a sport in which cheating is not only allowed, but desired. Fitness component that I am trying to improve with these session is the 3rd of the Big3 (Efficiency, that is the official way to cheat while swimming).

    In cycling, we don't pay attention to it. That is probably because the external factors that could improve it are so limited. But in swimming, the Efficiency isn't really limited to internal factors as much as to external ones (hydrodynamic efficiency and technique).

    More specifically, these days I am trying to improve feeling of the effect of the reversed bodywave that occurs after FirstKick/Arm entry. E.Maglischo reported that this wave actually creates forward thrust, given that the synchronization of the body undulation is perfect. I now agree with him. But in order to experiment it, you have to book a llllot of volume. Du to limitation in the sugar I can allocate to swimming, I can not do this volume at moderate pace, otherwise it would conflict with my other activities.

    Since I don't think that I could learn this by swimming the freestyle, I just don't swim it. I get to the pool, swim 5x200 bf and go home.

    Next autumn, butterfly efficiency will be ok. I will then start developing fitness to it, which will bring my rep time from 3:30 down to 2:45. And finally as I get closer to State Championship, will taper to bring it down to 2:20 which should be sufficient for gold.:)


    ** edit **
    found out that Skiba is indeed advocating using swimming T3000 (also recommended by Maglischo) which will take anywhere between 40 and 60min. You are right once again... you... expert!
    http://www.physfarm.com/swimscore.http://www.physfarm.com/swimscore.pdf
     
  11. SolarEnergy

    SolarEnergy New Member

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    So far Dave, the "Curves" seem to reflect the reality.

    I went down to -27 TBS wise, couldn't do anymore quality. Had to take few ez days.

    Now TBS is up to -4, should be able to do something relevant tonight.

    As a result of these ez days, I lost 2TSS/d worth of CTL, but I guess it's normal.
     
  12. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Yeah with the standard 42 day CTL time constant you lose about 2.4% of your CTL for every complete rest day.

    So for the cyclist with CTL hovering around 100 it drops ~2.4 points for every complete rest day and it takes a TSS 200 day to make CTL rise by the same amount. Sorta makes you see how the PMC can become an electronic conscience especially during winter build cycles. Skip a day and it drops fast and often takes two or more days to make recover the lost CTL.

    The good news is that it's the delta CTL vs TSS that matters in terms of how fast CTL drops or rises. So a complete rest day (TSS=0) makes your CTL drop by ~2.4%, but say your CTL is 50 and you do a very easy rest day ride that yields 30 TSS. Your delta is only 20 and the CTL drop is approximately half a point reminding us that even a light workout beats total rest in terms of supporting cumulative training load.

    -Dave
     
  13. SolarEnergy

    SolarEnergy New Member

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    fascinating. thanks.

    I have maybe one little bizarre question. You know I train as a swimmer. Recently, I kind of neglected swimming just a tinybit. As a result of this, completing my usual workout feels tougher than usual (swimming sensations get lost very rapidly).

    So yesterday, I suffered (I must admit). But I decided to log this workout using the usual parameters. I did not increase IF since it would have had a faulty impact on CTL (in absolute values, I wasn't more intense than usual). But I was probably more tired than usual after it.

    Anyway, that is not a big thing since it contributes to so little of my PMC data (60min per week maximum weighting 60TSS).

    But (finally) my question. I guess in Wko+ we can't maintain separate FTP values for different activities I guess? Otherwise the solution would be to lower the FTP for activities that I neglect.
     
  14. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    I don't know of any way to maintain separate FTPs for different sports, but entering scaled IF values does basically the same thing. Watts don't really transfer readily across sports that use additional of different muscle groups anyway. IMO, the acid test for whether an estimated cross training IF is valid is whether the duration and estimated IF roughly yields the kj of energy utilized. It doesn't have to be spot on (not that we can usually know exactly for things like swimming anyway but we can check reference tables to see that we're close) and it's IF we're estimating which stems from NP not AP but the estimated kj should be at least ballpark to what we'd expect.

    Other than the possibility of vastly over or under estimating kj burned by scaling IF for cross training activities it basically accomplishes the same thing as having sports specific FTPs. It ends up giving you more or less TSS for a given cross training workout, estimates an estimated NP which doesn't really do much if you filter your charts to exclude the manually entered workouts and estimates a kj value which I do total into my weekly training energy chart.

    Anyway, I just scale IF if I want to alter cross training contribution to the PMC. Generally I derate cross training as I'm more interested in tracking fitness than fatigue with my PMC but then I'm really only interested in my cycling performance and I'm not trying to model my ski skating, rollerblading or running performances.

    -Dave
     
  15. SolarEnergy

    SolarEnergy New Member

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    hmm...
    My PMC rocks big time, it seems to work perfectly even with the cross-training data I put to it.

    Recently (on Sunday) I reached a record low TBS of -20. At this point, I feel depressed (felt like ending my cycling season earlier than planned), I get sleep disorder and difficulties with sex as well.

    I guess I just found *my* red line under which not to go (unless you were right and that my butterfly workouts are more taxing than I first thought) :rolleyes:

    Anyway, this PMC is really fascinating I find. Damn does this rock!
     
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