And on the 7th day...

4 of the last 5 weeks have been between 1,100-1,500 TSS, and let me tell you, that has kept me in the hurt locker for the week.  Brent mentioned his sensations of his first recovery day...well I've had that for the past 6 days pretty much.  Wednesday it seemed the legs were itching for action - but once on the bike it was obvious it was to be another day of recovery.  When energy levels return, I have a very active mind in the wee hours of the morning - today for example.  The trouble is, I'm too dim-witted when in the hurt locker to remember that, doh!  Anyway, today feels like the first day of the peak and taper into OP - I'm excited for the next few weeks, rather than looking forward to the post-OP break.

So what's all this nonesense about high CTL training?  Here's a plot of my CTL for the last 3 years.  The y-axis begins at 80 and goes in 10 point increments, horizontal lines represent months (CTL, or chronic training load, is a measure of current training load based on the accumulated TSS of previous training.  I've put a short def in the glossary, but just realized it doesn't mention TSS.  Sooner or later the actual calculation of CTL/ATL/TSB will be publicly available, but until then please accept my apologies for the cloak and dagger stuff).  To get a feeling for the stress associated with TSS points, it's normalized so that 100 points is the equivalent of going all out for one hour.  Hmmm...thinking that way, 1500 TSS is the equivalent stress of 15 x 1 hour time trials in a single week.  NO WONDER! that I look closer, it's more of a 2.5 year plot, oops.  '03 data is not as complete as I thought...lots of time on the MTB sans PM.  Anyway, the trend is obvious - increasing.  The implications, especially to an enduro freak, should be pretty obvious.  By strategically increasing one's ability to train, one can train more - and race longer, and with the right training (refered to as composition of CTL),  faster.  So part of the experimentation leading to OP is to see how far I can push CTL and also with an eye towards big weeks since TransRockies will be one helluva big week.  I'm happily calling 145 my limit for this season;)

Speaking of CTL limits and such, check out Tinker's schedule for '06.  That looks incredibly ambitious, even for Tinker.  Sorta boggles the imagination what CTL he'll find after RAAM...

This is my 3rd year of doing self-experimentation leading to OP, it's the best form of learning.  There isn't a lot of info on how to train for ultras and it's something I've been passionately putting my thoughts to for a few years now.  In a month or so, the results of the current experiment will be distilled and the results added to the library of my training hypotheses/ideas/methods.  The rough training sketch for the main racing season is in place, but it always gets tweaked in March after the OP process.  From March forward, I stick to what works, no more experimentation.

For now, on this 7th day, I'm darn excited to get to the business at hand:  dropping some CTL and increasing the intensity.  One of the projects that lends itself to this period is the 29/26 singletrack testing.  So look for some interesting 5am posts in the near future, but be forewarned, they might blow up the universe!

Published Friday, February 03, 2006 5:01 AM by Dave
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# @ Friday, February 03, 2006 9:38 AM

uhhhh, what?


# @ Monday, February 06, 2006 8:28 AM

Inspiring CTL chart there Dave :)

Just to compare with my own little variant, what's your average weekly VI?

I can also see that high CTL 'disappears' in a hurry doesn't it? Even at 120-125, I can feel that when I miss a day ... like for 6 hours snow shovelling on Wed/Thur!!


Rick Murphy

# @ Monday, February 06, 2006 8:48 AM

Rick, I think you are not too far behind...

Yes, CTL can drop in a hurry - but when it does, you should be so fresh that it's easy to get back if you want it. That is, unless your taper includes 6 hours of shoveling snow ;)
I can taper to 115-120 for a 24 and be right back in the 140s post event.

Weekly VI (variability index, Pnorm/Pave) varies considerably depending on training, but has averaged 1.15 since Nov 1. Same period last year was 1.13. The slight difference is probably a reflection of more MTB and slightly more intensity this year...


# @ Monday, February 06, 2006 4:30 PM

yeah about the same once I factor that in but I realize you're working L5/6 in there and I've just started some serious mid-upper L4 work. For a TT bloke like me L4 is too broad so I break it into 0.95 and below and 0.95-1.05 for 'hard' threshold work.

Even popping in a couple of those workouts with total TSS only ~125 ... felt like I was slacking off. Funny about this SST training - feels like you can keep doing it forever.

when's that 1st big race?

rick murphy

# @ Monday, February 06, 2006 4:47 PM

I know an addict when I see one - you know you are an addict if feeling fresh gives cause for guilt! To up the intensity, you're just gonna have to suck it up and drop CTL, or at least slow it's rise. I don't anyone who can keep up the same CTL during intensity as they can doing SST.

First race is Feb 18/19 in the left sidebar...Old Pueblo 24 hour event. Just under 2 weeks...


# @ Tuesday, February 07, 2006 6:04 AM

yeah guilty as charged. Even after a hard day (4.5 hrs) of snow shovelling last week - I felt bad about missing my workout ... but when you're beat ... you're beat.

i'd probably do okay at an IM-distance Tri relay about now but my short-term 'power' isn't great: 20MP 370W versus 410 PB, 5MP only 430W versus 480 PB, 1MP 615W versus 700 PB (which are both quite low).

I saw the sidebars last night! Doh ..


What do you think?