Guides and tricksBetween Thresholds Podcast

BETWEEN THRESHOLDS - Episode 5 | TrainingPeaks, how to use it and complete guide

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Episode 5 of podcast BETWEEN THRESHOLDS. And what is today's episode about? Well, as I had been announcing on social networks, TrainingPeaks. But not talking about the application in a generic way, but going into detail on how to use TrainingPeaksso what we have ultimately created is a complete TrainingPeaks guide so that you can learn about all the possibilities it offers.

I have the advantage of having the wisdom of José Manuel Plaza because, as a cycling and triathlon coach, he eats breakfast, lunch and dinner with TrainingPeaks, he is around this application all day long.

Sincerely, I think we have podido make a piece of podcast loaded with details and very useful information for all of you and that whether you use TrainingPeaks frequently or not, you will find it very interesting.

I will simply use these lines to leave you the notes of the episode, which you will be able to consult while listening to it and thus have reference both in text and audio of what are the metrics, graphs, images of interest and recommended bibliography.

Let's get down to business.

What is TrainingPeaks

TrainingPeaks is an application that allows you to keep a perfect quantification of your training, at least in the Premium version. Remember that the free version will serve you both as a library of your workouts and when poder work with your coach, receive workouts from him and poder synchronize it to your device directly.

Some of you have asked us the question of how it is similar to Strava... it may seem that they are similar, but the use and destination of one and the other are very different. Strava is a social network that has a small part of quantification and training analysis, but it is very basic. Its main advantage is that everything is very easy and simple to understand, but it doesn't have too much background.

As for TrainingPeaks, a distinction must be made between the two modes of use.

  • Free TrainingPeaks1TP10: The free version allows you to synchronize your workouts from the platform you use, 1TP10, you will see your workouts and see their metrics, but you will not have access to training load. It will also serve as a library where you can have your history sorted by date.
    It is useful if you are going to work with a trainer through this platform. He/she will create a workout, you will view it and even download it to your device, and after completing it, it will automatically sync so you can review it. You will not have access to training loads, but the trainer will have all that data.
  • TrainingPeaks PremiumThe price of the Premium version of TrainingPeaks is 9,95€ if you choose annual payment, or 19,95€ if you choose monthly payment. Normally you should choose the annual plan, especially if you can combine it with a discount from your federation (or any other, as I explain in the podcast).
    In addition to the free features, here you will have access to all the training load metrics, graphs, control of your season and the possibility to create an annual training plan.

Devices supported by TrainingPeaks

We must differentiate between "what goes up" and "what comes down". TrainingPeaks is a web application, which means that it is in "the cloud". So what we "upload" are the workouts we have done with our watch or our cycling computer. And what we "download" are the workouts that our trainer has prepared for poder to follow them comfortably on our device.

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Virtually all platforms have the ability to upload data (because it is free for the manufacturer), while few pay the fee to TrainingPeaks for poder to download workouts,

Synchronization of workouts with TrainingPeaks

These are the platforms that, after linking with TrainingPeaks, will automatically send your training:

  • Garmin
  • Polar 
  • Suunto
  • Wahoo

  • TomTom
  • Tacx
  • Cateye

In addition, you can also podransmit data or synchronize platforms (e.g. to transfer all workouts since a certain date) via cell phone applications.

For iOS: HealthFit and RunGap

For Android: SyncMyTracks

TrainingPeaks Proprietary Metrics

Let's go with the metrics found in TrainingPeaks. Everything in the application is based around them, so knowing what each one is and where it comes from is crucial to use TrainingPeaks.

  • TSSTraining Stress Score: Training Stress Score. It depends on the volume of the training (how long it was) and the intensity of the training. A 1-hour training session at a threshold pace (race pace, or cycling FTP) is equivalent to 100TSS.
    There are slight variations in this metric depending on where the intensity data comes from.
    - TSS: with potentiometer, for cycling or running
    - rTSS: for running paces when there is no potentiometer, based on the normalized pace (NGP: Normalized Graded Pace).
    - hrTSS: for cycling training without power or any other training in which we only have a pulse sensor.
    - sTSS: swimming training
    ALL-IMPORTANTYou must have well defined zones and thresholds for the different sports. If they are not well defined, the TSS will be calculated incorrectly and is the basis of everything in TrainingPeaks.
  • IFIntensity Factor or intensity factor. It is a percentage with respect to our threshold (FTP, HR or race pace). An IF of 0.85 in a workout would be to have done it at 85% of our maximum capacity.
  • ATL (Fatigue)Acute Training Load: Acute Training Load (short-term). It is the average TSS of the last 7 days. An ATL of 100 assumes that the average daily TSS of the last days has been 100TSS in each training (which can be varied, but in total it would add up to 700 divided by 7).
  • CTL (Fitness)Chronic Training Load: Chronic Training Load (long-term). It is the average TSS of the last 6 weeks of training. Same as ATL, but takes into account the TSS of the last 6 weeks and divides by 42.
  • TSB (Form): It is the result of CTL minus ATL. For the previous day. Negative numbers means that we are increasing load (both by volume and intensity), and an acceptable figure can be up to -30, beyond that number means to be increasing the load too high.
    The goal is that, when we go to compete, our TSB should be around 0 with some margin both above and below.

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Recommended CTL values

You already know that the CTL is your chronic training load, or the average volume and intensity you've been training over the past 6 weeks.

The table you will see below is the one we refer to in the podcast as reference values. In the podcast you will find on the TrainingPeaks website.

The ranges in general are very wide, but it is good for poder to delimit what would be a recommended minimum CTL for each type of test. And from there... "the sky is the limit".

CTL recommended by TrainingPeaks

For example, to run a marathon, the minimum recommended CTL would be 70, with about 55 kilometers of weekly running and an average weekly ATL of 63 (440 weekly TSS between 7 days).

For an Ironman we would have to increase to a minimum CTL of 85 with an average weekly ATL of 84.

As I say the range is very wide, but it serves as a good basis to prepare your training plan or even to know if you are going to be able to prepare for a particular event. For example an ultra distance race if you are not going to have time to accumulate a CTL between 90 and 100.

Annual Training Plan (ATP)

You can create a training schedule based on training hours, TSS per week or a target CTL for a given competition.

Based on the data entered, TrainingPeaks makes an estimate of what is the weekly load that you should train to safely reach the determined target. TrainingPeaks will create the planning, but then 1TP10We can play with those weeks to give more or less TSS to each of them and, if we go over, we will have a warning.

Recommended bibliography

 

Running and training with potentiometer - Hunter Allen and Andrew Coggan

Training and Running with Potentiometer

Triathlon 2.0 - Jim Vance

Triathlon 2.0

 

 

That said, I think we have left a tremendous episode that, despite being loaded with information, you will not find it burdensome or heavy to listen to.

Where can you listen to it? Well, on the usual platforms, you can choose your favorite:

Or from here, at the bottom of the page.

And remember, send us your comments, we appreciate all your criticism to improve and offer you what you are looking for. Leave us your comments on the platform you use to listen to us!and don't forget to send your rating!

If you rate us with 5 stars more 1TP10 people will be able to discover it, because the platforms will put it above in its corresponding section.

Thank you!

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34 Comments

  1. Hi, Eduardo.

    Excellent podcast with super useful information. Comparing trainings peak with platforms like polar flow or garmin connect, do you think it is worth paying what the premiun costs and go completely to training peaks? Maybe it makes more sense for a garmin user as there is more integration but how do you see it for a polar user?

    1. Thank you very much.

      Where Training Peaks gains a lot is, mainly, when it comes to having a coach. In this aspect I would say that it is fundamental, both for the possibilities it offers for monitoring training sessions and above all to be used as a communication platform.

      Without trainer its use is also interesting, being able to leave a season in a quite structured way and being able to control the loads "in the future" in an easy and very visual way. If you are only going to use it as a training analysis and see the load, then the reports of both Polar and Garmin can be enough.

  2. Excellent !!!! Without further ado.
    I don't get my economy for the u$s 10, but I use the free version and pass the TSS data to a spreadsheet where I use the TP formula and it makes the load graph.

  3. Hi Eduardo, thanks for the podcats, very interesting.
    I am a triathlete without a trainer with suunto ambit. after downloading my data to the program, it does not recognize my swim workouts and does not give me the tss in the race. Why is that?

      1. thanks for answering Eduardo, in Zones, Settings, only lets put heart rate, power and rhythm, and that rhythm I have marked for race, I do not know where the value of swimming. the application if you record a swimming workout but does not give me data, today in the clock I have configured rc to put the tape on my chest and have to take data, but I do not know if it will be enough, I do not know where to put swimming rhythm. a greeting.

  4. Hello Eduardo I really liked the guide on Trainingpeaks, I have the application installed in basic athlete mode, how can I know if I am premium? I have done it but I have not seen anything different in the data of the metrics of my workouts, I had to fill in all the fields, such as zip code etc? I have already entered the number of my card I have chosen the annual but I have not seen changes, and I do not want to re-enter the card lest they charge double, greetings and thanks (I love your website I read you for years)

  5. Hi Eduardo, looking for information about Trainingpeaks I discovered this Podcast and I must congratulate you for it. Very pedagogical, because for the "layman", getting used to the metrics of the application costs a lot and we need clarifications like yours.
    In my case, at the moment I am investigating the operation, since the output metrics until March are wrong (between January and March I have a TSL and CTB of 9999) so that at the moment I get distorted all the metrics, and now I am lowering them progressively, I understand that adapting to the reality of the trainings (still distorted, up to a current CTL of 243, which according to the table would be the milk when I am a package, jjjj...).
    Anyway, I hope that with the passage of a couple of months it will have been regularized and the values will be correct.
    I congratulate you for the podcast, and I subscribe to follow your advice.

  6. Good evening Eduardo.
    I hope I am not disturbing you.
    I wanted to ask you a question to see if you could answer it. I am trying to get the hang of the program. The truth is that I'm having a hard time, but I don't despair.
    I am a runner only. I go out running with a Garmin 735 and a hrm run heart rate monitor band.
    My question is... When I put a workout in the program, the program scores me with rTSS, but... wouldn't it be better if it was with hrTSS since I do it with a heart rate monitor? A year ago I did a lactate test and they established the famous 5 zones that I have configured in the program and the workouts that I have I do according to these zones.

    What do you think I should do?

    Thank you very much in advance.

    1. TSS is training load data, it has nothing to do with zones. They are used to measure the load, and for this purpose rTSS is better than hrTSS because it takes into account the normalized pace and it is instantaneous (i.e. it will take into account if you are running on an incline).

  7. Good morning Eduardo, a question:

    When creating workouts, I see that it only gives me certain options but does not allow me to configure each block by race pace, only to modify the training summary. Is there an option to configure each block by race pace?

    Thank you very much in advance.

    Juan Fariñas

  8. Good morning, Eduardo!
    How can I transfer the calendar from training peaks to polar flow to synchronize the training? I have the accounts linked, but I don't get the calendar in the polar app.
    Thank you!

  9. Hello, Eduardo. First of all I want to thank you for sharing in your blog all this information. Thank you very much.
    As for my question, let me tell you. I have a free account and the coach of our triathlon club sends us the workouts by TP. The problem is that when he sends us bike+run transitions, the workouts (brick) that he creates in the application are not synchronizable with Garmin Connect. I don't know if it's because he's not doing it correctly or because his trainer account has some kind of limitation. I've logged in with my account in the workout and fiddled around but I can't seem to get it to sync.
    On the other hand, I had a continuous running workout that could not be synchronized to Garmin Connect. It only appeared in the comments what the training consisted of but in the 'Planned' part there was no data. I have entered them manually and the Garmin Connect symbol appears with the green tick that means that it can be synchronized (as it has been). Does this mean that if I program a workout and do not put data in planned it is not synchronizable?

    Sorry for being so long. Greetings from the south.

    1. Thank you Saul,

      I would need at least a FIT file of the training to see exactly what it says, but here's what I think is happening....

      If you are doing the transition training with the brick option, to synchronize the poderlo with the Garmin it would be necessary to create it separately. The watch does not have a multisport profile as such, but is composed of the succession of several profiles. Therefore you cannot load a transition workout because there is no profile that can support it. If you were to create the workouts as cycling and running there would be no problem, making two independent workouts. You could solve it by replicating the workout and separating the two parts.

      As for the second question, it is indeed necessary to "create" the training. If it only gives you instructions in a text, there is no file to download to the watch because there is nothing marked as such.

      1. Thanks Eduardo. Regarding the "multisport" profile, it is curious because some devices (Garmin FR 735XT) do have that option. At least that's what it calls them, but I understand that it is not possible to create them as such from TP.

        As for replicating the training I don't know exactly what you mean. If it's creating two different workouts and then doing them individually but in a row?

        And about the running training, maybe I didn't express myself well. The training is set up in TP, but in the planned part it doesn't say anything. I understand that this is how you understood it, but that it is necessary -according to you- to enter the data in the part where it says "planned" so that the file is created, right?

        Thank you. Best regards,

        1. The multisport profile is not such, it is simply a profile that is joining any of the other profiles (e.g. swimming-bike-running), but it is not an independent profile.

          Yes, I mean split it up and do a bike workout and a run workout.

  10. Good afternoon, Eduardo.
    Can old or old sessions be synchronized from Polar Flow to TrainingPeaks?
    According to Polar it is possible, but I don't know how to do it.
    Thank you.

  11. Hi, Eduardo,

    I am using Training Peaks, where I purchased a training plan, I have it synchronized with my garmin watch, when I purchased the plan, I synchronized correctly, the problem is that I changed the start date of the plan and now I do not update the garmin calendar, do you know what podría be due? Is there any way to update the garmin connect calendar so that it is set correctly?

    Thank you very much!
    Greetings;
    Antonio

      1. Perfect! Thank you very much, I will continue to investigate on my own.
        Because now I've tried to create an activity (outside the training plan) in TP and it doesn't sync with the garmin calendar.

        Thank you very much!

  12. I have the Trainingpeaks application (which is free of charge) and my bike and run workouts are transferred to my Garmin Fenix 6 watch without any problem, however, the swim workouts are not transferred, is it a configuration problem?
    Thank you

  13. Hi Eduardo, congratulations on the Podcast, great!
    I am using TP since recently. I have an online running coach and my GPS is a Suunto Ambit 3 Peak HR. The problem I have is that the running workouts sync perfectly and it matches them with what I have planned by the trainer, but the strength workouts do not sync with the activities that the trainer has planned for me. Why is this? I have tried in the Suunto app to create sport mode "Strength" and it still doesn't match it in PT. In indoor training that comes by default in Suunto also does not synchronize it in TP, what can I do? It is that without this synchronization, the strength activities appear to me as "Not Completed" and the ones I do appear as "Not Planned".

    Thank you for everything. Best regards.

    1. This is because when synchronizing the activity, it does not identify that the activity is of the same type. You can try selecting other profiles and see if any match the TrainingPeaks coding. If not what you can do is log in from the computer and drag the synced workout over the planned activity and you're done.

  14. good evening. do you know why TP only gives me the option to download the files for garmin and zwift and not for bkool, rouvy and others? thanks.

    1. To download plans to import to Bkool they must be in MRC format, and Training only lets you do it if the plan is based on watts (if it is based on heart rate it gives you less options). I don't know if this is what's wrong with you.

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