Thursday, October 14, 2010

PMC Check

WKO+ Performance Management Chart I find to be a very useful tool. It's done a nice job of predicting how I will feel on race. I'm able to manipulate my training schedule to meet the desired level of form, fitness and fatigue. In general it's awesome.

Here is my chart from May 2009 through yesterday. I had a good base build, slowly growing fitness from 34.8 in January this year to a peak of 80.4 in August just before a week long break. You can see the sharp downward slop. That took me to 68, then the Hermann Cross race. It's hard to dial that week in just right as I was not on the bike much but under heavy fatigue and moving around all day for a better part of a week. So I made some estimations.

Now comes the delicate part. Cross races started mid September I've created a plan to be fresh for each weekends race with a mix of endurance, intensity,skills and racing. Result is is lower training hours, fatigue drops and form stays near or above positive (which is what I want and has worked), but fitness is impacted in such a way that it slowly drops. I think I can keep this up for another few weeks but come State Championships in December I may not feel like I do now without building fitness back up a bit.

So now is time for a mini build for about two weeks. After this weekends Bubba Cross double header I'll recover and start this process but still balance this with a need to be fresh for weekend races. This should get me through the rest of the season not running on fumes.

The cool thing about all this is, if it does not work just like I have planned, then I make changes for next year and the chart will allow me to do that.


  1. If I had time I could find the research (I read it some time ago) to illustrate my following comment:

    You can dramatically reduce your total training hours and maintain fitness if your remaining training time has high intensity to it. (this is the short version)

  2. I think you are right, but for how long? There has to be a point where the wheels finally fall off.

  3. findings of one study:

    Here's another that's not specific, but it helpful:

    Here's a really long one: The most important point is this: "Periodization of training by elite athletes is achieved with reductions in total volume, and a modest increase in the volume of training performed above the lactate threshold. An overall polarization of training intensity characterizes the transition from preparation to competition mesocycles. The basic intensity distribution remains similar throughout the year."

    The above translates to once you are in race shape you should reduce your miles and add some intensity.

    I never could find the research that I read years ago. It went something like this. Fit/trained cyclists maintained there fitness by cutting their training down to every other day provided that they rode with high intensity. (sorry I can't back this up with actual data).

  4. I don't think the wheels fall off, but a decrease of some amount may occur over time depending on the original point of conditioning. Hell, in some cases athletes may actually improve with decreased duration of training, along with increased intensity.

  5. I remembered who wrote the article about fitness loss, duration and intensity (topics). Edmund Burke.

    This is not the original, but it does cover the topic.

  6. Thanks Dave, I'll check out all that info.