Wouldn’t it be nice to know what sort of training you need to do and when in order to hit that elusive perfect form when and where you want to? I’ve been pursuing this magic bullet of knowledge for years. TSS was a huge step forward in quantifying load, rolling TSS took it a step forward by looking at changes over time, and the Performance Manager in WKO+ is the latest and greatest. Old news, right?
My tried and true EweTSS performance modeling has been falling apart at the seams since I started doing a lot of SS work. It is changing the timecourse of my recovery, both short and long. In the WKO PM charts this equates a shifting of the ATL and CTL time constants. Loosely speaking, these constants relate the rate of decay. For instance, an ATL TC of 5 days means that an athlete recovers from workouts more quickly than an athlete with an ATL TC of 10. Larger CTL TCs indicate an athlete holds fitness longer than someone with shorter (smaller) CTL TCs.
It’s now quite clear to me, based on personal observations, that these time constants are not fixed, but vary depending on training load and training intensity. Other factors may include altitude, life stress, time of year etc. But, load and intensity are the two biggies. The issue with the SS is that there is a lot of low cadence high force work, which by power levels isn’t necessarily more intense, but at the neuromuscular level is much, much more intense.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to any physiologists out there – performance modeling studies have shown the fatigue time constants to be related to impact of a given sport – longer constants for high impact, shorter constants for low impact. Cycling is on the low impact side of the spectrum…but SS takes it a step or two towards the weight lifting end.
What’s it all mean? The optimal training plan for SSing is different than for geared riding. Duh. But the story of the details is still unfolding and it’s quite epic! There’s a new tool on the market called RaceDay. I’m still putting it through it’s paces, but it is helping to define the way in which SSing changes the outcome of hard training and offers clues as to what works – and what doesn’t. Feeding it good data and understanding what it is telling me is an adventure that is likely to continue all year…
And y’all know I can’t resist a good adventure :)