Enhancing Training Effectiveness: The Significance of Training Zones

Training zones play a crucial role in enabling athletes to target specific types of training. Different days call for different approaches, such as focusing on Zone 2 for easy training sessions or emphasizing intervals with significant variations on other days.

Coaches rely on training zones to analyze workouts and assess whether each session was executed correctly based on the prescribed zone for that particular day.

Setting appropriate zones involves considering individual athlete characteristics. For instance, heart rate zones should be calculated based on factors like the athlete’s maximum heart rate, resting heart rate, and threshold heart rate.

Moreover, training zones should be tailored to the specific activity being performed. Heart rate zones for cycling, for instance, differ from those for swimming, taking into account that maximum heart rate values also vary across different sports.

In SELFLOOPS, we now offer the capability to establish personalized training zones for various sports. Users can specify the number of zones and set lower and upper limits for each zone. Alternatively, Selfloops can automatically determine zone numbers and limits by utilizing the threshold variable.

Ultimately, we provide coaches and athletes with the flexibility to define their training zones, ensuring that subsequent analysis aligns with the specified zones. Simultaneously, when the threshold value is provided, we automatically calculate the training zones and update them accordingly. For example, if the athlete’s threshold value is updated, the training zones are automatically adjusted.

By incorporating training zones effectively, coaches and athletes can fine-tune their training programs and optimize performance outcomes.

Training Load and Stress Scores

The physiological effect of an athlete’s training can be measured in terms of their training load, which quantifies the impact of a workout on the body by considering its intensity and duration. The concept of training load was introduced by Banister et al in 1975 in an article titled “A systems model of training for athletic performance.”  *

In SELFLOOPS, the Training Load is calculated after each session and is accompanied by the Effective Power, Intensity, and TRIMP score.

Effective Power is a weighted average power that takes into account ride variability, while Intensity measures how hard a workout was by calculating the ratio between the athlete’s effective power and their FTP. TRIMP is a metric based on heart rate that captures the stress of an activity in a single number and is used to evaluate the effect of training over time.

The training load can be accumulated over multiple sessions. This metric enables the coach to monitor the athlete’s progress and prescribe an effective training program.

At the end of each week in SELFLOOPS you can visualise the accumulated training load, the workout duration, the distance, the TRIMP score and the calories burned.

To find a delicate balance between increasing training load and resting to allow for recovery and adaptation, the athlete and coach must work together. A good training plan includes periods of training mixed with active recovery and tapering sessions. This concept, known as periodization, considers the athlete’s competitions and form.

To monitor the training balance between training and recovery, SELFLOOPS provides the Fitness and Freshness Chart. The chart allows coaches to track an athlete’s fitness, fatigue, and form over time and use these metrics to guide the athlete to achieve their goals.

The Fitness and Freshness chart uses the accumulated Training Load to model the athlete’s form. Training sessions build long-term stress (fitness) or “chronic training load,” which is required to compete. However, they also cause short-term stress or “acute training load” adaptation, which results in fatigue. The balance between short-term and long-term stress determines the athlete’s training balance or “form.”

Training load can be quantified in different ways depending on the data available. Heart rate data can be used to calculate the TRIMP score or the Heart Rate Stress Score (HRSS), which is based on the lactate threshold heart rate. Bike power meter data can be used to calculate the Power Stress Score (PSS), while speed and distance data can be used to calculate the Swimming Stress Score (SSS) and the Running Stress Score (RSS).

Each activity with a stress score causes its own amount of fatigue and fitness, with a higher training load resulting in higher stress provided to the body. The Fitness and Freshness chart uses the activities’ Training Load to model the athlete’s fatigue, fitness, and form over time.

*Banister EWCalvert TWSavage MVBach TMA systems model of training for athletic performanceAustralian Journal of Sports Medicine1975;7:5761

Added Wahoo Fitness sync

It is now possible to automatically synchronise workouts performed using Wahoo Fitness devices and apps to Selfloops.

If you have a Wahoo Fitness bike computer, Sport Watch or if you use any of the Wahoo Fitness smartphone apps, you will be able to have your data saved on the Selfloops website. To activate the integration you need an active Selfloops Athlete Premium subscription.

To enable the integration go to the Settings -> Applications menu and select “Connect

After that, you’ll be redirected on the Wahoo Fitness website to login. If you do not have an account, you can still sign up for an account there.

After logging in you are set and all your future workouts will automatically appear on Selfloops.