Mountain bike training plans. Mountain bike coaching.

Start Training

Performance Manager Chart Explained

Cycling Peaks Software contains a feature in their WKO+ software called the Performance Manager Chart (PMC).

So what is it all about, why is it so exciting and why should you be paying attention? ‘Cause if you want to get faster you should be paying attention.

Training with a power meter gives you a clear picture of what went on during a single ride or race. The downloadable data, when analyzed with CyclingPeaks creates a huge amount of information – average power, normalized power (Pn), intensity factor (IF) and more. Andrew Coggan, Ph.D designed a metric called Training Stress Score (TSS). CyclingPeaks will calculate a TSS for individual workouts using ride data and your current Functional Threshold (FT). TSS is a numeric measure of training stress which is determined by how hard and how long you were pedaling.

TSS = IF x IF x duration in hours x 100

IF = Pn/FT

A single ride TSS is like looking at a single tree in a forest. You get a nice picture of that tree but don’t know where it sits in the forest. The beauty of the PMC is it tallies up TSS over time to give a bird’s eye view of the forest – or your entire season. The PMC tallies up TSS data in two categories, Chronic Training Load (CTL) and Acute Training Load (ATL). CTL is an exponentially weighted average of TSS per day with a 42 day time constant. Or in other words it takes into account the last six weeks of training. ATL is the same but it has a time constant of seven days, so considers only very recent training.

CTL is a measure of fitness. A lot of training over a long time gives a high CTL or high fitness level. ATL is a measure of freshness. Following a big training week ATL will be high and you will be tired. Conversely a low volume week will produce a low ATL and you will be fresh or have
zippy legs.

The final key metric the PMC tracks is Training Stress Balance (TSB).

FYI tidbit: the term TSB was coined by none other than LW Coaching coach Dave Harris during the development of the PMC tool.

TSB = CTL – ATL

TSB can be thought of as “form”. When you are really fit (high CTL) and really fresh (low ATL), TSB will be high. This is peak form and the type of scores you want to have on your “A” race day.

The PMC can be used retroactively to look at CTL, ATL and TSB scores during times you had personal best performances and during times you thought you should have but didn’t. It can be used for forward planning to target a specific CTL, ATL and TSB known to put you in peak form and to time it to land smack bang on race day. The PMC takes much of the guess
work out of training and peaking.

  2 comments for “Performance Manager Chart Explained

  1. Jacko
    October 8, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    Hi Lynda,
    I’ve used the PMC in TP for some time and in recent months in WKO4. At 66yrs my recovery isn’t as quick as it once was. As a result I adjusted the ATL constant to 9 and later to 10, which is where it’s set now. I have noticed that if I do a number of longer rides, 3 – 5 hours in duration, my CTL rises as a result of the high TSS for each ride. On the other hand, if I ride more HIIT rides of 45 minutes to 1hr 30 minutes, the TSS is not so big and consequently my CTL doesn’t rise as much, although my CIL does. Significantly after each HIIT session I feel much more tired and in need of more recovery than after completing a much longer ride. Is this difference to be expected, is it due to my age or is it that the PMC is more time orientated. Have you any advice on settings.

    Thanks

    Keith.

  2. October 9, 2017 at 9:03 am

    Keith,
    This is a great question and interesting topic. I appreciate if you could re-post it in our Athlete Support Forum for further discussion.
    Lynda

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

thirteen + 2 =