Thursday, October 4, 2007

Intro to Performance Management Chart in WKO+

Have you ever heard the saying "You don't know what you don't know."? Nothing could be more true when talking about training with a power meter.

This season has been an eye opener for me even after 15 years of cycling. I've been using a PowerTap on my newest bike and learning quite a bit about WKO+. WKO+ is basically software created to log and analyze your data captured during training. The software was created by legends in the cycling world; Hunter Allen, Andy Coggan, and Kevin Williams.

Performance Management Chart
In WKO+ there are several charts and tools to monitor your performance on the bike. One of my favorites is the Performance Management Chart. I tell people this is my "feel good" chart because my mood is usually directly related to how much training I've been doing. This week, I've been pretty moody!

I'm going to attempt to break down the PMC (feel good) chart in plain ole english for those of you that are new to WKO+ or Power in general.

Out of the box, you can customize all of the charts in WKO+ to fit your needs. I've set my PMC up with the following additions:

  • NP60 - Normalized Power for 60 Minutes (top 10 instances)
  • NP30 - Normalized Power for 30 Minutes (top 10 instances)
  • Top 10 Max Power Outputs

These customized settings help let me know when I've done something on a ride that was a top 10 performance. Good to know!

The "standard" measurements on the PMC are:
  • TSB - Training Stress Balance (how "fresh" you are)
  • ATL - Acute Training Load (recent training loads)
  • CTL - Critical Training Load (overall fitness)
Now, it gets fun... Let's simply analyze one ride on the chart right now (click it to enlarge).

Notice on 6/10 the pink line spikes way up. That's my ATL. On that day, I did a really long and hard effort with a group down in Brown County. There were a lot of hills and it was a fast group. (I eventually fell off the back and limped home solo).

If you look at the yellow line in the same area, you can see that my "freshness" DROPPED the next day. Let me tell you, the chart doesn't lie. I was super sore the next day. You'll notice that days there after where the ATL is less, my TSB comes back up. When your TSB is at 0, you are ready to rock at maximum performance.

Another interesting note to point out is the blue line. My CTL or over all fitness jumped up with that ride. Just like a race or a tough training day, with proper recovery you WILL get stronger.

On the customized side of the chart, I show one of my top 10 power outputs that day at 1032 watts, an NP60 of 268 watts and an NP30 of 222 watts. Definitely an all around top 10 ride for me this season. One that clearly sticks out in my mind.

In my next blog, I plan on talking about training with a plan and what happens when you can't make the plan fit your busy lifestyle? I'm living proof of how much you can gain and the chart above won't lie!


steevo said...

thanks. new to this. helping.

ryan.mingo said...

Matt- Great post, very helpful as an introduction ... however, I want more!

Can you pick this topic up again and start to share with us some of the secrets of "dominating" this PMC? ... I've got that the ATL spikes and forces the TSB down while the CTL (btw: I think it's "Chronic" and not "Critial")responds with a slower upward trend. What I don't get is how to bring that TSB up for my race day ... (I'm seeing that upward curve beginning around 8/15 peaking at 8/26 ... were those 11 days off??!! TSB of 20+ ... is that better than 0?)

I'm 17 weeks out from a marathon (yes, runner ... not biker) and trying to use my data to fine tune this one ... but I'm winging it a bit ... I was hoping to find someone who could/would start a forum or thread for sharing knowledge/secrets about this WKO+ stuff.

C'mon ... I'm sure there are others out there seeking knowledge .... what'ya say?