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Thread: CTL Curve

  1. #1
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    CTL Curve

    Hey guys,

    I have been training pretty much since April 2013 and I continuously increased my training load (with recovery days and complete off days). Therefore my CTL Curve on Trainingpeaks is going up and up and I am winning races and things are paying off. Great so far.

    The issue is that I am now at a point where I train 15 hours and more each week in order to still increase my CTL curve which I am sure is not right since I will end up with riding 24 hours each day soon...

    What do I have to do next? Keep it steady? Let it drop?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Have a look at this article explaining the Training Peaks Performance Manager Chart with some examples:

    What is the Performance Management Chart? | TrainingPeaks

    If you're riding consistently and the CTL curve keeps increasing steadily upwards that's quite normal.

    If the TSB curve goes too far negative however, and stays negative for an extended period, then that's often an indication that you should consider having a rest.

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    Thanks a lot. Well, I do understand what CTL etc. is and based on what this is calculated but I was wondering when I should stop:

    Basically I am increasing my TSS weekly/biweekly with sufficient rest and my CTL is therefore increasing all the time.

    At some point increasing TSS will not be possible anymore as I am already riding 15+ hours every week and I obviously have time limitations.

    Since I am now at this point; What should I do? Keep my weekly TSS steady to keep CTL steady? Make a winter break and let it go down to start next season again?

    Thanks

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    One thing to keep in mind...TSS is a function of both volume and intensity. When you get to the point where you can't add more volume, you can always increase intensity. Of course there are certain times of the year or your training schedule where you might want to keep intensity in check, but just reminding you that workload is a product of both volume and intensity.

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    Yes, I am aware of that as well but my question still remains: What would be the next training step? Surely it cant be increasing duration and intensity every single week.

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    My CTL was ~ 98-105 from April to August. My family took a vacation at the end of July for a couple of weeks and it dropped a fair amount. This was right after Cascade Classic so it was perfect timing. I've been racing cross since September and my CTL has been in the mid 70s. Less volume but still some intensity, seems to be working for me. Once cross is over I'll relax on the bike and nordic ski for the next couple of months. I'll build back up again to a similar in season CTL.

    Yes, it's ok to bring it down. You cannot continue to raise it. You will burnout and overtrain. Bring it down for the winter then slowly ramp back up for race season.

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    Quote Originally Posted by larsd View Post
    Yes, I am aware of that as well but my question still remains: What would be the next training step? Surely it cant be increasing duration and intensity every single week.
    Why not? You don't need huge increases. Heck, if I just add literally a few minutes to my weekly volume each week, my CTL goes up. It's not like you need to add 30 minutes a week. If so, something is wrong with your data.

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    Why not? Because this is not sustainable. Eventually you have to go down I assume. Cant keep growing it day after day and year after year I assume...

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    I understand your point. Yes, overload, whether it be in cycling, lifting or anything else, becomes harder to achieve as the years go by. New entrants into the sport achieve the quickest gains for sure. What I am saying is that I have been able to increase my CTL for a while now and have only added a total of a couple of hours of volume to my weekly schedule because all it takes is a couple of minutes a week. There is still a ton of volume I could still add. So just add a few minutes here and there...not that big of a deal. That's all it should take. If your CTL curve requires large chunks of volume in order to drive increases, something doesn't sound right. Anyway...just trying to help.

  10. #10
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    Looking at my PMC chart for January 2011 through to August 2012 my CTL curve isn't actually a constant increase. I'd see increases for several months at a time but then I'd start feeling tired and take recovery weeks from time to time to try and avoid overdoing it too much. This saw small drops in the blue CTL curve to recharge (highlighted on the chart below).

    I like the saying "rest as hard as you train" and I took my own advice for once, although in these two years I wasn't doing a particularly structured routine. It was more a case of resting when I felt the need, rather than a strict format such as three weeks on, one week off.

    I also had some enforced longer time off with just turbo training when my Specialized Epic needed various work doing to it. For planned ones I scheduled it at a point where I was tired anyway. Without my mountain bike it meant doing a lot less volume which resulted in big drops in the CTL curve and a positive TSB.

    The biggest drop at the start of 2012 is where my Powertap had broken so I didn't have any power data. It skews the chart a bit as otherwise there would probably have been more of a straight line across.


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    Yeah great. Thats pretty much what I expected. Thanks a lot.

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