You can find Part One here.
Nine months along with HRV, and 15 weeks along with proper training… I wanted to update you on how I’m applying load.
Dealing with Noise
To avoid chasing my tail on a daily basis…
- Respect the trend
- Ensure a positive trend before starting each microcycle
Respecting The Trend
Top half of the chart:
- Blue line – 7 day HRV average
- Shaded range – 60 day HRV average
- Colored Bars – how I’m trending
- When my “line” gets to the bottom of my shaded range…
- When my bar turns orange…
…it is a sign I have disregarded the trend and gone too far.
Because my primary source of overload is Moderate Domain aerobic volume, the fatigue clears in a few days.
In July (lower chart) I made an error that required a week of backing off.
My error was stacking bikes on top of hikes, same day => my muscles are learning to reload themselves and I need to metabolically challenging sessions.
Re-establish The Trend
I have been using a 5:2 loading protocol – the key part is two back-to-back recovery days each week.
Applying what I’ve learned so far:
- Avoid stacking sessions that tank my metrics the following day
- Take double-days off every week – tempting to skip when things are going well
- Evening HRV Via HRV4Biofeedback – get a feel how hard the day hit me
- Don’t go too deep across the 5-day loading cycle
My evening HRV sometimes goes through the roof on the second recovery day – not sure what to make of that, will keep watching.
Taking all of the above together… something I got from Johan
The most important assessment is how I feel on Day One
“Day One” is the first day of the new training week. Before I get back to loading…
- Make sure the positive trend has been re-established
- Resist the temptation to carry fatigue into the next microcycle
1 & 2 are tips I completely disregarded as a younger athlete.
So far, I can’t count on being able to recover while loading.
Not All Load is Created Equal
Pay attention to what makes YOU tired.
My Use-With-Caution List…
- Downhill hiking – I’ve started tracking total elevation change to quantify
- Loading when depleted – my July error of same-day stacking
- Strength training – lower heart rate but higher stress
- Running – impact forces
- Altitude & Heat
Traditional load metrics (TSS, for example) don’t pick up the full spectrum of the fatigue we give ourselves. The metrics I outlined in Part One help.
On loading when depleted – just because I am eating doesn’t mean I am reloading! I’ve had to accept that my body isn’t well-trained to reload itself.