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About CTL- Chronic Training Stress.

more in-depth with training, you might have seen CTL and wondered exactly what it's all about... Let's dive into what it is.


The root of all data in TrainingPeaks comes down to duration and intensity which produce a Training Stress Score. as a coach, I want to ensure that my athletes are always progressing and avoiding injury. However, I also want to make sure that we understand the near-term and long-term impacts of their training. it's a tricky balance, but one I love to work with and learn with each and every athlete. Now I still think it's crucial to know and learn what these metrics mean for you all as athletes. having that knowledge on why I say deload, taper, or GO has direct meaning to your training and your success in getting stronger. Think of Chronic Training Load as a measure of your true fitness.

It’s an ongoing average of your daily training (TSS load) specifically looking at the last six weeks or 42 days of data points. This ultimately shows your long-term training load and gives a trend line of where you are going. This is what I look for in training and progression throughout the weeks. A positive (upward) trending line shows an increasing training load and decreasing (downward line) shows a decreasing level of incurred training load. Steady progression is key to preventing injuries. Large spikes in CTL correlate with a large amount of incurred training stress. CTL and TSS are related and you can use the scale below to determine the intensity of a workout with respect to your current fitness.


Hard Workout – A hard workout will result in a TSS score that is 50%-100% above your current CTL (TSS for a hard workout would be 75 – 100 TSS.)


Moderate Workout – A moderate workout will result in a TSS score that is 25% above your current CTL (TSS for a moderate workout would be 60-70 TSS.)


Easy Workout – An easy workout will result in a TSS score that is 10-25% below your current CTL (TSS for an easy workout would be 35-40 TSS)


now don't stress about your CTL slightly going down at a period of time that we dial back the intensity to allow your body to set in training and recover for the next block. we use CTL to guide training days, but also recovery days. If your CTL is going up it is natural to feel tired. However, if you are able to regularly hit your workout targets...are able to keep moving CTL up it...and see your performance improve it means you are in the zone in terms of balancing the needs of recovery with those of training. again this fine balance. so that's what I help with as a coach. I am able to see certain indications to where you need to dial it back or put on a bit more. again this fine balance. so that's what I help you with the most as I am able to see certain indications to where you need to dial it back or put on a bit more.


CTL is just a measure and one that you don't have to completely focus on. It's a great indicator of your fitness, but I want you to note that fitness takes time over years to build. so if you are afraid of your CTL dropping of being low DO NOT STRESS

stress will only bring more stress on the bike and it won't make riding fun...we all ride bikes for a reason and it's not to stress out. That's why having a coach to support you is incredibly important. you don't have to worry about the CTL and those graphs as much as you know that you are in good hands...but you also have a team behind you to help you and get you stronger. A big aspect of getting stronger is taking periods away from the intensity and structure to allow for rest and rejuvenation so you are not digging a forever fatigue hole. That's why I love the periodization and always encourage you all to be open about how you feel during each workout and how your tiredness is.


Now with that, please don't hesitate to schedule a call or reach out to me.


Happy Training!



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