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It been an enjoyable ride for both of us. Learning the training and performance aspects from a more seasoned senior, knowing that us young ones in our forties there is hope of enjoying a long path to a performance senior, so long as the body is treated right.


Great blog posts, Joe!

Since I am quickly aging into my late 50's as a triathlete and time is of the essence, will there be an electronic book option available earlier than the print version? You posted an interesting and valuable set of additional topics that are listed for your book chapters. With all of us older athletes out there, my guess is that this will be a highly sought after, new book on this topic.

Joe Friel

Mdrangsholt--Thanks. I doubt that the ebook will be available first. That's entirely up to my publisher and I've never known them to do that before.

Craig David Uffman

Joe, I'm now finishing my second 23-day cycle (actually beginning my 2nd 5-day R&R period today). When viewing my Performance Management Chart in TrainingPeaks, I've noticed that the slope of the Chronic Training Load has flattened significantly by incorporating all this rest. I've not missed any key workouts, but the H-R-R x3 pattern has resulted in a slightly positive CTL slope. I feel much more refreshed than on my 7-day microcycle, but now I'm wondering if my CTL (which I take to be my measure of fitness) will reach the peak I want to reach by May 2014. I understand that I lose virtually no muscular fitness if I rest for 5 days, but by focusing on CTL as my measure of fitness, I have the visual sense that the longer microcycle and 5-day R&R is maintaining rather than building fitness, but qualitatively I feel I am building in fitness (and I see that in the mirror). Wondering if that chart is right and it means my easy days need more mileage or if the problem is that the parameters underlying the PMC need to be tweaked to reflect this aging paradigm. I was wondering about the PMC constants for ATL and CTL, for example. Does the PMC presuppose something that ought to change in this new aging paradigm?

Craig David Uffman

I should have mentioned this: my question about the constants on the PMC derives from reading Hunter Allen's description of those constants on the TrainingPeaks site. The defaults are 42 & 7, but these seem to presume 7-day microcycles. I thought perhaps that these should be 46 and 9, respectively, given your comparison, because your paradigm sees 6 microcycles as 46 days, and sees the acute load in terms of 9-days. I've decided to create another PMC chart with those constants for comparison to the defaults of 42 & 7. But it sure would be good to hear your thinking about how aging might affect these monitoring tools by altering assumptions about the effects of training load on our bodies.

Joe Friel

Craig David Uffman - Concerning CTL and ATL lengths for determining WKO/TP averages for the PMC: Very good question. I think you'll find that a CTL average of 46 vs 42 will produce no significant change. The real key to our performances as older athletes has to do with ATL which represents fatigue. A 9 day average setting is just the opposite of what is needed I believe. Since older athletes are more sensitive to fatigue (it takes less workload to make us tired) I believe you'd be better off shortening it to 5 days instead of the default 7. You'll see a bit more movement of ATL as a result and TSB - your indicator of race readiness - will also reflect this. Going back to CTL, the idea of recovery days is to make sure your hard workouts (about every third day) are truly hard. That means a high TSS on these days. Your average TSS over the course of a 3-day segment of the microcycle should allow for a steady climb in CTL, but not a spiky, rapid increase. That also is better for older athletes. Of course, the 2 days following a hard workout don't necessarily have to be low TSS. The first day after is probably best as a low TSS. But some older athletes can manage a moderately hard (z2 AeT, for ex) workout on the next day. This is highly individualized. But regardless, nothing you do in these 2 following days should compromise the next hard session (which, again, should have a high TSS because you are rested up). Hope all of this makes sense. But if not please follow up.

Mary Sundy Kelley

Do you have an anticipated release date for your book about aging athletes? I'd love to get a copy as soon as it's available, as I am coaching a 72-year-old ironman athlete, and have a lot of questions!

Joe Friel

Mary Sundy Kelley--Publisher tells me it will be available after Dec 16.

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