These are the various classes of activity that you can perform. For example running, cycling and swimming.
Currently TrainAsONE only analyses runs but does import all activity types as we will start to analyse others in the near future.
Cycling is the next on the list. So keep your historical data coming in, TrainAsONE will be using it…
In sport, endurance is the ability to sustain a specific activity (e.g. running, cycling, swimming, etc) at a sub-maximal rate for a prolonged period.
With regards to running, it is generally considered that race distances of 3km or greater are endurance events.
The term stamina is sometimes used synonymously and interchangeably with endurance.
Our most recent feedback challenge was Exploring the Impact of Running Apps on Mental Health, run by a team from the University of Bath who are conducting a number of studies into the impact of running apps on people’s mental health and well-being.
The survey consisted of an online questionnaire every other week for six to eight weeks, plus two additional questions after each run
The dashboard showed a running total of the completed post run questions
A goal is a desired achievement to attain. Presently we only support standard race distance goals, but will extend this in due course.
We further sub-classify races according to a priority or importance to you:
- Primary – This signifies a high priority race that you wish to target your training towards and be in your best possible shape for when you hit the start-line. The system will schedule a full and appropriate taper.
- Secondary – This is an important race, but not the main focus of your training and one you do not want to be fully prepared for at the expense of your primary race(s). As such, the system will schedule a reduced taper.
- Casual – A race that you are not directly training for and do not intend to race hard. The system will schedule minimal, if any rest in preparation.
Maximum heart rate (or pulse rate) [HRmax] is the fastest / quickest rate at which your heart can beat. In the normal situation maximum heart rate is achieved in response to exercise. The range of maximum heart rate in the general population is highly variable with young adults having values around 200. In general maximum heart rate decreases with age.
There are numerous formulae to estimate maximum heart rate, however due to the large population variation the only accurate way to make an assessment is via an exercise (cardiac) stress test to measure directly. These, particularly for people at the start of their fitness journey, should only be undertaken under medical supervision due to their inherent risks associated with inducing high heart rates.
It has been observed that individuals of the same age, and similar training in the same sport, can have measured HRmax values 60 bpm apart, which strongly calls into question the application of estimation formulae.
Common Estimation Formulae
There are over 30 formulae to estimate maximum heart rate, all sharing the same feature of being dependent on age alone. The two most common ones are presented below.
220 – age
Certainly the most well known formula, and presented in countless textbooks, articles and used by a plethora of computer applications. However, despite the widespread use and acceptance of this formula there is no published record of research for this equation and review advises that it has no scientific merit for use in exercise physiology and related fields. It is estimated that it has an error standard deviation of ~12 beats, suggesting 95% of people will have a true value less than or greater than calculated by 24 beats per minute (a range of 48 beats!).
Whilst attributed to Fox and Haskell, the origins of the formula are vague, though it is understood that they did not derive the formula from original research. Additionally, if one derives a regression formula from the Fox et al manuscript data a different result is achieved: HRmax = 215.4 – age * 0.9147. So even the original data from which the observation established the formula does not support the equation.
208 – (0.7 * age)
Utilising both meta-analysis and laboratory studies, Tanaka, Monahan, & Seals published this formula in 2001. They concluded that HRmax is to a large extent predictable by age alone and is independent of gender and habitual physical activity status. Their study demonstrated a standard deviation of ~10 beats per minute, suggesting a 95% accuracy of ±20 beats per minute. It is probably considered one of the more accurate formula, but with a range of 40 beats, still does not seem great for training purposes.
References & Further Reading
- Resting Heart Rate.
- Robergs, Robert A. & Landwehr, Roberto (2002). The surprising history of the “HRmax=220-age” equation. Journal of Exercise Physiology Online, 5(2), pp. 1-10.
- Hirofumi Tanaka, Kevin D Monahan, Douglas R Seals (2001). Age-predicted maximal heart rate revisited, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 153-156.
- Kolata, Gina (2001). “‘Maximum’ Heart Rate Theory Is Challenged”, New York Times.
- Gellish, R.L. et al. (2007) Longitudinal Modeling of the Relationship between Age and Maximal Heart Rate. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 39 (5), p. 822-829.
Normalised Graded Pace is an adjustment of actual pace considering elevation changes. In other words NGP is designed to be the equivalent pace if running at the same level of effort on flat terrain. Consequently, NGP will be slower than actual pace when running downhill and faster when running uphill.
The research to evidence such calculations are relatively sparse, and as one can imagine generic, which can often lead to questionable figures. Particularly at extremes of grades, or over very undulating terrain.
References & Further Reading
- Staab JS, Agnew JW, Siconolfi SF. Metabolic and performance responses to uphill and downhill running in distance runners. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1992 Jan;24(1):124-7. PMID: 1548986.
- Minetti AE, Moia C, Roi GS, Susta D, Ferretti G. Energy cost of walking and running at extreme uphill and downhill slopes. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2002 Sep;93(3):1039-46. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.01177.2001. PMID: 12183501.
- Vernillo G, Giandolini M, Edwards WB, Morin JB, Samozino P, Horvais N, Millet GY. Biomechanics and Physiology of Uphill and Downhill Running. Sports Med. 2017 Apr;47(4):615-629. doi: 10.1007/s40279-016-0605-y. PMID: 27501719.
- Khassetarash A, Vernillo G, Martinez A, Baggaley M, Giandolini M, Horvais N, Millet GY, Edwards WB. Biomechanics of graded running: Part II-Joint kinematics and kinetics. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2020 Sep;30(9):1642-1654. doi: 10.1111/sms.13735. Epub 2020 Jun 17. PMID: 32485036.
Perceived Effort (also known as subjective effort) is a 0 to 10 based scoring system that reflects your own personal view on the level of exertion required to perform an activity / workout. Below is a guide.
|0||Rest||Apart from lying, sitting or standing still, you are not doing anything! Get off that couch!|
|1||Very very easy||Very light exertion, such as gentle walk.|
|2||Very easy||Light exertion, such as a fast walk or even a gentle run.|
|3||Easy||An exertion level that you can easily hold a conversation. One you feel that you could maintain for hours. This is commonly the level for a typical easy run.|
|4||Moderate||You can still hold that conversation, it’s just getting a little more difficult.|
|5||Somewhat hard||It is difficult to hold a conversation at this level, and you certainly need a little time between sentences to get your breath back.|
|6||Moderately hard||Your breathing’s getting hard and you can only manage short sentences at a time. Generally, this is the level that TrainAsONE Threshold workouts are aiming for, though you might feel otherwise.|
|7||Hard||An intense level of exercise, where you are breathing hard and when asked to do it for 15 minutes your only thought is ‘no way’ (to put it mildly).|
|8||Really hard||A high level of exercise that you could maintain for at most 6 to 8 minutes. You might be able to utter a word or two, but you’d be gasping if you did. Generally, this is the level that TrainAsONE Interval workouts are targetted at, though you might think differently!|
|9||Really really hard||This is an extremely high exertion level that you could maintain for not much more than a minute – if you are lucky. Talking is probably out of the question. Generally, this is the level that TrainAsONE Repetition workouts are aiming for, though you might feel otherwise!|
|10||Maximal||Your maximum effort. This would be ‘all out’ efforts such as your fastest sprints or a race where you ‘gave it your all’. Consequently, this should mean that this rating would include fast assessment runs.|
Four important points:
- Whilst the above is centred on expressing effort with respect to breathing and conversational ability, your rating should also reflect additional factors such as duration and general fatigue. For example, a very slow paced run that you can easily hold a conversation (level 3), but is of a long duration on tired legs would be upgraded to a higher score. As such, and expressed above, by definition a best effort race would also be a 10.
- When scoring speed workouts and assessment runs you should primarily be thinking about the fast steps. However, if (for example) you found the warm-up and cool-down steps a little harder than you would expect you may wish to increase your score slightly.
- This is a guide. Do not feel bound by it. For example, we know users who find Repetition runs not as strenuous as the above would suggest and mark them nearer a 7 and feel Intervals are more of a 9.
- Find a set of rules that seem right for you, and stick to these. Consistency of how you score is more important than the scores themselves, i.e. If I always score my easy runs as a 4 and you a 2, that is fine.
TrainAsONE analyses your fitness and response to exercise (and rest) in many different ways. Following from this it is able to produce a summary value to represent the overall stress a workout has imparted on your body. This is easy for us humans to understand and provides a single value estimate of the effectiveness of an activity:
- Too low: then your body has not been stressed enough and will not make any adaptive (performance improvements) responses. If this level of exercise is maintained, your body may go into a period of ‘de-training’
- Too high: then the body has been stressed too much and a consequent increase in recovery time is required for your body to recover. If persistent inadequate rest is allowed, over-training sets in and performance (and health) will suffer
- Just right: your body is stressed by just the right amount to induce performance enhancing responses that will be near-peak at the time of your next training session
But what value is just right? TrainAsONE will determine the ideal for each workout for you and this is stated with the planned workout (presently this is displayed within square brackets after the workout distance).
With respect to running, the primary factor that affects the amount of load that a workout imparts is your speed, i.e. the faster you go, the higher the load. In addition, environmental factors such as incline, temperature and wind can have considerable effects. Consequently, you should slow down when:
- running uphill – It costs over twice the energy consumption to run up a 20% slope
- running downhill on gradients approaching 40% or more -This isn’t just to prevent ‘jarring’ your knees!
- running in high temperatures and humidity – Obvious really?
- running at low temperatures – Yes running in the cold has an effect on your running too, but at an ambient air temperature above 0 degrees celsius it is too minimal to worry about, but below freezing… start to slow down
- running with a head or side-wind
TrainAsONE can automatically adjust the paces of your upcoming runs according to the temperature (based on the weather forecast) and predicted incline changes (based on your running history). This is called Temperature and Undulation adjustment within your Profile.
If you elect to turn off temperature and/or undulation adjustment, your TrainAsONE paces are specified assuming that you are running under ideal conditions: flat level terrain; an ambient air temperature of 16 C; a relative humidity of 50 to 60%; and no wind. If you are not, you might need to slow down.
There are numerous other factors that have an effect (for example, solar shortwave radiation) but we won’t go into those now…
So if you notice that you have significantly different measured loads compared to those scheduled, you’re probably overdoing it and should be adjusting your future pace accordingly. If in doubt, just ask us and we can advice.
Resting heart rate (or pulse rate) is the rate at which your heart beats when awake and resting. It is expressed as the number of beats per minute (bpm), with the normal adult range considered to be between 60 to 100 beats. A rate slower than 60 is considered slow, and conversely considered high when greater than 100. The respective medical terms for this are bradycardia and tachycardia.
Numerous studies have demonstrated that an increased heart rate at rest is associated with cardiovascular morbidity and mortality as an independent risk factor. In turn, a decrease in heart rate produces benefits in congestive heart failure, myocardial infarction, atrial fibrillation, obesity, hyperinsulinemia, insulin resistance, and atherosclerosis. Furthermore, resting heart rate and how it changes over time is associated with mortality risk from not only cardio vascular disease, but others such as breast, colorectal and lung cancer. Consequently, regular monitoring of resting heart rate may have utility in identifying individuals at higher mortality risk.
It’s easy to check your pulse using just your fingers. Lightly press the index and middle fingers of one hand on the opposite wrist, just below the base of the thumb. Count the number of beats you can feel in 15 seconds, and multiply by four. This gives you your heart rate in beats per minute.
Your daily heart rate is affected by a number of factors and a couple of important points to consider are:
- Do not measure your heart rate within one to two hours after exercise or a stressful event.
- Wait an hour after consuming caffeine, which can cause heart palpitations and a rise in heart rate.
Both genetics and exercise play an important part in developing a slow heart rate. It has been demonstrated that the affect of aerobic exercise increases with increasing intensity, with significant reductions being seen within a 10 week period. Triathlete and marathon runner, Daniel Green of the United Kingdom, currently holds the World Record for the slowest heart rate at 26 bpm. (Though the official Guinness World Record for the lowest resting heart rate is held by Martin Brady, 45, from Guernsey UK, whose heart-rate measured 27 bpm.)
It is a common belief that over-training results in an increase in (morning) resting heart rate – with ‘threshold’ figures of 7 or more being mentioned. However, there does not appear to be any clear evidence of this, and so this ‘fact’ should be taken with caution.
References & Further Reading
- Maximum Heart Rate.
- Brito Díaz B, Alemán Sánchez JJ, Cabrera de León A. Frecuencia cardiaca en reposo y enfermedad cardiovascular [Resting heart rate and cardiovascular disease]. Med Clin (Barc). 2014 Jul 7;143(1):34-8. Spanish. doi: 10.1016/j.medcli.2013.05.034. Epub 2013 Aug 9. PMID: 23937816.
- Seviiri M, Lynch BM, Hodge AM, Yang Y, Liew D, English DR, Giles GG, Milne RL, Dugué PA. Resting heart rate, temporal changes in resting heart rate, and overall and cause-specific mortality. Heart. 2018 Jul;104(13):1076-1085. doi: 10.1136/heartjnl-2017-312251. Epub 2017 Dec 21. PMID: 29269380.
- Cornelissen VA, Verheyden B, Aubert AE, Fagard RH. Effects of aerobic training intensity on resting, exercise and post-exercise blood pressure, heart rate and heart-rate variability. J Hum Hypertens. 2010 Mar;24(3):175-82. doi: 10.1038/jhh.2009.51. Epub 2009 Jun 25. PMID: 19554028.
- Gleeson M. Biochemical and immunological markers of over-training. J Sports Sci Med. 2002 Jun 1;1(2):31-41. PMID: 24688268; PMCID: PMC3963240.
- Jeukendrup A, VanDiemen A. Heart rate monitoring during training and competition in cyclists. J Sports Sci. 1998 Jan;16 Suppl:S91-9. doi: 10.1080/026404198366722. PMID: 22587722.
An additional ‘open’ step, i.e. a step without a predefined end, added onto the end of your workouts. This allows activity recording to continue until you manually end the workout, giving you extra time to run back (hence the name) home.
Perceived Effort Assessment’s have the run-back added before the final standing 2 minutes.
Run back steps can be enabled / disabled from your web Profile page, or the Workout Settings screen within the TrainAsONE mobile app.
These are the sub classification of a run. A simple distinction is a training run versus running a race. However, TrainAsONE has many more types, for example:
- Assessment (3.2 km)
- Assessment (6 min)
- Race (road)
- Race (trail)
- Training (economy)
- Training (interval)
- Training (freestyle)
- Training (pickup)
- Training (threshold)
When scheduling a run for you, TrainAsONE will tell you the type of run and the exact steps to perform.
Please see Perceived Effort.
Taper refers to the gradual reduction in training in the lead up to a race with the aim of leaving the athlete in a state of peak fitness for their event. The main belief being that training builds up a degree of underlying lethargy that the taper allows recovery from.
The length and degree of the taper (how severe the reduction in training) is much discussed with equivocal evidence. The obvious worry by many being that the training reduction will result in a loss of fitness, and so a balance is always sought.
This is an EXPERIMENTAL feature that rates your training according an ‘ideal’ plan. Presently you can ‘score’ a maximum of 70 points per week (this may well change in time), divided up equally between each run you do. So if you run 5 days a week, you can score a maximum of 14 (70 divided by 5) points per run. The score for each run is based on how well you ran against your planned workout. If you over- or under- do it, you get docked points.
The above is the basics of how it works, but there are complications related to skipping, changing or doing additional runs. Over time we will improve and rectify the scoring related to such nuances. The aim being that when complete, it will not only provide a simple and good guide of how well your training is going, but also provide a mechanism to compare yourself against other people of very different abilities. In this way we will be able to produce leaderboards where 5 hr marathon runners could ‘compete’ against sub 3 hr ones.
As stated in the first paragraph, this is experimental, and there are big limitations that often result in negative points. If you see that, don’t be alarmed – it’s almost definitely the current algorithm’s fault. We have developed the mechanics for a far more sophisticated next version. We can’t wait to have the time to build it!
Undulation is a single value that represents the difficulty of a route according to the gradients traversed (its elevation changes). The higher the value, the more difficult the terrain, and a greater effect on your pace.
Using its advanced statistical analysis TrainAsONE has not only been able to formulate a methodology to calculate a single number to measure how difficult a terrain is to run, we are also able to correlate this value with Normalised Graded Pace (NGP). Consequently, given the undulation for a route (or an estimate based on routes in the same location) the system is able to perform predictive pacing adjustments.
When specifying paces, TrainAsONE can take into account the anticipated undulation along with a number of other factors, for example temperature, wind and humidity to deduce an Environment Adjusted Pace (EAP). Settings to control this are found within your Profile. Similarly, all activities are analysed with respect to the environment experienced.
Whist Undulation is great for the system, we recognise that it is not necessarily intuitive or easy to use without experience. Consequently we are looking at providing an alternative mechanism of direct ascent and descent values.
VO2max is the maximal velocity of oxygen uptake. Or in layman terms the maximum rate at which an organism (you) can process oxygen.
The general principle being that the higher the rate, the fitter / better athlete you are. Despite this, it is actually a poor indicator of performance, e.g. race completion time.
This has not stopped well known sporting manufacturers from using it for such purposes – nice for marketing, but not actually any use.
Workout adherence is a measure of how strictly you followed your workout, with a perfect score being 100%. A score greater than 100% indicates that you ran faster or for longer than intended, and conversely a score less than 100% indicates that you ran slower or for a shorter duration than intended.
If you believe your score is incorrect, the first thing to check is that the run is linked to the correct workout. Following that look at the ‘planned vs performed’ charts for the activity to see where you have been penalised.
Besides displaying the percentage figure, on some screens within the application Workout Adherence is depicted as a ‘traffic light’ graphic. The table below illustrates the graphics used, along with an indication of whether the adherence score equates to the awarding of an angel or devil in one of our running challenges (though specific challenges might vary).
|Graphic||Workout Adherence||Phrase||Description||Angel or Devil?|
|< 90%||Too little!||You ran significantly too slowly or for a shorter duration than planned.|
|90% to <92%||Almost too little||You almost ran too slowly or for a shorter duration than planned.|
|92% to <95%||Slightly under||A good score but you ran slightly slower or shorter than planned.|
|95% to <98%||Almost perfect||Close to perfection, but you ran just a little bit slower or shorter than planned.|
|98% to 102%||Perfection!||Top of the class! You followed your planned workout to perfection.|
|102% to 105%||Almost perfect||Close to perfection, but you ran just a little bit faster or longer than planned.|
|105% to 108%||Slightly over||A good score but you ran slightly faster or longer than planned.|
|108% to 110%||Almost too much||You almost ran too fast or for a longer duration than planned.|
|110%||Too much!||You ran significantly too fast or for a longer duration than planned.|
It should also be noted that workout adherence is a velocity-based metric and there will naturally be potential consequent discrepancies if you are running to heart rate. We plan to introduce a heart rate based workout adherence in the future.
Additionally, any run back step is included in the calculations, and so if your run back is excessive this will negatively affect your score. (We are considering introducing a ‘lax’ version of the score that does not include the run back step in the future.)