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 refers to the ability to sustain prolonged activity at sub-maximal rate for an extended period of time. It is a key component of long-distance running and other endurance sports, as it allows athletes to maintain a steady pace and continue running for extended periods.
With regards to running, it is generally considered that race distances of 3km or greater are endurance events.
The term stamina is often incorrectly used synonymously and interchangeably with endurance.
Building endurance involves training the cardiovascular system, increasing muscle stamina, and improving overall fitness. Here are some factors that contribute to developing endurance in running:
1. Aerobic capacity: Endurance running primarily relies on aerobic energy production, where oxygen is used to break down carbohydrates and fats to generate energy. By engaging in regular aerobic exercise like running, your body adapts by increasing its ability to deliver oxygen to the working muscles, enhancing your aerobic capacity.
2. Long-distance training: To improve endurance, it is important to gradually increase your running distance over time, allowing your body to adapt to the stress and demands of running for extended periods. The rate at which you should increase your running distances is highly individual, and a balancing act between benefits and risks.
3. Threshold / Tempo runs: Such workouts involve running at a comfortably hard pace for an extended period, typically at or near your lactate threshold. These runs help improve your lactate threshold, which is the point at which your body starts to accumulate lactate faster than it can clear it. By raising this threshold, you can sustain a higher intensity for longer periods.
4. High-Speed Interval training: Incorporating intervals into your training can help improve both speed and endurance. Interval training involves alternating between high-intensity efforts and periods of rest or lower intensity. This type of training improves your anaerobic capacity, increasing your stamina – helping you run faster for longer durations.
5. Cross-training and strength training: Engaging in activities such as swimming, cycling, or strength training can complement your running routine. Cross-training helps improve overall fitness, can help prevents overuse injuries, and provides active recovery. Strength training exercises, especially for the lower body and core muscles, can enhance running efficiency and muscular endurance.
6. Proper nutrition and hydration: To sustain endurance running, it is crucial to fuel your body with the right nutrients and maintain proper hydration. Consume a balanced diet rich in carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats. Stay adequately hydrated before, during, and after your runs.
Building endurance takes time and consistency.
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. TrainAsONE, primarily supports race distance goals, but other factors, such as a desire to loose weight or improving speed, are additionally factored into plan generation.
We 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.
Lactate (often incorrectly called lactic acid), is a chemical produced by the body during certain physiological processes, including exercise. It plays a crucial role in energy metabolism, particularly when the demand for energy exceeds the oxygen supply available to the muscles. Understanding lactate and its relationship to running can provide insights into athletic performance and training.
Common wisdom states that Lactate is a bad by-product of high intensity exercise and ‘flushing from your muscles’ is good. This is a myth!
During intense exercise, such as running, the body relies on the breakdown of glucose (a simple sugar) in the presence of oxygen to produce energy. When there is an insufficient supply of oxygen to meet the energy demands of the muscles, the body additionally turns to anaerobic metabolism. In this process, glucose is partially broken down without the use of oxygen, resulting in the formation of lactate.
Contrary to popular belief, lactate is not harmful and does not cause muscle burn. The burning sensation is actually caused by the build-up of hydrogen ions in the muscles. These hydrogen ions make the muscles acidic, which causes the pain and discomfort. Lactate acts as a buffer, mopping up free hydrogen ions, mitigating their build-up, becoming Lactic Acid in the process.
As required, lactate can be converted back into glucose to be further used as a source of energy. This primarily occurs in the liver, through a process called the Cori (lactic acid) cycle.
During exercise inactive muscle and non-muscle cells also produce and release lactate into the bloodstream. Interestingly, their production of lactate extends beyond the point at which your previously exercising muscles have stopped producing it. Your previously exercising muscles switch to consuming this lactate to aid in repair.
There are a number of published articles around this topic, but probably the most appropriate starting point is understanding the ‘Lactate Shuttle’, for example ‘The tortuous path of lactate shuttle discovery‘ by George A Brooks.
Regular training can improve the body’s ability to utilise and transport lactate. Endurance training, in particular, can enhance the capacity of the aerobic energy system, reducing the reliance on anaerobic metabolism and the subsequent production of lactate. This adaptation helps delay the onset of lactate accumulation and fatigue during running, allowing athletes to sustain higher intensities for longer durations.
Lactate threshold is a term often used in endurance sports, including running. It refers to the exercise intensity at which lactate production exceeds lactate clearance, resulting in a rapid increase in blood lactate levels. Training at or near the lactate threshold can improve an athlete’s ability to sustain high-intensity efforts and delay the accumulation of lactate, leading to enhanced endurance performance.
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. It is influenced by various factors, including age, genetics, and overall fitness level.
Traditionally, the widely used formula for estimating maximum heart rate is “220 minus age,” which suggests that maximum heart rate declines with increasing age. However, this formula has limitations and may not be accurate for everyone. It provides a rough estimate, but individual variations can be significant. 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.
During intense exercise or activities like running, the body demands more oxygen to fuel the muscles. To meet this increased oxygen demand, the heart must pump blood around the body at a faster rate. The maximum heart rate is reached when the heart is operating at its maximum capacity, and further increases in effort do not result in an elevated heart rate.
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.
It’s important to note that maximum heart rate provides a reference point. And additionally, factors such as fitness level, medication, hydration status, and overall health can influence an individual’s response during exercise.
Knowing your maximum heart rate might be useful for determining appropriate training zones and intensities. Heart rate training zones are typically calculated as a percentage of maximum heart rate. For example, moderate aerobic exercise might target 50-70% of maximum heart rate, while high-intensity interval training could aim for 80-90% of maximum heart rate.
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.
Normalized graded pace (NGP) is a metric used in running to provide a more accurate representation of the pace achieved during a run, especially when running on uneven terrain or varying elevation. It takes into account the impact of changes in elevation on the overall pace.
On some platforms, for example Strava, NGP is called Grade Adjusted Pace (GAP).
When you run on hilly terrain, your pace can vary significantly depending on whether you’re running uphill or downhill. Uphill sections typically slow you down, while downhill sections often allow you to run faster. Normalized graded pace aims to give you a single pace value that reflects the effort you put in, considering both uphill and downhill portions of your run.
To calculate the normalized graded pace, the course of your run is divided into segments, which can vary in length. These segments are typically defined based on changes in elevation. For example, if you have a hilly course, each uphill and downhill section can be considered a segment.
The calculation of NGP involves adjusting the pace of each segment based on the grade (slope) of that segment. The pace is adjusted to a hypothetical pace that you would have maintained if you were running on a flat surface. This adjustment accounts for the additional effort required when running uphill and the potential advantage gained when running downhill.
By factoring in the adjustments for uphill and downhill sections, the normalized graded pace aims to provide a more accurate representation of the effort you put into the run, allowing for better comparisons of performance across different terrains and courses.
An important point to bear in mind is that the research to evidence such calculations are relatively sparse, and as one can imagine generic. This 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) refers to your own personal view on the level of exertion required to perform an activity / workout. The crucial point is that it is an individual’s perception of the exertion or strain they are experiencing during the activity. Perceived effort is influenced by a variety of factors, including physiological, psychological, and environmental factors.
Physiological factors: Perceived effort can be influenced by physiological factors such as heart rate, breathing rate, muscle fatigue, and oxygen consumption. As these factors increase, the perceived effort tends to increase as well. For example, running at a faster pace or on an incline requires more energy and can lead to a higher perceived effort.
Psychological factors: Psychological factors, including motivation, focus, and mental state, can impact perceived effort. If a runner is highly motivated and in a positive mindset, they may perceive the effort to be lower, even if they are physically exerting themselves. On the other hand, negative emotions or distractions can increase the perceived effort.
Environmental factors: The environment in which running takes place can also influence perceived effort. Factors such as temperature, humidity, altitude, terrain, and wind can affect how hard a run feels. For instance, running in hot and humid conditions can increase perceived effort due to the added strain on the body.
Individual differences: Perceived effort is subjective and can vary from person to person. Factors such as fitness level, training background, running experience, and genetic predispositions can impact how individuals perceive the effort of a run. Two runners running at the same pace may have different perceptions of the effort based on their individual characteristics.
It’s important to note that perceived effort does not always correlate directly with objective measures of exertion, such as heart rate or speed. Two runners can have the same heart rate or pace but perceive the effort differently based on the factors mentioned above.
Understanding and managing perceived effort is crucial in running as it can affect pacing, performance, and overall enjoyment of the activity. Runners often learn to gauge their perceived effort to adjust their pace, push through challenging moments, and maintain a sustainable level of exertion during their runs.
Perceived Effort in TrainAsONE
Within the TrainAsONE platform, Perceived Effort is rated using a 0 to 10 based scoring system. Below is a guide on how to rate your workouts.
|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.
Physiological load refers to the demands and stresses placed on the body’s physiological systems during activity. It encompasses various factors that affect the body’s functioning and adaptation to running. Understanding and managing physiological load is crucial for optimizing performance, preventing injuries, and promoting overall health and well-being.
Several key aspects contribute to the physiological load experienced during running:
Cardiovascular Load: Running places a significant demand on the cardiovascular system. The heart has to pump more blood to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the working muscles. This increases heart rate, stroke volume, and cardiac output, leading to a higher overall cardiovascular load.
Musculoskeletal Load: Running involves repetitive impact forces transmitted through the bones, joints, ligaments, and tendons. The musculoskeletal load depends on factors such as running technique, running surface, footwear, and the runner’s body mechanics. Higher intensity or longer duration runs can increase the load on these structures, potentially leading to fatigue, microtrauma, and injury.
Energy Systems Load: Running requires energy production to sustain muscular activity. The body primarily utilizes aerobic metabolism, supported by the respiratory and circulatory systems, to supply oxygen and fuel (glucose and fatty acids) for energy production. Higher intensity running may also engage anaerobic metabolism, leading to the accumulation of metabolic byproducts which need to be handled and eliminated.
Thermoregulatory Load: During running, the body generates heat as a byproduct of metabolic activity. To maintain optimal body temperature, the thermoregulatory system works to dissipate excess heat through sweating and enhanced blood flow to the skin. Running in hot and humid conditions or wearing excessive clothing can increase the thermoregulatory load and may lead to dehydration and heat-related illnesses.
Hormonal and Neuroendocrine Load: Running stimulates the release of various hormones and neurotransmitters, such as endorphins, adrenaline, cortisol, and growth hormone. These substances play roles in mood regulation, stress response, energy mobilization, tissue repair, and adaptation to exercise. The magnitude and duration of running can influence the hormonal and neuroendocrine load.
Managing physiological load is essential to avoid overtraining, injuries, and other adverse effects. Factors like proper training progression, adequate recovery, balanced nutrition, hydration, and sleep are crucial in optimizing performance while minimizing the risk of overload.
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
Physiological Load within TrainAsONE
In TrainAsONE the physiological load of an activity is distilled into a single value to make quantification and comprehension as simple as possible. This aids in the analysis of loading trends over time, and straightforward ‘planned vs performed’ load comparisons.
But what load is right? TrainAsONE will determine the ideal value for each workout for you and this is stated with the planned workout (presently this is displayed within square brackets after the workout distance). This can then be compared with the calculated load for your performed activity.
- Lower than planned: 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’
- Greater than planned: then the body has been stressed too much and a consequent increase in recovery time may be required for your body to recover. If persistent inadequate rest is allowed, over-training sets in and performance (and health) will suffer
- Equivalent to planned: 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
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 10 to 15 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.
During rest, your body requires a lower amount of oxygen and energy compared to when you’re active. As a result, your heart doesn’t need to pump blood as forcefully or rapidly. The resting heart rate reflects the efficiency of your heart in delivering oxygenated blood to the body’s tissues without straining itself.
Resting heart rate varies among individuals and can be influenced by various factors such as age, overall health, fitness level, and genetics. In general, a lower resting heart rate indicates better cardiovascular fitness. Well-conditioned athletes or individuals who engage in regular aerobic exercise tend to have lower resting heart rates since their hearts are more efficient and can pump a greater volume of blood with each beat.
As stated, a healthy resting heart rate for adults typically ranges from 60 to 100 beats per minute (with lower values being more favorable). However, well-trained athletes may have resting heart rates as low as 40, or even 30, due to their increased cardiovascular fitness. On the other hand, a consistently elevated resting heart rate above the normal range may indicate underlying health conditions, such as heart disease, stress, dehydration, or thyroid problems, and should be evaluated by a healthcare professional.
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.
Stamina, whilst often used interchangeably with endurance, refers to the ability of an individual to sustain a particular level of effort for a prolonged period. In contrast to endurance, the effort level needs to be stated and not limited to sub-maximal exercise.
Improving stamina is essential for enhancing endurance and overall performance, and is influenced by training factors in the manner as endurance.
Subjective pace refers to the individual perception of how fast or slow one is running, based on internal cues and sensations rather than objective measurements like speed or heart rate. It is the runner’s personal assessment of their effort level, comfort, and overall perception of their speed during a run.
Subjective pace is highly individualised and influenced by many factors such as fitness level, fatigue, motivation, terrain, weather conditions, and overall mental state. Some runners may feel that they are running at a fast pace while others perceive the same pace as moderate or slow.
Runners often use subjective pace to guide their training and adjust their effort levels during a run. The same absolute pace on different days may feel quite different and an adjustment may become appropriate.
As an example, it is advised that the majority of your running should be at a comfortable pace that you can easily hold a conversation – breathing is barely labored. On some days (due to factors mentioned above), your easy pace may feel harder than usual, and reducing your speed to compensate should be considered.
Taper refers to the period of reduced training volume and intensity that occurs before a key race or event. It is a strategic approach to allow the body to recover, repair, and reach peak performance levels for the race.
During a taper, runners gradually decrease their mileage, intensity, and the frequency of their workouts in the weeks leading up to the race. The taper period typically lasts around one to three weeks, depending on the individual, the race distance, and its importance.
The main goals of tapering can be seen as:
Recovery: Tapering allows the body to recover from the accumulated fatigue and minor injuries that may have occurred during the training phase. It gives muscles, tendons, and ligaments time to repair and rebuild, reducing the risk of overuse injuries.
Adaptation: Tapering allows the body to adapt to the training stimulus it has received during the previous weeks or months. It helps optimize energy stores, enhance muscular strength and coordination, and improve neuromuscular efficiency, all of which contribute to improved race performance.
Restoration: Tapering improves glycogen stores in the muscles and liver, leading to better fuel utilization during the race. It also replenishes any depleted nutrients and corrects any imbalances that might have occurred during intense training.
Mental preparation: Tapering not only allows the body to recover but also helps runners mentally prepare for the race. It reduces stress and fatigue, restores motivation and focus, and boosts confidence, enabling runners to approach the race feeling fresh and ready to perform at their best.
During the taper period, runners typically maintain some level of training to keep their bodies active and prevent detraining. However, the overall training load is significantly reduced compared to the peak training phase. The exact tapering strategy may vary depending on individual preferences, race distance, and previous training volume, so it’s essential for each runner to have a taper tailored to their specific needs and goals.
The length and degree of the taper (how severe the reduction in training) is much discussed and there is equivocal evidence on its practice. The obvious worry by many being that the training reduction will result in a loss of fitness, and so a balance is always sought.
A clear benefit of TrainAsONE is that its machine learning algorithms can generate an ideal taper for each individual, considering their specific training, fitness and goals.
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, or maximal oxygen consumption, is a measure of an individual’s maximum capacity to take in, transport, and utilize oxygen during intense exercise. It is considered one of the best indicators of aerobic fitness and cardiovascular endurance. VO2max reflects the efficiency and effectiveness of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems in delivering oxygen to the muscles and the muscles’ ability to utilize that oxygen.
During exercise, the body’s demand for oxygen increases as energy production rises. VO2max represents the point at which the body reaches its maximum ability to deliver oxygen to the working muscles. It is expressed as milliliters of oxygen per kilogram of body weight per minute (ml/kg/min).
Measuring VO2max involves performing a graded exercise test, usually on a treadmill or stationary bike, while monitoring oxygen consumption and heart rate. The test gradually increases the intensity of exercise until the individual reaches their maximum effort. At this point, the individual is working at their maximum oxygen uptake, and their VO2max can be determined.
VO2max is influenced by various factors, including genetics, age, gender, and training status. It tends to be higher in individuals with a higher aerobic fitness level, such as endurance athletes, as they have developed more efficient cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
Having a high VO2max is advantageous for athletes participating in endurance sports like running, cycling, and swimming, as it allows them to sustain high-intensity exercise for longer periods. Improving VO2max often involves engaging in regular aerobic training, such as running or other cardiovascular activities, combined with interval training and high-intensity workouts to challenge and improve the body’s ability to utilize oxygen efficiently.
However, despite the above, VO2max 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 of any real use.
In the context of TrainAsONE (in line with many other technology platforms) a workout is a planned activity or training session. Most commonly they are composed into a number of smaller steps to form a structured workout that is designed to improve specific aspects of running performance. Such aspects include increasing speed, building endurance, improving overall fitness, or preparing for a race.
Three common example types of running workouts are:
Long Run: A longer-distance run, usually performed at an easy or moderate pace, aimed at building endurance and improving aerobic capacity. Long runs are essential for marathon training and enhancing overall stamina.
Interval Training: Alternating between high-intensity bursts of running and recovery periods. For example, sprinting for a specific distance or time, followed by a slower jog or walk to recover. Interval training improves speed, anaerobic fitness, and increases the body’s ability to handle high-intensity efforts.
Threshold (or Tempo) Run: A sustained effort at a comfortably hard pace, often at or slightly below the runner’s lactate threshold. Tempo runs improve aerobic threshold, enhance running economy, and increase the ability to sustain a faster pace over longer distances.
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.)
Acute Training Load (ATL) summarises the immediate, short-term stress / strain placed on the body as a result of training or physical activity. Commonly representing 1 to 7 days, it is usually calculated from one or more metrics, for example duration, distance, heart rate, power output, or a combination of these factors. Commonly it is limited to objective measures, but subjective factors such as Rating of Perceived Effort can be incorporated.
The purpose of monitoring acute training load is to evaluate the immediate impact of training on the body and to help coaches and athletes make informed decisions about training progression, recovery, and risk of injury.
Chronic Training Load (CTL) summarises the cumulative stress / strain placed on the body as a result of training or physical activity. Commonly representing 4 to 8 weeks, it is usually calculated from one or more metrics, for example duration, distance, heart rate, power output, or a combination of these factors. Commonly it is limited to objective measures, but subjective factors such as Rating of Perceived Effort can be incorporated.
The purpose of monitoring acute training load is to evaluate the immediate impact of training on the body and to help coaches and athletes make informed decisions about training progression, recovery, and risk of injury.
One of the 3 Fit Scores to assess and monitor your performance with regards to your top-speed running.
When training for races of around 3 km or more, this metric will have more relevance than your Speed Score and resemble or at least trend similar to your Goal Score, especially with increases distance. Once your race distance approaches or exceeds a marathon, then will usually become quite similar.
TrainAsONE Fit Scores are a unique set of metrics to measure your running fitness from your day to day running, and even your rest days.
Commonly, when people talk about their running fitness they break it down into two components: Speed and Endurance. Often saying such things as “I’ve lost some speed, but my endurance has remained’ or “I’ve lost some fitness, but could still run a sub 45 minute 10km”. However, apart from venturing out and running a set of time trials there has been no real way to make any form of objective measure. This is where the Fit Scores come in.
Using our advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), TrainAsONE calculates 3 numbers that represent your level of running fitness on a daily basis:
- Speed Score: Your capability for top speed running;
- Endurance Score: Your capability for running for a long time;
- Goal Score: Your fitness in respect of your personal goal, e.g. an upcoming 10 km race.
Each score is between 0 and 100, with 100 being world record performing.
The Fit Scores are a unique and very useful indicator of your running fitness as they objectively calculate three performance related markers that are colloquially used and understood. And importantly without having to perform any specific workout or laboratory assessment – in fact they can even be calculated on rest days with no activity or health data!
Not unexpectedly, with large periods of no data (and no running!) Fit Scores will become less and less accurate, with ever greater swings in value from day to day. Fortunately it will not take long for ‘normality’ to resume once a return to running takes place – and as always, the better the consistency of your running, the quicker this will take place.
As the above image illustrates, the TrainAsONE mobile app displays each of your current Fit Scores on the Home screen, along with a graphic below to indicate their current trend. An interesting point in the above example is that it is possible for your Speed and Endurance Scores to be trending down, yet your Goal Score be trending up. Furthermore, depending on certain factors, including the stage of your training, your Goal Score may trend downwards. Look out for some specific FAQs and articles to help answer when and why this may occur.
Additionally, whilst all the scores are in the range from 0 to 100, the spread varies. In other words the average score for Speed across the population is quite different for Endurance. This is a potential area of work for the future.
In due course we will elaborate a little on how the scores are derived. However, a very important point to raise now is that the underlying techniques being used can also be turned to race time prediction. We’ve already done this, with great success – our own comparison with other published work demonstrates superior accuracy. This, and other factors, give us great confidence and excitement about our Fit Scores. We still feel that we’ve only scratched the surface, and have many avenues to research that will make them and other features in mind even greater and provide an unrivalled training experience.
One of the 3 Fit Scores to assess and monitor your running performance. As with the 2 other scores, your Goal Score is provided as a number between 0 and 100, with 100 being world record performing.
Directly targeting your current goal, this metric may be of more interest than your Speed or Endurance Score. The relevant goal will change according to your goals within TrainAsONE. Commonly it will be your next primary race, otherwise your preferred distance goal.
For clarification, whilst your Goal Score is between 0 and 100, this is not a percentage and does not indicate a probability of completing your goal (race) in your target time. Features related to this are on the roadmap.
Race time prediction involves estimating the time it will take to complete a particular race distance based on various factors such as previous performances, training data, and individual characteristics. While race time prediction models can provide useful insights, it’s important to remember that they are only estimates and individual performance can still vary significantly.
There are several methods and models used for race time prediction, ranging from simple calculations to complex algorithms. Here are some commonly used traditional approaches:
Personal Experience: One of the simplest methods is to rely on your personal experience from previous races. If you have run a similar distance in the past, you can estimate your race time based on your performance in that race. However, this method assumes that your fitness level and training conditions have remained relatively constant.
Rule of Thumb: The rule of thumb method uses a general formula to estimate race times. For example, one commonly used formula is the “doubling time” rule, which states that if you double the distance of a race, you should expect your time to be roughly 2.1 times longer. While this method can provide a rough estimate, it may not account for individual variations in fitness and training.
Race Time Calculators: Online race time calculators are popular tools that use algorithms to predict race times. These calculators typically ask for input such as your recent race times, distance, and terrain. They use statistical models and algorithms to generate a predicted race time based on the input data. It’s important to note that these calculators are based on averages and may not capture individual characteristics accurately. The most popular example is Riegel’s Formula.
Regression Models: More advanced race time prediction models use regression analysis to estimate race times based on multiple variables. These models take into account factors such as age, gender, training volume, recent performances, and environmental conditions. They use historical data to create a mathematical equation that predicts race times based on these variables.
Utilising cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technologies TrainAsONE has created a unique race time prediction methodology. Through extensive testing and analysis, these innovative algorithms have proven to outperform existing published approaches in terms of accuracy. Users can now access these enhanced predictions as part of the Artemis algorithm update.
Riegel’s formula is a mathematical equation used to predict race times for runners. It was first published by Pete Riegel, an American research engineer in 1977.
The formula takes into account a runner’s recent race time and distance to then estimate the time to complete an upcoming race:
T2 = T1 x (D2 / D1) ^ 1.06
- D1 = Previous race distance
- D2 = Upcoming race distance
- T1 = Previous race time
- T2 = Prediction of race time for upcoming race
Overall, the evidence suggests that Riegel’s formula is a useful tool for predicting race times in runners, but it should not be relied upon as the sole means of determining race performance. Other factors such as recent training history and specificity should also be taken into account when predicting race times.
Despite its limitations, Riegel’s formula continues to be widely used by runners, coaches, and exercise physiologists to help predict race times and track performance improvements.
TRaining IMPulse (TRIMP) is a method for quantifying training load based on the duration of an exercise and a metric such as speed, heart rate, or perceived effort. It draws its roots from the work of Eric Banister in 1975 on swimmers, but it was not until the 1990s that application in other sports and simplifications on its use made it more popular.
Training monotony refers to a state or condition in which an athlete’s training has become repetitive and lacking in variation of intensity, volume, or type of exercise. A clear example of high training monotony would be running the same route, every day, at the same pace.
In sports science, Training Monotony is a single number calculated from an analysis of workouts, to determine the statistical variation in day to day training. Research would suggest that monotony figures below 1.5 are desirable, with figures above 2.0 as potentially being a cause for concern.
Training monotony is most often considered in conjunction with Training Strain.
A single metric that attempts to represent both the volume and variation in your day-to-day activities.
Whilst Training Monotony helps to understand the periodisation of training and assess recovery, the volume of training (load of training over time) also needs to be considered. Too low and training will be ineffective. Too high and you’ll be moving into the realms of overtraining. Training Strain is one metric to aid with this, combining changes in load and monotony over time into one metric. The level of strain a particular athlete should be experiencing at any moment is dependent on many factors, but it can be safely said that rapid increases are bad. This would most commonly signify a rapid increase in load without adequate recovery.
Training Stress Balance (TSB) is a concept used in athlete performance monitoring to assess an athlete’s readiness for competition. It provides a measure of the accumulated training load and its impact on an athlete’s readiness and fatigue (often poorly termed fitness & freshness). TSB is often used in endurance sports such as running, cycling, and swimming.
TSB is based on the principle of acute and chronic training load. Acute training load refers to the short-term or immediate training stress placed on an athlete, typically measured over a period of one week. Chronic training load, on the other hand, represents the long-term or accumulated training stress over a longer period, often several weeks or months.
Eric Bannister et al, devised TSB in the early 1990s. It is a simplification of previous works (including his own), and importantly does not help to predict performance, only relative performance. It is very commonly stated that TSB was created by Andrew Coggan, however, this is incorrect. The missunderstanding appears to have arisen as Coggan devised the Training Stress Score (TSS) used within the TrainingPeaks software to estimate the stress of a single cycling workout, which is then applied to the TSB formula.
To calculate TSB, the acute training load is subtracted from the chronic training load. The formula is as follows:
TSB = Chronic Training Load – Acute Training Load
The chronic training load provides an estimate of an athlete’s overall fitness level and is a reflection of their training history. It takes into account the duration, intensity, and frequency of training sessions over an extended period. The acute training load, on the other hand, represents the recent training stress that an athlete has experienced, usually measured over the past week.
By subtracting the acute training load from the chronic training load, TSB provides an indication of an athlete’s fatigue or freshness. A positive TSB indicates a state of freshness, suggesting that an athlete is well-rested and has recovered from previous training. A negative TSB, on the other hand, indicates accumulated fatigue, suggesting that an athlete may be at a higher risk of injury or experiencing decreased performance.
To support their use, it is commonly stated with conviction that TSB and its allied models have been verified and validated. This should be taken with some caution. For example, a literature search only demonstrates 1 study in this area looking specifically at runners. And the model validation in this study was performed on 2 subjects. The subjects being the authors of the study itself.
vVO2max (velocity at VO2max) refers to the running speed at which an individual reaches their maximum rate of oxygen consumption. It is often considered a significant measure of cardiovascular fitness and endurance.
vVO2max is measured in the laboratory during a graded exercise test, where the intensity of running gradually increases, and the individual’s oxygen consumption is measured at different stages. The point at which oxygen consumption plateaus despite further increases in exercise intensity is considered their VO2max. The corresponding running speed at this point is referred to as their vVO2max.
Commonly running at vVO2max can only be maintained for about six minutes, though considerable variation exists. The vVO2max of world class middle and long-distance runners may exceed 24 km/h (14.9 mph or about 4:00/mile pace), making this speed slightly comparable to 3000 m race pace. For many athletes, vVO2max may be slightly slower than 1500 m or mile race pace.
Training at or near vVO2max is a common strategy to improve aerobic capacity and overall running performance. By incorporating workouts that involve running at or slightly above vVO2max, athletes can enhance their cardiovascular system, improve oxygen delivery to working muscles, and increase their lactate threshold. These training sessions typically involve short, intense intervals with brief recovery periods.
Run Types (3)
This is a structured workout incorporating a specific step where you are asked to run for 6 minutes, during which you should get as far a distance as you possibly can.
- Ensure that ‘auto-pause’ is turned off on your device.
- It is very important that these runs are correctly classified and confirmed (via your Dashboard). Erroneous classifications can adversely affect your plan.
The 6 minute assessment run provides extremely valuable information and insight into many aspects of your running and physiology. You are commonly asked to perform these at regular moments during your training. It is recommended to always perform them in the same place – a 1 to 2 mile, ideally straight and flat area that you can run fast and without any obstacles or interruption is obviously desired. In this way, you are more likely to perform at your best and if you remember the place you got to you can use it as a target for the next time…
If you are new to speedwork, please take care running the 6 minute workout step – we don’t want you straining anything… Whilst the instruction is to ‘run as fast as you can’, for the less experienced runner walking is permitted – the key thing is to travel as far in the 6 minutes as you can. The gifted and experienced runners should start to feel sick with about 1 to 2 minutes remaining – if you don’t, you’re probably not trying hard enough… 😉
Please note. Any 6 minute assessment run you perform that is not automatically categorised as such by the system (and you do not manually amend it to be) may result in the system continually re-scheduling a further one.
The Perceived Effort Assessment is a structured workout where you are asked to run at certain speeds and specific times according to your subjective level of effort.
- Ensure that ‘auto-pause’ is turned off on your device.
- It is very important that these runs are correctly classified and confirmed (via your Dashboard). Erroneous classifications can adversely affect your plan.
A perceived effort run is one mechanism that enables TrainAsONE ® to understand your subjective effort of running and compare to the various underlying physiological processes being measured and tracked. Be honest and do not look at your device (apart from may be to see the time) – start your workout and then put your device in your pocket…
Currently there are 3 levels of effort: Standing, Very Easy Warm-up and Easy Natural pace:
- Standing: Not strictly a running pace… Stand still and relax for the specified duration. You may like to close your eyes and listen to your surroundings. This is an especially important step for those with a heart rate monitor as the system uses this period to record a standing heart rate.
- Very Easy Warm-up: Run at a nice slow easy pace to ease into your workout. If you cannot easily hold a conversation without getting short of breath you are going too fast! (If you can run with a friend to help gauge this, then all the better. Else talk or sing to yourself…)
- Easy Natural: Run at what you feel is an easy natural pace for you. In general, the pace will be slightly faster than your easy warm-up, and holding a conversation would be more difficult but certainly maintainable. For seasoned runners, this would be a pace you feel you could easily maintain for over an hour.
- Please record the whole session as one activity (run), including any pre-running and post-running standing phases.
- If you have a heart rate monitor, it is very beneficial to wear it for this workout.
- Any perceived effort run you perform that is not automatically categorised as such by the system (and you do not manually amend it to be) will result in the system continually re-scheduling a further one.
Named after the Japanese physician and researcher, Dr. Izumi Tabata, Tabata is a form of interval training characterised by short but very high intensity steps with minimal rest between. These sessions have been shown to induce significant concomitant changes to both the anaerobic and aerobic energy systems.
Invariably they consist of 8 repeats of 20 seconds very fast all-out steps, with only 10 seconds break between.
If you are new to speedwork, please take care running the fast steps.