Data overload what should I be following

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    I have a Garmin Fenix watch, Whoop band and TrainingPeaks account. I don’t always wear my Garmin. My Garmin currently tells me my training is unproductive, my whoop tells me I’m in the green and TP says my fatigue is greater than my fitness. So what does everyone else go by? On the basis of TP I dropped my run for today.


    This is a great question, and one that I’m sure a lot of folks have! All of these devices use different metrics to gauge your fatigue and fitness levels. If you don’t wear your Garmin 24 hours a day, the metrics will most likely be slightly off. TP is gathering information based on your workouts; however, it does not take in to account your daily life stressors. I loved my Whoop, but I found I was relying on it too much and one or two missed days (when I forgot to charge it!) through off my whole week. I was relying too much on green cues!

    Stress is stress therefore, my biggest piece of advice would be simply to listen to your body. It will tell you what it needs and what it doesn’t. There is a huge value on listening to your body during training and race day.

    Coach Anne


    Each tool has it’s own strengths and weakness. I don’t think you are suffering from data overload, but rather the dilemma of what to do with the data.

    Your fatigue (ATL) must exceed your fitness (CTL) if you are going to train effectively. The difference is your training stress balance (TSB). TSB is the tool to determine when you are training effectively, but it works only if you keep your Training Peaks data complete and up to date. I use TSB mostly to adjust my training during the taper as I get closer to race day. I also use Training Peaks to examine my actual training stress score (TSS) when deciding on the level training plan I think I can sustain.

    I don’t drop a training day based on numbers. I will adjust easy runs to recovery efforts if I feel weak, and I feel it will compromise my ability to complete an upcoming key workout (or race). I will drop a workout if conditions are unhealthy for illness or weather.

    The summary assessments from the various devices are interesting, but I don’t find them useful. I prefer to look at the data after each workout. Break it down into internal and external indicators (heart rate, pace, power, and environment), I think that gives me a better indication if I have things under control.


    I’m going to give you the flip side of Charles.

    I’ll give my story. Mostly to give real athletes a chuckle while they shake their heads.

    I’ll class myself as an above average recreational triathlete. Top 15 age grouper a month ago.
    Recently finished my third 70.3 at the age of 57. First while using the 80/20 program. I have a Garmin watch and bike computer. Used pace for running, power for indoor cycling and HR for outdoor.

    Don’t give a rats arse about green or yellow boxes on my TP calendar. Couldn’t tell you what one of my weekly TSS scores were and if I could wouldn’t be able to tell you if they were good or bad. I kept my zones current, then ran/biked by pace/power/hr as listed on the plan. That’s it. Did all my swim workouts (pace) by memory and did my best to be close enough to what I was supposed to do. I missed several workout days as the life of a novice triathlete will dictate. Cut some workouts short because I simply wasn’t feeling it.

    End result was I PR’d my previous attempts by over 5 minutes. I was 7 minutes faster on my bike than 4 years ago.

    I say this not to boast but to simply be a testament that the plan simply works. Even without paying attention to all the data and worrying about it all. The structure of the plan yields results.
    Again, you have to keep in mind my frame of reference and this is in no way meant to dissuade you from trying to analyze your training in the best way possible. I’m just trying to instill that even the simplest approach can, in my case, yield fantastic results.

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