Before the forum I posed this question to David for the 5K & 10K run plans and at the time they were using a different definition for the various stages. Since the plans have evolved significantly since I posed my question I wait David or Matt’s response to your question.
My experience is that the training stages are only applied if you have TP calculate the ATP.
Typically I enter the 80/20 Plans into the calendar then adjust the TSS and stages manually in the ATP. It’s useful to the extent that I can fill in the non plan stages with whatever I choose.
My opinion is that the ATP is not really necessary if you are just doing a race plan. The 80/20 Plans appear to be great “out of the box”. Some of the completing plans from other coaches require considerable editing in which case the TP ATP is a great tool for confirming that the adjustment you might make are naking some kind of sense,
BTW tedc, thanks for your post on metrics. I’ve been playing with the sleep stuff on my Forerunner 940 and added binaural beats to my sleep protocol and I am seeing improvements in my sleep and recovery.