Week 2 is done and dusted! Great work, everyone. I bet you're starting to feel a little better as your GAS kicks in (hungry, but still better) and figuring out the rhythm of your training.
So with two weeks down, what are we looking at? Well, let's talk micro-cycles (MC), which is a training plan term that basically means week. So far, our first two MCs have focused on building a good, basic aerobic foundation and some cadence work to improve our neuromuscular ability, but what has been the focus of the overall MCs for the full cycle (4 weeks)?
Progression is the answer. Take a look at Jeff Boldt's last two weeks in the screenshot below.
Jeff is on a lower-volume plan, but let's look at his hours and his TSS. Both have "progressed" each week, with hours going up by 1 and Training Stress Score (TSS) by 60 points. This is a good progression. Now let's look at his Fitness score (or CTL; more on this later). His fitness score went up to 50 from 48 this week, increasing by 2 raw points. This is known as ramp rate, so his ramp rate is 2. These numbers let us know that he is progressing his training and continuing to challenge his body.
This week -- week three -- we'll be learning more about Fitness/CTL/progression, but basically you must progressively or gradually increase your workload for improvement to continue, so we need to have some ways to track this. That is where the Fitness, Fatigue, and Form metrics in TrainingPeaks help guide us.
Some of you might not see your Fitness/CTL going up? Why might that be? Most people train too hard and artificially raise their Fitness/CTL through the overuse of intensity.
Here's a simple test. Take your weekly TSS and divide it by your weekly hours. For base training you should get (assuming you're not missing workouts) between 45-50, and for build phase training, 50-55. Looking back over your training weeks, how do you compare?