Tempo duration

Featuring TheRunZone?s resident coach Tinman. All participants are welcome to post and reply to topics in this section whether you?re looking for advice, or sharing your own coaching experience.

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Tinman
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Re: Tempo duration

Post by Tinman » Sat Aug 04, 2012 3:35 pm

tcl -

It was because you persisted with multiple questions and requests for computational comparison that I became convinced you were trying to get detailed analysis, not talking about general training principles.

Anyway, we're good! The result of your inquiring inspired me to offer the service, which I had merely pondered before. So, know that your inquiry was for the good and perhaps opened the door for others to get more information that they want.

Keep participating in discussions!

Take care,

Tinman
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Re: Tempo duration

Post by tcl » Sat Aug 04, 2012 10:11 pm

Cheers, Tinman. I'll lay off the follow-up questions, then.
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Re: Tempo duration

Post by wysiwyg » Sun Aug 05, 2012 4:02 am

Thought id chime in as Coggans TSS method was mention.
Its all based on functional threshold power FTP which is the power that can be maintained for 50-70 minutes....cyclings equivalent of threshold speed.
heres an example of how the total sress score of a workout is calculated.
lets say a cyclist can hold 300 watts for an hour. his FTP is therefore 300.
he then rides at 280 watts for 30 minutes. 280 is 93.3% of threshold power. for mathematical purposes this value is squared to give .93*.93=0.868, this is known as intensity fraction IF. then this value is multiplied by duration. in this case 0.5 hours, therefore the TSS of this workout is .434. he then multiplies by 100 to give nicer numbers=43 TSS
if you assume Tinman tempo pace is 95% of threshold pace and CV is 105% of threshold pace, and use that instead of power (power in cycling =pace in running) and then compare the aforementioned workouts that tcl proposed you get very similar figures to the results Tinman reported for Total stress of a workout. probably due to my innacuracies in guesstimating CV and TT relative to threshold running speed. this method is really good at showing you haw the vast majority of your improvement as a distance athlete comes from the volume of training carried out at 70-75% of threshold speed. 2 hours at 75% of threshold speed is a greater aerobic stress than 1 hour at threshold....ill tell you know which one is the most sustainable daily.

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Re: Tempo duration

Post by Tinman » Sun Aug 05, 2012 12:24 pm

Thanks for the insight about Coggan and Allen's system. I bought his book yesterday and I am reading it with interest. So far, I gather that his 1 hour "threshold" is based on a 20-minute full effort on a bike. Then, he uses a standard 95% of that result as the estimated 1-hour threshold pace. My concern is that varies and the 95% rate is an estimate. I've tested cyclists who perform at 90% level, so their functional threshold power will not match the estimated result of the system. I'm not disparaging their system, but I think it would have been better to use the 20-minute test and use fractions of it as the metric for grading quality of workouts. I think anytime you estimate, you risk error. The 20-minute test is a viable one, and it would relevant to use it for evaluation and for gauging workouts.

In my opinion, if one is going to estimate, it would be wise to use two references, rather than one. I would use a 6-7-minute test, and then a 25-30-minute test. I've done with with cyclists for many years, and it is a better estimate of their threshold than a one-off test that is 1/3rd the approximate time of the threshold power. Let me give a realistic comparison. Let's say that you are a 1500m runner. I give you a 500m time-trial at full effort and then estimate your 1500m race-time. How accurate do you think that will be? But, if I gave you a 300m test and an 800m test, then use a formula that shows how much power/speed you are losing between those two distance, I can provide you with a 1500m time that is quite accurate. And, I can tell you that I have done this for 1500m, 1600m, and milers in the past, and the result of the actual race is usually within 2 seconds.

My formula for calculating stress points is complex. It is based on your average recent 5k time. If you are one who has a lot of speed and lack endurance, I use two assessments. One could be an 400-800m test. The other can be a 1500-2400m test, if a runner has no 5000m time to use. 

I believe the real challenge is comparing interval/non-continuous runs. My formulas have several components, and I can compare interval workouts accurately. If you use the Coggan-Allen system, you have to use Normalized Power to estimate training stress. It's okay, but it can't be used accurately for running. My system adjusts for 5km reference time, repetition length, recovery interval time, and training pace. A workout of 4 x 1600m interval, for example, at 5:00 pace with a 2-minute interval provides a different stress than 8 x 800m at 2:30 with a 1-minute interval.  They are the same volume same pace, and have equivalent recovery times, but the 4 x 1600m workout is harder than than the 8 x 800m workout. My formulas show exactly how much more stress one workout is compared to another, and I can show any continuous run stress points too and compare it to any workout. It's a fun thin to do - compare workouts and compare distance runs.  :)

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Re: Tempo duration

Post by XPherior » Sun Aug 05, 2012 1:49 pm

Tinman,

Out of curiosity, what areas of math do you utilize to create your complex formulas for this? No specifics about the formula needed, just piqued my interest about the combination of math and exercise science.

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Re: Tempo duration

Post by Tinman » Mon Aug 06, 2012 3:00 pm

I use logarithms and powers in combination. Also, for the interval workout analysis, there are 7 steps to finding the result. It's something that a person must spend hundreds, if not thousands, of hours over years of study to derive. I read a book recently, Talent is Overrated, and it says that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert at anything. I must agree with that.  People who see me come up with formulas, on the spot, would say, "How did you do that?" I honestly can only answer about two-thirds of it was logically developed. There is a third that is intuitive. My gut tells me which direction to go with a formula and how that pathway will lead to a common area where other solutions can be formed; and my intuition knows that another solution will be present when I get to the next common point. It's very hard to show it in person. I've had math guys sit next to me, as I derive a formula over a 2-4 hour period of time, and they say, "I have no idea how you finally came up with that formula." I reply that I didn't either. I know how things work together, and it's sort of like watching someone who has the ability to write music or listen to music on a radio for the first time and play it back. To me, I can't fathom how they can do that. Yet, I relate to the intuitive element of the developmental process. I believe that intuition isn't mythical or unearthly; I believe it is based on a lot of practice and understanding what things mean in context, and how to connect contexts together. Maybe it's an ability to recognize, sort of like watching the best tennis players in the world move to their left or right before the ball is hit or how a elite baseball player recognizes the spin of a baseball as it leaves a pitchers hand, even though the ball is going over 90 miles per hour? My graduate professor, who taught one course called Biomechanics, and the other course was Motor Learning, said and proved to my class one day that world class athletes don't have better reflexes. We all thought that they did, but research shows that they do not. They have other skills which makes it appear as though they have better reflexes. One skill is anticipation. They know what is likely to happen. The next is recognition. They recognize cues. The third is response. They know how to respond to a given situation. Fourth is fine-motor control. They don't overwork their response. They don't swing a racket, for example, too hard in response to a 125 mph tennis serve. They are precise in their response, not quicker. I think what I can do with formulas is sort of like that. I can't explain all of it, but I can anticipate, recognize, respond, and control my actions with some precision that creates a very good result. Yes, after the fact, I can explain to others why each part of the formula is necessary and its purpose, but while I am creating the formula, I ask myself a question, and then I respond to what intuition tells me. Later, during analysis and reflection, I find words to describe the various elements of the formulas and the reasons why those elements are needed.

Sorry for the long response! I guess my mind is in a philosophical mode today. Ever get that?

Regards,

Tom
Last edited by Tinman on Mon Aug 06, 2012 3:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tempo duration

Post by BoilerTom90 » Mon Aug 06, 2012 3:52 pm

All I have to say is if you use this technique to come up with your running calculator, it works.  The times it predicted for my 800m and 1500m races from a recent 5K were scary close to actual.  Other calculators were way too generous in their predictions for shorter races.

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Re: Tempo duration

Post by XPherior » Mon Aug 06, 2012 5:26 pm

Funny, I recently read that book too. Great read. I understand where you're coming from in that description. Not much to add to it, that explanation seems logical to me (especially if you're familiar with the contents of that book).

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Re: Tempo duration

Post by runkona » Tue Aug 07, 2012 3:49 am

Coggans TSS method was mentioned... i just looked up what TSS  and how it came about- it was modeled after the heart rate-based training impulse (TRIMP)

In relation to running and what the stress value score is, just as on the bike using the power and its relationship to FTP, the power or wattage is now replaced using a normalized graded pace (NGP) that adjust for changes in elevation. This is  relative to functional threshold pace bearing in mind it is also used in consideration of the time spent running. The end result is the calculation if I remember takes in the factors of intensity ( as a % of  NGP to FTP), the time running, and NGP. All represented as a function of time in an hour. So I guess the end result being you can run hills, tempos, intervals CV, or TP, or track and the formula will take in all the considerations to make the outcome a level playing field comparing apples to apples. You will still get an answer , or in this case a stress score where it is called 'rTSS'


I use training peaks software to track my cycling and running and swimming. Yes they have even now developed a formula for swimming called sTSS,  The notion of being able to see a running CV set I did today I can compare each 5 CV workouts and they are rated by TSS. Looking more closely I can take this workout added to the weeks training I'll be doing, plus the long run, the net result being a stress score for the week and for the month. In time, and over several weeks I can slowly build the stress score then as a easy week comes around the score is then adjusted again. The big picture being those daily runs we do, all then make up a bigger picture to look at our training progression.
Last edited by runkona on Tue Aug 07, 2012 3:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tempo duration

Post by Tinman » Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:14 pm

Sounds like the assessment has a rational and logical basis!

My only concern about using TRIMP, with which I am familiar, is that heart rate doesn't necessarily, and often does not, represent metabolic stress for an athlete. Heart, which is the basis of TRIMP, varies with temperature, hydration, electrolytes, glucose, cognitive perception, and hormonal depletion or repletion. And, heart rate is delayed. It takes 30 seconds or more to level heart rate for easy paces, and it takes about 8 minutes to level heart rate for fast/hard paces. Overal, TRIMP is fine, but it's really useful if you use the exact same pace, recoveries, etc. Then, and only then, can you compare apples to apples. For example, if you run on a treadmill and do 2-minute reps at 10mph and use a 1 minute standing recovery (off the belt on the treadmill, of course), and you do the same number of reps, after the exact same warm up and you have the same ambient temperature and humidity, then you can show progression or regression in fitness using TRIMP.

Regards,

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Re: Tempo duration

Post by dkggpeters » Sun Aug 26, 2012 6:59 pm

The nice thing about rTSS is it is not heart rate based.  It is based off your Threshold Pace and an intensity factor is calculated off of this.  The formula is as follows:

rTSS = workout duration  in sec/3600 * IF^2 * 110

NP = Normalized pace (pace adjusted for elevation changes)
IF = Threshold Pace/NP  (ie -  Threshold pace = 7:00, pace during run is 8:00, IF = 7/8 = .875

By using the above the easier you run the lower the TSS is as the IF is squared and the reverse occurs if running over threshold pace (ie = IF = .8 would become .64 in the equation.  For an intense session running at 6 pace would be the reverse IF = 7/6^2 = 1.36)

To calculate correctly you need a program like Training Peaks or WKO+ which uses your GPS workout data and calculates for each data point.  This is important as you can do an interval session and the avg pace may only be 8:00 as per the above which would create a low TSS which would be invalid as you placed the body under a lot of stress.  The software adjusts for this.

As with any mathematical calculation trying to quantify stress it has its limitations as well, although, I find it to be sound in trying to quantify training stress.

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Re: Tempo duration

Post by Captainblood » Tue Dec 31, 2013 3:24 pm

Been going through some of the old threads because I am a running nerd and I find this stuff unbelievably interesting.  Posting on here because I was racing very well (5k) earlier in the year after I started running 2 tempo runs a week (20 minute at 6:40 pace and a 40 minute at 7:00).  I wasn't doing a lot of hard workouts previous to this and after 3 or 4 weeks I mainly focused on the 20 minute tempo because I considered it more 5k race specific (dropped it down to 3 miles at 6:00 pace and the longer tempo to 6 miles at 6:30 pace).

After reading a lot of Hudson, Daniels, and this thread it got me thinking.  Hudson considers 10k pace to be the best pace for aerobic support for the 5k.  Since the 5k is 80% aerobic am I better served running a 20 minute tempo at 6:15 or a 40 minute tempo at 6:30 (I surround both runs with a warmup and cooldown so the total mileage is 10 miles both days)?

Honestly the 20 minute tempo takes more out of me and I feel pretty fresh the next day after a 40 minute tempo.  And this discussion seems to indicate I am accomplishing more with a 40 minute tempo.  I ran fewer and fewer 40 minute tempos as I started to peak and my results plateaued.  I gained fitness and my workouts became faster and easier, but faster race times were harder to come by.  Would a steady weekly diet of three easy 10 mile runs, a 20 minute tempo, a moderate-hard 10 mile hill run, and a hard interval session (60 miles total) be ignoring my aerobic system in pursuit of speed?

It seems to me at the very least I should keep the 40 minute tempo as a weekly or bi-weekly run for aerobic support as I progress through the faster training phases and maybe even begin doing a 60 minute tempo.  It's a moderate workout for me and I can recover easily enough to fit in 2 more harder workouts in a week.  Marginalizing the 40 minute tempo seemed to have been a mistake in light of what is being discussed on this thread.  More bang for the buck and easier on my body.
Last edited by Captainblood on Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Tempo duration

Post by Captainblood » Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:24 pm

Today I decided to do a long tempo run.  I looked at Daniel's charts and some of Tinman's formulas and I decided on a 9 mile run at 6:40 pace.  I've been doing my 3 mile tempos at 6:15, my 6 mile tempos at 6:27, so 6:40 seemed reasonable.  It was the also the pace I did my first 3 mile tempo run at 7 months ago.  I figured I would feel pretty good if I could maintain the pace of my previous 3 mile tempo run for triple the distance.

All in all it was an easy run.  I would probably rate it as a 6 or 6.5 out of 10.  I found it mentally taxing more than physically taxing.  Since I do this on a zero degree treadmill in my mind I equate this to 6:55 pace.  My heartrate was at 162 after the tempo so firmly in the middle of 80% to 90% HR that Daniels indicates for Marathon pace (which he indicates should be 6:49 pace).

Basically I did a mile warmup, 9 miles at marathon pace, and a mile warmdown.  Now here is my question for the braniacs of this website.  If I plan to focus on 5k and 10ks (and eventually longer distances) what system am I stressing with this workout and is it a waste of time and effort relative to other workouts for intermediate distance events?

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Re: Tempo duration

Post by monica » Mon Jan 06, 2014 6:37 pm

[quote="dkggpeters"]
The nice thing about rTSS is it is not heart rate based.  It is based off your Threshold Pace and an intensity factor is calculated off of this.
[/quote]

A question. I can see how HR is variable, but wouldn't threshold pace be variable too? You wouldn't be capable of the same performance every time you test yourself. Most likely dependent on the same factors as HR.

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