Calculating intensity balance in TrainingPeaks | 80/20 Endurance

Calculating intensity balance in TrainingPeaks

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    I’m planning to start a maintenance plan, but I currently have no access to a pool, so I’m planning to stick to just running & bike workouts. Due to my schedule I’m really only able to get in a single workout in a day. If I’m going to tweak the maintenance plan to replace swimming with additional run/bike time, is there an easy way to be sure the 80/20 balance stays correct without calculating the total intensity for the whole week’s workouts?

    David Warden


    For Pace and Power, yes. For HR, sort of. Within TrainingPeaks (or whatever platform you use, as long as it tracks time per custom zone like TP) open the Dashboard and choose the chart Time in Power (or Pace or HR) zones.

    Note that TP does not rename the zones in this chart to the 80/20 system, it just uses an ordinal scale. So in this chart:

    Zone 1 = Zone 1
    2 = 2
    3 = X
    4 = 3
    5 = Y
    6 = 4
    7 = 5

    Then you can break down your time in each zone. In this case, you’ll want 80% of your time in Zones 1 and 2, and 20% in the other 5. The reason it works for Pace and Power and not as much for HR is that changing zones with Pace and Power is almost instant. You can go from 200 watts to 250 watts in a coupe of seconds However, with HR, your BPM must “pass through” Zone 2, X, 3, Y and 4 on the way to Zone 5, and then again on the way back down. This results in an artificial amount of time reported in those middle zones. Something like 70/30 in the chart is about “real” 80/20 when using that chart for HR.



    Thanks!! I’ll check it out.


    It looks like Time in Power (or Pace or HR) charts only shows data from completed workouts, is that right? Is there some way to see the planned time in zones if I’m modifying planned workouts for a week to maintain the 80/20 balance?

    David Warden


    I’d love this feature in TP, but it’s not there yet. I’ve made the request (I have a list of 31 enhancements submitted to TP, originally 37) but it’s not a top priority for them.

    It’s a real hole in the process though, right? We can beat our 80/20 drums, but if someone wants to implement it, it’s not easy.

    We do cover the precise exact process of planning 80/20 ratios in a custom plan in Chapter 8 of our book 80/20 Triathlon (the process described applies to running as well) but again, it’s not easy in that chapter either! But, that’s the exact process I use as a coach when creating a custom plan. It’s really just basic math: 10 hours of total planned training = 8 hours planned Zone 1-2 and 2 hours planned >Zone X.

    Your point is taken, though, ideally this would be a chart that updates in real-time in TP.


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