Training Metrics

Joe Friel provides an overview of the key training metrics that help coaches quantify training load and plan for performance.

“If your athlete’s FTP is wrong, then a lot of the other things you’re going to be making decisions about will be wrong—so let’s get that right.”


In this video, Joe Friel explains some of the key metrics used in determining training load, such as frequency, intensity, duration, normalized power (NP), normalized graded pace (NGP), Training Stress Score (TSS), intensity factor (IF), and Functional Threshold Power (FTP). He underscores the importance of making sure your athlete’s FTP is correct, as it is the backbone from which you create and build your athlete’s training plan.

Friel said: “It’s important to remember that FTP is only helpful if it is accurate. If an athlete is training hard and FTP improves, training zones need to be adjusted to reflect the new FTP or the athlete might not gain as much benefit from the training.” 

He advises retesting FTP every 6 weeks to be sure it’s an accurate reflection of where your athlete is in their training progression. Friel added: “Keep an eye on their training data, as data from a hard group ride or threshold interval training can be a good way to spot changes. While much of the software available will provide an estimation of FTP, avoid reacting to minor fluctuations. After all, it’s an estimate. Be sure to weigh other factors that reflect the athlete’s progression.”

Video Transcript

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