While TrainingPeaks’ online analysis tool is one of, if not, the most popular tool for analyzing training data, WKO5 (which is also a TrainingPeaks product) is a much more powerful tool. Coach Trevor Connor has been using the software for over a decade, and in this workshop, he shares some of his favorite features.
First, he covers the tool’s greatest asset: charts. Users have the ability to create their own, but if you don’t have programming experience or interest, there is also a robust shared library. Coach Connor has also made available seven of his favorite charts below.
Here is a brief description of each of the seven charts:
- Training Trends: Indicates how the the athlete has been training, and includes the PMC, weekly TSS and volume, ramp rate, and daily distribution.
- Distributions: Includes distributions over various time frames
- Profile Physio: Illustrates a rider’s profile and trends as a rider, and includes a PMC with variations and FTP metrics and trends.
- Profile Peaks: Illustrates weekly and monthly peaks and trends, which are most valuable. Coach Connor enjoys the MNP, which can indicate what systems are being developed
- Profile Relative: This will help you see how you measure up against your competition. You can compare you efforts and metrics relative to other athletes in your same demographic.
- Ride Overview: Everything you need to see to understand how the workout went for the athlete. Gives an in-depth overview of a specific ride.
- Long Term: Can help you see trends in your traning and data over time. This is espeically helpful and insteresting for athletes who have multiple years of data to look at.
Finally, Coach Connor dives into another of his favorite features: dashboards, which are simply a collection of related charts. The power of dashboards comes from grouping similar items to analyze, organizing them in a hierarchical manner, and allowing for some “storytelling” with each grouping.
Trevor Connor 00:00
WKO is a step up from TrainingPeaks, and it’s designed more for coaches. It offers a more detailed look into every aspect of data analysis. Over the years, I’ve personally created a group of new graphs and dashboards in WKO, to help me better understand what’s going on with my athletes. Today, I’m going to show you some of my favorite features that helped me to see the big picture, and just for Fast Talk Labs members, I’ve made all these graphs and dashboards available for you to download and start using in your own training.
Welcome to Fast Talk Laboratories, your source for the science of endurance performance.
Trevor Connor 00:50
So, we’re going to take a dive now into WKO, and I should preface this by saying this is not an intro course. So, I’m assuming all of you have some experience with WKO, you’re not looking for me to explain the basics to you, if that’s what you need, they’ve got some great intros on their website, I’d suggest checking those out before you come back and look at this video.
Coach Connor’s Favorite Features on WKO and How He Uses Them
Trevor Connor 01:13
What I’m going to be focusing on today is some of the features that I really like about WKO, and how I use it. The great thing about WKO is its customizability, you can create a chart that does almost anything. So, you’re looking right now at one of my screens, you can see there are all these charts on this particular screen. So, these are put together in what’s called a dashboard, you see I have a bunch of dashboards that look like tabs basically up at the top. Each dashboard has this group of charts, and WKO is extraordinarily sophisticated in the charts that you can create. It does require a little bit of a programming language, a little bit of understanding of how to use it. So, for example, if you go to their “Help,” they have what’s called their “Expression Guide.” For those of you who are familiar with Excel, this is a lot like Excel, where it has all its expressions, and you can use these expressions to create a whole lot of different charts, but as you can see, there’s a giant list of them. Fortunately, they’re searchable, so you can try to find the expression that does what you need, certainly would not want to memorize all this, but there is a learning curve, it’s going to take you a while to learn how to put together your own charts, how to customize them the way you want, I put a lot of hours into it, probably well over 100, found it was worth it, and it was quite neat what you can make. But even there, if you get WKO and you don’t really want to learn how to program the charts yourself, they do have a shared library. So, if I click on this little pulldown menu within the dashboard, I can say “Add an Existing Chart,” and you’ll see a whole bunch of chart libraries is going to pop up here. So, I have my primary chart library, you can see there’s some that I’ve created, there’s a bunch of WKO chart libraries. If I click on all charts here, you can see there is a giant list here of charts, and this has been created by a whole bunch of coaches, a bunch of people over at WKO, anybody can share a chart here and you can take a look through and see if there’s one that does exactly what you’re looking for.
Trevor Connor 03:31
So, I am actually going to share all the dashboards and charts that I’m going to show you today, but that’s going to be on our website, that’s just going to be for you members of our program, feel free to download these and pull them into WKO if you like what I’m showing you.
Trevor Connor 03:50
So, let’s now take a dive into this, show you the charts, again that I use. The last thing I will say is you could really see the personality of the coach in the sort of charts that they create. So, you’re really going to be getting my personality, my way of coaching, the way I like to do things. Look at what other people have created, take a look at some of the dashboards that other coaches have created to see if there are some there that really fit the way you like to do things.
Training Trend Dashboard
Trevor Connor 04:22
So, with that, I’m going to start by showing you workouts. So, again, I’ve clicked on workouts over here, you could see that there are a bunch of these dashboards within a workout view as well. So, this is just looking at an individual workout. So, what I’m going to show you is the ride overview dashboard that I put together. This is where I spend most of my time when I’m analyzing one of my athlete’s workouts, it really has everything that I need to see to really get a sense of how the workout went, what they accomplished, what worked, what didn’t work. So, you can see at the top, I have basic information about the workout. This is, as a description, the title, you can see it’ll have average speed, average heart rate, power, TSS, all that sort of information in it, down here, you can see that information expanded out a little more. So, this is just text information, give me some of the basic numbers that I might want to look at, such as, what was the elapsed time of the ride? What was the moving time? TSS? Average power? All that sort of information. Up here shows the breakdown of the workout in terms of a three-zone model and a five-zone model or six-zone model for power over on this side. This also gives me a sense of how did they distribute this work? You can see this one certainly did a fair amount of high-intensity, but still, the bulk of the workout was more in that zone-one. So, this workout was an INSCYD test, I think that really will give you a nice visual of what some of these graphs do.
Trevor Connor 06:02
I’m going to show you the three that I really try to focus on. So, this first one here, this is just their heart rate overlaid on top of their heart rate zones that are color-coded. So, this gives me a real sense of where they were going hard, where they were going easy, and whether they were at the right intensity. Being an INSCYD test, you can see here’s what they did some really short sprints, here’s where they did the three-minute effort, here’s where they did their six-minute effort, and I think this was a 12-minute effort, but very clearly laid out when you see that heart rate on top of those zones, and seeing that in these last two efforts really in-depth threshold range.
Trevor Connor 06:41
Down below is a similar sort of idea with power, but it’s color-coded power. So, again, you’ll see the heart rate line here, but down here, there are different colored bars, if you zoomed in, you’ll see there’s just a whole bunch of little bars, is what’s called the power heat map. So, any of you who use Zwift, you’re probably familiar with this. So, when they’re going easy, the power is going to be colored getting blue, maybe a little bit of green, green is starting to get into that sweet spot range, but you can certainly see here, light blue and blue. When you’re in that more threshold range, you’re gonna see yellow and orange, and when your above threshold, getting more into that anaerobic capacity, you’re going to see that dark red or maroon color here. So, here again, you have a visual that you can look at very quickly and clearly see, when were they putting out efforts? What sort of efforts were they putting out? And the consistency of the workout, I like this one because you can see this athlete was down in that blue in between the efforts making sure they were recovering, and then you can see the efforts really were some pretty consistent and probably about where they should be for the length of the effort. So, this was actually a really good test, and you can see that from those color-coding.
Trevor Connor 08:01
This next graph, I’m actually going to show you in a minute because it’s been messed up a little bit by this INSCYD test, so I’ll cover it with a better ride that shows what it’s about. So, let’s move down to this one. This shows decline in FRC, functional reserve capacity, another common term for that is watt prime. This is this concept that we have a certain amount of energy above threshold that we can tap into, and when you are tapping into it, you are depleting it, and once it hits zero, you don’t have anything left. It’s not that you can’t keep riding, it’s just you can’t go above threshold at that point. If you’re in a race and you hit that point, you could be in a little bit of trouble. So, it’s a good thing to look at. Every athlete in WKO has an estimate of where their current FRC is at. So, you can see this athlete, he’s right at 11.7, that’s not very high. So, you could see during the INSCYD test, whenever he started doing an effort, this started declining rapidly, and you can see in two of the efforts, he went below zero. So, you’re not supposed to be able to do that, once you hit zero, you got nothing left to tap into. So, what this indicates is at the time of this test, WKO was probably underestimating his FRC a little bit, and I didn’t take a look, but my guess is the estimate of as FRC went up a little bit after this particular test. This can be really helpful when you’re trying to analyze your own race, or one of your athletes’ races because what you want to see with this decline in FRC is ranges like this. So, in a race is going to go down, you just don’t want to see it go down too far. If you see an athlete in a race, go down to zero, that means they’re in trouble because if somebody attacks, they’re not gonna have anything to respond to that, they’re just going to be able to go that kind of semi-hard steady, that’s about it. So, if you’re seeing an athlete constantly hitting zero and they’re getting popped in races, this is an area to work on, you need to build that anaerobic capacity, build that watt prime, so they have a little more to tap into, and they’re not cooking themselves. So, good graph to look at, especially when you’re looking at races or high-intensity work.
Power Duration Curve
Trevor Connor 10:14
Last graph I’m going to show you here before I go to a different workout is this one over here, this is kind of a fun one that I really like, so this shows the athletes power duration curve, but then what it does is it shows just for this workout, any sort of peak wattages that they hit. So, if it’s red, that means it was a 90-day best, if it was blue, that means it’s a 500-day bass. So, you can see, this was a real good workout for this athlete, from basically, about 30-seconds all the way out to about 12-minutes, was hitting all sorts of peaks, either 90-day or the 500-day. So, good, hard workout, I would look at this and say that was a very good INSCYD test where this athlete was giving it everything, he’s got based on all those graphs. Now, every one of these dashboards, I’m not going to show you every single graph, I do try to put these graphs in some sort of order of importance in terms of how I use them. So, the lower down you go, the less likely it is I am to look at it, but I do like having some of these graphs either for very specialty purposes, or I’m trying out a new graph that I discovered and want to see what it’s about. So, for this presentation, I’m really going to focus on the upper part of each dashboard.
Trevor Connor 11:31
Now, the last thing I said I would show you with a different workout, this is a chart that was designed by Dr. Seiler, he put it together in his tool, which is called Injira, but he and I together figured out how to put it together into WKO. It’s not perfect, but it’s not bad. What makes it not perfect is you must go into the coding for the chart, and just to give you an idea of what this coding looks like, so if you go to “Configure this Chart,” I can show you, here, this is the coding down here, and you can see, this actually gets quite complicated. That one’s not too bad. One of them is quite long. Basically, the idea here is this chart looks at your cardiac drift over the course of a ride, so it’s good for longer rides. The idea here is there’s this dotted line here, which is the one point, it represents just one. So, this is your present of your heart rate reserve to your present of FTP. And again, if you’re fresh, that ratio should be a one to one, the way we have it coded. So, if you are seeing this green line here, move away from the dotted line and start to increase as you see it on this ride, that means that you’re seeing some cardiac drift. So, just a good visual of his athletes seeing any cardiac drift, and how much are they seeing? So, ignore this beginning, it always takes about 10-minutes before you start getting some good data, but notice this athlete is sitting close to the dotted line, and then around the three, four-hour mark, you see this athlete starts going up. So, can be a useful metric, just be careful, there is a little bit of noise in here. If they’re doing a decent and they’re not pedaling, you’re going to see weird things happening with that green line, you can also see at the end of this workout, there was a little bit of weirdness here that I don’t think represents what was going on, but the overall trend is a pretty good one. So, that’s some of the workout graphs that I like to use, and again, we will post this on the website.
Trevor Connor 13:43
Now, let’s take a look at some of the longer-term dashboards that are looking at trends over time in the athletes. Again, I already said this, but I’m going to emphasize this, you’re seeing my personality as a coach in these particular dashboards, how I like to look at athletes, so I’m going to explain all that, but again, I just want to point out, every coach is going to build dashboards differently, and it’s a really good thing to take a look at both what other people are doing and then figure out what you want to do. The one big thing I recommend is to take advantage of these dashboards. One thing I don’t like seeing is when you just got a whole mishmash of charts together all looking at different things. To me, it’s then very hard to see what’s going on with the athlete. So, as you’ll see, as I take you through mine, each dashboard has a singular purpose, something I’m really trying to focus on that when you look at the charts within that dashboard it gives you really good information about that one aspect of their training or what we’re trying to look at and that athlete. So, I really recommend when you build your dashboards or when you grab dashboards, think of it in terms of, what am I trying to accomplish with this dashboard? Make that dashboard, serve that one purpose and then just build other dashboards for other purposes. To give you an example, so here’s one that I didn’t build, this is built by Tim, who’s the creator of WKO, he’s a coach himself, a very successful coach, and he is a big fan of this power duration curve. And again, I’m assuming some knowledge, I’m not going to explain the power duration curve, we do have content on our website that explains what it’s about, so if you’re wondering what this is, go look at that first, and then come back. Tim is a huge fan of the power duration curve, he feels it tells a lot about the athlete, so you can see he built a hold dashboard that is all about the power duration curve, starts with the curve at the top, this is the classic curve, basic information about the athlete, some of their key assets, but as you go down, he has some quite interesting information that dives into a little bit more of the power duration curve. Now, one of them is he’s a big believer that you need to massage the power duration curve, meaning you need to be going out and doing efforts at different lengths to keep that curve looking realistic. If you go back up, so a mistake I will see quite often is over in this end, it’s trying to show, what is your peak power? So, this particular athlete, you can see is up a little above 1100 watts, now if this athlete spent the next 48-days and didn’t do a single sprint, never broke 800 watts, the shape of this curve would change quite dramatically, this end of the curve would drop down below 800, and it would start telling you all sorts of information about this athlete that’s not accurate, in terms of what type of athlete they are, where their strengths are at because dropping down this end of the curve is actually going to reshape the entire curve. So, it’s very important if you’re using that power duration curve, you’re massaging it, and Tim created this graph, which is quite a unique graph that he explains, I think on the website, there’s a video where he explains it, that looks at points that seem a little low. So, you can see right here at about 23 seconds, these athletes a little low, over here, 33-minutes, it’s a little low, to massage that power duration curve to keep it accurate, he would have his athletes go out and do efforts of about those legs. If you come down here, you can see three boxes that identify those low points and say, you going to keep your power duration curve accurate, these are the durations you need to go out and hit. So, he would have his athlete go out and do a 23-second effort, a nine-minute effort, and about a 33–34-minute effort.
Performance Management Chart
Trevor Connor 17:38
So, that’s just an example of really seeing the personality of the coach or the athlete in how they build these dashboards. So, now I’m going to take you through mine. I always start with training trends. The purpose of this dashboard, for me, is to look at not how strong is the athlete, not what peaks have they hit, and I will say, I see this all the time where athletes get very excited, “What’s my best five-minute power?” Or “What’s my best 20-minute power?” They build all those charts they are always looking at those peaks, I think that’s valuable, and certainly can build confidence, but that doesn’t tell me anything about, how has the athlete been training? What are the trends in their physiology? Which direction are they going in? So, you’re going to see those peak numbers are actually one of the last dashboards I look at in an athlete, I first want to see what’s been going? How have they been training? What’s going on in their physiology? Those are the sort of things I want to see first. The first and most important to me is this one, the training trends. This is just looking at what’s been going on with their training. So, obviously start with a PMC, again, I’m not going to explain that we do explain it on the website, and if you’re unfamiliar with it, I recommend going and checking that out. A PMC is basically a graph of what’s been going on with this athlete’s training? How are they progressing? Are they progressing? Are they getting stronger? Are they getting weaker? So, that to me is kind of the obvious thing to start with. Now, you’re going to notice this is over a long timeframe, again, I’m assuming familiarity with WKO, if you look over here, you can set different durations to look at. So, let’s say if I said I just want to look at 30 days, you’ll see all the graphs change. So, now I’ve only seen data for this athlete for the last 30 days. My favorite view is the last 500 days, plus eight days in the future. So, if I map out a week of training for that athlete, a lot of these charts are going to show estimates of what the next week is going to look like for them. So, I’m going to basically stay on this duration here, but there is a lot of power and WKO to set different durations. You can see for this athlete, 2018 season, last four years, I’ve got all these different durations set to get different information about this athlete to see how they were doing a different time point. If you want to create one of these durations, you can add one here, just by clicking that “Add” button, or if you want to edit one, so if I edit this, you can see I give it a title, from is just today minus 500, meaning 500, starting 500 days ago, and then I have two today plus eight days. So, eight days into the future, it’s easy to do. The reason I like that sort of duration, that 500 days, is it really tells me not only how’s the athlete has been doing recently, but it allows me to compare him to the past. So, for example, you look at their PMC here, you can see, if you look short-term, they had a spring where they were training pretty hard and their CTL was quite high, then we took a break, so you can see CTL dropped quite a lot, and now we’re building it back up, and if things continue as they’re going, we should have him back to about the level he was at in the spring pretty soon. You can also see this good steady build during the base period. But now over here you see last year and what I like to see here is in terms of CTL, this athlete is much higher than they really ever were last year. So, at their best last year, they were sitting around kind of 95-98 CTL, this year, they were sitting up closer to 120-150, or I’m sorry, around 110. So, a level higher, and hopefully that reflects in their training, and we’ll talk more about that as I take you through more graphs.
Trevor Connor 21:36
So, over here, this is a chart of their TSS, but it’s by week, so you see the total for a week. Now, I’ve talked about TSS before, and the fact that you do have to be careful with it. It has its limitations, and one of the limitations is it doesn’t tell you how that training stress was generated. So, two athletes could come out of a week with the exact same total TSS, but one could do it by all high-intensity intervals, and maybe 10 hours, the other one could do it by all low-intensity, long rides just doing 25 hours, but they end up with the same TSS. So, you always must take this with a grain of salt but assuming the athlete is doing the right type of training, I have other ways obviously of looking at that, this can be a good guide to see basically how hard they have been training, particularly relative to how they’ve been doing in the past. So, with this athlete, what I’ve seen is we’ve had this tendency in the past even in the spring, to sit and train around a 700-750 TSS, that really hasn’t been working for him. So, now we’re going to make a modification, and you can see the last two weeks, he’s been training up close to 900 TSS, this week, I’m going to have him back down to about 400, make it more of kind of a recovery week, then we’ll do a couple more weeks, hopefully, a little over 900. So, hitting with a couple of hard weeks, and then backing down, then another couple really hard weeks, and see how he responds to that versus that just constant 700 TSS. So, you could see, you can get some interesting trends, just even looking at that.
Trevor Connor 23:12
What helps is to look at that chart alongside this chart, which is their weekly volume. What I like here is you can see that while we’re generating much bigger TSS for this athlete, we’re doing it mostly by adding more hours to his week. So, you can see the last two weeks have been much bigger than his typical week in the past, and our hope is that’s really going to improve his training. This chart over here is just monthly volume, just useful to see, particularly, you can look at it compared to the previous years, but also how every month has been shaping up, and I get a good sense for each athlete about how much volume they can handle before it starts to be a real struggle for them, and like to see, are they above that or below that? And what are the overall trends?
Trevor Connor 24:01
Moving down, this is a chart that somebody else built that I really like and have grabbed, made a couple minor modifications to it, but this is ramp rate. So, the idea here is it’s basically saying how rapidly is the CTL up on the PMC growing, how rapidly is it going up or down? They added these dotted lines to basically say, ideally, you should be in between these dotted lines, that’s where you’re going to see good improvement without cooking yourself. Now, I do find it a useful guideline, you can see this athlete had a very good base period and that whole base period, he was between the dotted line so that seems to actually work pretty well for this particular athlete. The only thing I will say is I find every athlete is a little bit different, I’ve worked with some athletes that can be way over this dotted red line up here and do just fine, I’ve seen other athletes that need to stay very low down here, otherwise, they start feeling pretty cooked and need to take a break. So, you can use this, but if you use it for yourself or one of your athletes get to know where around you or that athlete wants to be.
Trevor Connor 25:11
So, again, there’s a whole lot of other charts here, I’m not going to cover every single one, maybe the only other one that’s worth mentioning, and I do like looking here at how much off-the-bike work is the athlete doing. This is a chart of just that time, everything but their time on the bike. The overall purpose of this dashboard is to look at, what is going on with this athlete’s training? As you’ve seen, I haven’t talked at all about how strong are they? What sort of wattage are they putting out? That’s for later, this is just how’s their training going?
Trevor Connor 25:45
The next dashboard just dives into one aspect of this, this is the distribution. So, how their training is distributed across a five-zone, or sorry, power of a six-zone model here, and I love Dr. Seiler’s three-zone model. So, you have your aerobic threshold, which is that lower threshold where you start to accumulate lactate, and you have your anaerobic or lactate threshold, which is what you think of when you’re thinking of FTP, and the idea is zone one is below the aerobic threshold, sone two is between the two thresholds, and then zone three is that hard high-intensity work that’s above the lactate or anaerobic threshold. So, a very simple three-zone model based on our physiology, so you can see, these top charts are based completely on that. So, look at this blue one, blue, yellow, and maroon one over here. This is just those three zones by week, and it shows you the distribution for this athlete based on their power and heart rate. So, you can see this athlete recently has been doing around 80% or more of their time in that zone one, and then a nice distribution across zone two and zone three. We just actually recorded a video talking about polarizing through the season, where we really explain how to look at this, and why and cyclists, you tend to see more zone two, not going to go into that now, but I would recommend checking out that video if you’re wondering why there’s so much zone two here. The short version is it’s because it’s being done by power and heart rate, and so you’re going to see an athlete kind of touch the edges of that zone two, and WKO, or whatever software you’re using, doesn’t differentiate that much, so it’s going to start looking like you’re accumulating time, when really this athlete I know is either going really hard to go and pretty easy. Now, another interesting thing to see about this athlete was we were having issues in the spring, he was feeling fatigued all the time, and you can see back then he was doing less than 70% of his time in zone one, so that’s one of the things we’ve been correcting. I’ve been very happy about the fact that we now have backed about 80% zone one, as you saw in that previous chart, he’s now upwards of 900 TSS. So, this is where I want to see this athlete, putting out a lot of training stress, but mostly on zone one, and he’s handling it very well, and I think he’s going to come out stronger for this.
Trevor Connor 28:16
This chart over here is very similar, but instead of just being based on 100%, every week, it shows the total volume for the week. So, you can see these two weeks are bigger because he was doing bigger volume, and you can see the absolute time that he was doing in each zone. So, again, I like the fact that you can see he didn’t reduce the amount of high-intensity work he was doing, if anything, it’s as big or a little bigger than it was before, he’s just really ramped up that zone one work, which is why we’re seeing that better percentages over here. So, good change in that athlete.
Trevor Connor 28:50
Moving on down, you’ll see just a bunch of different distributions. So, here’s the three zones just by heart rate for last week, here are the three zones by power just for last week, here is my heart rate distribution on a six-zone model, here’s my power distributions on a seven-zone model, and then just a histogram showing the total distribution for last week. That’s just last week, if you scroll down further, you’re going to see the exact same graphs, but now for the last 30 days, and this I find very useful because it does show a little bit more of a trend. Here, you can see that he was in the past spending more time in that zone two, probably not enough in zone one, and that’s what we’re trying to fix. I do like the histograms, and you look at them over more time, because you can see these two humps. This one here is going to be right around their aerobic threshold, this hump here is going to be right around their anaerobic threshold, and you want to see those two hops. I would like to see this one a little higher, and a little more of a drop in between. So, I have that for the last 30 days for the last 500 days, which gives you some interesting information if you want to dive that deep into the athlete, but it’s really these two charts up here that I look at the most.
Trevor Connor 30:16
So, that’s looking at the athlete’s training and the trends in the training. Now, let’s look at some dashboards that focus a little more on the physiology of the athlete and what’s going on with them.
Profile Physio Dashboard
Trevor Connor 30:27
So, here’s my profile physio, physiological. As you can see, here, I have the power duration curve. The power duration curve tells you a lot about this athlete, it tells you the type of athlete they are. So, right down here I have the phenotype. This athlete is a time trial style rider, low on this end, but when you get into this more aerobic range, they’re strong, their power stays pretty high up, so it makes for a flatter curve. But I don’t spend a ton of time on this one, it’s these three other versions that I really like to take a look at.
Power Duration Curve Fatigue
Trevor Connor 31:00
So, this one over here shows power duration curve fatigue, so a little complicated, but basically this black line is their power duration curve fresh, they’re best numbers, so actually this one I program, so it’s the last 100 days. So, this is their best numbers of the last 100 days. These other ones, as you can see up here is their power duration curve after they’ve expended 1000 kilojoules, after 1500 kilojoules all the way out to 3500 kilojoules. So, the idea is for this blue line, this darker blue line, it doesn’t look at their peak powers until they’re at least 1000 kilojoules or calories into a ride. So, that would be depending on the ride, an hour and a half, two hours. If you get out to those 3000 kilojoules, you’d have to do a pretty hard four- or five-hour ride, before it would start looking at what are your peak water ages. The idea here is we want to see these charts, or these graphs as close to one another as possible. So, this athlete has a pretty good ability to resist fatigue, basically, what this is showing is, even after four or five hours, they’re going to be putting out pretty close to the same hours, they’re saying wattage, they’d be putting out after an hour, hour and a half if you saw these graphs really spread out, and that final red or orange ones way down here, what’s that telling us, they might be stronger at the start of a race, as the race goes on, they’re going to really start fatiguing, at the end of the race, they might not be able to do much at all. So, a great thing to train, if you see that big spread, that means you got to work in that fatigue ability in that athlete.
Trevor Connor 32:45
Down here is a similar sort of thing where you see a bunch of power duration curves over the top of one another. This one here on the right is just a zoom-in on that aerobic range because it’s hard to see anything in here. So, you can see it over here just by zooming in, but they have the same purpose. The idea here is this red one is their current power duration curve for the last 28 days, orange is the 28 days before that, green 28 days before that, and blue is the previous 400 days. The idea is this blue one is really going to show your best wattages from last season, not this season.
Profile Peaks Dashboard
Trevor Connor 33:26
Finally, there’s this one here, which is the 28-day period from exactly a year ago. So, you can compare your current 28-days to where you were at last year. Unfortunately, because I’ve zoomed in here, so you can see this better, you don’t see there’s one more which is his dotted blue line, which is the same 28-day period from two years ago. Looking at these different time points of the power duration curve tells you both, how has this athlete been improving? It can also show you changes in the phenotype of this athlete. So, for example, you can see last year, this athlete was much higher in that short duration, getting up towards 1200 watts, right now he’s lower, he’s 200 watts lower. So, you’re seeing that top-end sprint, not there, he’s turning more into that kind of diesel time trialist without that ability to do a big jump. So, that shows me an area of opportunity to work on with this athlete. But the thing I want to point out with this athlete is right here, you can see in that kind of 20-second to about two-minute range, this athlete was much stronger two years ago than he is right now, and that’s exactly what we are seeing in him, he’s getting into races and saying, “I’m having a real hard time responding to attacks, responding to jumps. I can sit there and diesel, I could be on the front of the field and just send me a good hard pace, but people attack I can’t do much.” And that’s what we’re seeing. So, for example, we look at that 20-minute range over here, you can see right now he’s as strong as he’s been in the last two years. So, he’s got that good time trial strength, he’s got that good diesel engine, but if somebody attacks, he can’t do anything about it. So, now we know we need to work on, and we’re doing a lot of short, high-intensity intervals, to really build back that one minute, two-minute power, the ability to go when somebody attacks, ability to attack himself, the ability to cover gaps. Until we do that, he’s probably not going to be racing as well as he would like. Again, you’re seeing these graphs, it’s painting a picture of the physiology of this athlete, where are their strengths? Where are their weaknesses? what can we work on?
Trevor Connor 35:47
Continuing down, there are a few more here that I’d like to point out. One over here takes all the different metrics that are commonly used for determining an athlete’s FTP. So, when I have an athlete do a test, I’ll take a look at this graph, see all the different estimates, and then this gets into the art of coaching, kind of decide which one, or the mix of which ones I want to go with to say, here’s this athletes’ threshold power.
Trevor Connor 36:17
Moving across over here, this is a trend line in the estimated FTP of the athlete. So, WKO has a way of estimating FTP, it’s pretty good. So, a couple of weaknesses with it, I’m about to show you one. But overall, it’s pretty good, and it could show you the trends in the athletes. So, if you look at this season, from January to now, you can see this athlete has just steadily been going up in their estimated FTP. So, that’s good. Again, that shows we’ve really been hitting that aerobic engine and building her quite strongly. Despite what you see, he’s at the strongest he has been in two years in that area, and you’re going to say, “But this is so much higher over here in the blue.” That’s one of those artifacts, so this was his offseason, and because he wasn’t doing any hard efforts, that impacts the way that WKO estimates FTP, if we just scroll up, so the power duration curve, you can see the estimate of the FTP is this dotted line that cuts across this lower point in the power duration curve, where you see it kind of levels off, and then it starts to decline again. So, it says that’s basically where your FTP is, and the issue is, if you are massaging this graph, if you are maintaining it, so let’s say you don’t do a sprint effort, this end of the graph is going to come way down, and that can push this end of the graph up. So, what was happening in the winter is this athlete wasn’t training very much it was losing fitness, so this is November and December, October, November, actually, and what should have been happening is this was going down and you see that in the green and the orange lines here. But instead, there’s that artifact that it looks like it went up, which it didn’t. So, you do have to be a little bit careful about that.
Trevor Connor 38:08
A little lower down, we can see the trend in this athlete’s FRC which I talked about before, this athlete is only at 11.3, that’s low. So, that again goes that he’s struggling to cover some attacks, to be in that race and hit those hard moments. It’s nice to see he’s been coming up, he’s still not as high as he was last year, and last year, I wouldn’t say he was that high, I’d like to see him up around 17-18, if not higher, and the highest we’ve seen in the last two years is 12.7. So, a big area that we really need to work on. So, you can keep going down, look at this, there’s some VLA max stuff here, but I don’t think WKO does VLA max nearly as well as an INSCYD test. So, I find this interesting, but it doesn’t put a ton of weight in it, and if you download this dashboard, you can look at some of the other things I have in here as well. But those are the charts, I really focus on in this dashboard.
Trevor Connor 39:04
Moving across, we now finally get to those peaks that I was talking about. As I said, I don’t want to focus too much on these, so that’s why I saved this dashboard until later. You’re even going to see when I look at the peaks, if one of my athletes hits the best five-minute wattage of the last couple of years, I’m going to send them out an email saying, “That’s fantastic, congratulations.” It’s a great thing to see, it’s an exciting thing to see, but in terms of how your training is going, and what’s going on with you, seeing that one peak power, you might just have had a good day who knows what was going on? You can’t say, “Oh, wow, that throws everything out. My training has been amazing.” So, be careful about interpreting it that way.
Trevor Connor 39:46
So, again, I like to look at the trends. So, starting here, this is those peak wattages, I have 2.5 hours, which is one I really like to use, that’s their stamina or endurance, 60-minute normalized, just straight 60-minute, 20-minute power, 20-minute watt per kilogram, 5-minute power, one minute power, and then it’s off to the side here, but five-second power and get that yellow line. So, this just shows their peak for each month, then you can see I put a dark dot on their best of this time period. So, in the last 500 days, this athlete hit their best 20-minute watt per kilogram back in September of 2020, but what I like to see here is this athlete hit most of their best peaks in the last 500 days, last month in May. So, just a good indicator of them getting stronger, but even more important, that it’s just looking at the trends in these lines and how they’re all going up. So, to emphasize that over here is basically the same graph, but instead of the monthly peaks is looking at the weekly peaks, and you can see at the end of this, I put trend lines. What I really want to see is, what is going on with those trends? So, with this athlete, you can see their 2.5-hour power has been coming down, which makes some sense to me, because they were doing a lot of racing with shorter duration races, and they were getting tired, we weren’t going out and do those long rides, but it is an indicator to me that their overall endurance has probably come down a bit and it’s about time to hit that side of their fitness again.
Trevor Connor 41:27
Looking up here, you can see the green line for their 20-minute power is holding steady. So, we’re not really seeing that much of an improvement. As I said, I’m really trying to work on that ability to jump, that ability to attack. So, what I like to see here is this five-minute power, it’s not coming up a lot, but it’s coming up. What I don’t like to see is the one-minute power is also flat, I want to see that going up, but at least the five-second power is going up.
Trevor Connor 41:55
So, this graph here is a visualization of the same thing, it’s just a little less noise in it. So, it makes it a little clear, a little easier to see what’s going on, and you see those same sorts of trends. The graphs that I like to use the most are these giant blue messes down here; this takes the different durations and breaks them into what energy system they tend to indicate. So, we have neuromuscular power, and you can see that’s using 20-second, 10-second, and five-second wattages. Anaerobic capacity is using two-minute, one-minute, and 30-second VO2 max. FTP, so FTP is 60-minute, 40-minute, 20- minute, and then endurance, which is looking at the much longer durations. What this does is it doesn’t even look at their peak numbers, it takes every single ride and finds the peak for that ride, and then just graphs it. So, that’s why you’re seeing this huge number of lines here representing each of the particular rides. So, what I did is I added to that trend lines, so over here is the 45-day trend in these graphs, and then the same 45-day period a year ago. So, I could look at how this athlete is doing compared to where they were at a year ago, and you can also see what’s the trend. So, last year, it was kind of holding steady. This year, we’re seeing a little bit of a trend of an increase, I’d like to see that going up more, but it’s also a little higher than last year, so that’s at least a little encouraging. Now, we look at that anaerobic capacity, which we’re really trying to hit, and especially when we get down to the VO2 max, you can see this was trending, these were trending down last year, at least it’s trending up this year, particularly here in this kind of five, six, I think this three-minute, five-minute, eight-minute range, you can see this athlete is really trending up right now. So, even though it’s an area that we need to work on, it’s showing that it’s responding to the work that we’re doing, where last year was going down. So, that’s a positive, that’s something that we want to see. So, that’s a great way to use these peaks to take a look at what is the trend in this athlete, where are they getting stronger? Where are they getting weaker? It helps to let me know if the type of work that we’re doing is being effective with them.
Profile Relative Dashboard
Trevor Connor 44:24
Moving across, finally, we get to how does this athlete at least in the numbers measures up against their competition? There are some interesting graphs that give you a pretty nice picture of the athlete relative to other athletes. Here is again, your power duration curve, and here’s where you really see that this athlete is truly a time trialist, over here all these gray lines indicate what you would expect for the different levels. So, world-class, this is where you get an up into somebody who could win the World Championships, who’d be racing well at the Tour de France, goes all the way down to recreational. As you can see with this athlete over in that 15–20-minute range, he’s doing well, he’s up in that excellent, hopefully, we can get him up towards that exceptional range, which is basically, this is a pro-level athlete. When you move over here into that shorter duration, that 30-seconds to one minute, he’s at fair, barely above recreational. So, again, if he’s sitting on the front of the field, he could jump into a Cat1 race and have no problems, but as soon as somebody attacks him, he’s got nothing. So, that’s what we need to work on. This graph really gives you that indicator of how he’s going to do against this field. This over here is another way to represent it, it just takes a couple of those time points, so the five-second, one minute, five minute, and 20-minute, and again, you see the same sort of thing over in the 5 and 20-minute, this is a good strong athlete, over in the five-second and one minute, not so much. You can even see, so this dark blue here is the last 500-days, the light blue is the last 30-days. So, this is where he’s at right now, this is where his best in the last 500-days, and you can see five-minute power, and even with the one minute power he’s as strong as he’s been in the last 500-days, certainly if we went two years back, you’d see a lot of dark blue in this one minute power, but in this five-second power, he’s not doing well compared to where he’s been.
Trevor Connor 46:33
Moving on down, you can see the WACK scores, and sorry, I always forget what WACK stands for, the W is world, I’ve looked this up a bunch of times, and I always forget, but basically, this graph is showing percentile. So, again, taking that whole duration, so you can see all the way from one second here, to three hours, 30-minutes, showing where this athlete, what percentile they’re in. So, basically, if they’re up at 100%, that means they are the best in the world. If they’re at 50%, that means they’re basically average. What you see with this athlete is well, there are two charts here, one is age-adjusted, and then one is just up against everybody. The folks over WKO have done a great job of collecting data on athletes of all levels. So, this is reliable. It really does tell you about where that athlete is at. And again, you’re really seeing the strengths and weaknesses of this athlete show up. So, against his age group, you can see over in that 20-minute power range, he’s the 100th percentile, he could take on anybody in the world and do well, get him down into that shorter duration, and at least against his age group, he’s okay, he’s up around the 75th percentile, measure him up against everybody in the world, and even that 20-minute, he’s up to 80th percentile, that’s pretty good, but he’s not going to do well in that that shorter duration.
Ride Overview Dashboard
Trevor Connor 48:03
Moving across, this chart shows his, again, WACK scores over various time points. So, you can see I have 2021, 2020, 2019, and I go all the way back to 2014. The unfortunate thing that you see with this athlete is he has been steadily declining. So, you can see his earlier years of that 2014, 2015, even against the best in the world, he was getting up towards that 90th percentile, this was pretty good, which he should be happy with, but you can see it’s just been steadily coming down, and this year, he is at a much lower level than he’s been in past years, and that’s an age effect, he’s an older athlete, so it’s just one of those, unfortunately, that’s something he’s going to need to accept, but at least we can see that trend over time of how he measures up against his competition. Last on this chart, I’m just going to show you these three. This makes it a little bit further, so it looks at their max power, highest wattage they’ve ever had, looks at the FRC which we’ve talked about, and then their FTP, and shows how they measure up, again, against all cyclists in the world. You can see what this particular athlete, actually surprised to see this kind of average for that peak power, FRC you can see exactly what we’ve been talking about not very good, he doesn’t have a lot of those high-end matches to burn, you get to the FTP, and he’s up getting into that high range, pretty good.
Trevor Connor 49:41
The last dashboard I’m going to show you is the long-term one here. This only really helps with athletes that I have been working with for a while, you can see with this athlete I have good data going all the way back to 2003. So, this gives a real interesting perspective on this athlete’s career. Some of that decline that we saw in this athlete is due to age, you can also see it has a lot to do with their training. So, this is their PMC over this long period of time, you look back at 2005, all the way out to about 2013, the blue line is a CTL, you can see this athlete was getting up 150-160, I think over here, almost 170. So, this athlete was training hard back in those years, and you can see now this CTL has been declining in this current year. I think he peaked at one point at about 120, but he’s been sitting more around that 100 range, maybe for a little bit was holding 105-110. So, you can just see he’s not training the way he used to train, and that’s the other reason that he’s probably not performing at the level he used to be at. You can train smarter, but still, at the end of the day, you want to hit a certain level, you got to put the time in, and he used to be able to do that, he can’t anymore, and that’s just one of the things that he is accepted.
Trevor Connor 51:08
Moving on down, here is that peak wattage for each month, over again, this athlete’s entire career. This kind of looks like a bit of a mess, you can quickly see those dark dots and where he was riding at his best, and you can see that was 2011, 2012. Now, I know this athlete, know this athlete was stronger earlier, this is where you must be careful, this athlete changed power meters a bunch of times, and power meters aren’t perfect, some power meters are going to read a little higher, some are going to read a little lower. So, realistically, over here is when he was at his strongest, but he was using a power meter that probably read a little lower than the power meters he was using over here. That said, I do know his best years were 2011 and 2007, and you do see that fairly reflected in the data. The other thing, again, just looking at trends in this athlete, you can with this graph and these peak wattages, you can see what’s happened to some of their strengths and their weaknesses. So, I told you this athlete is that kind of aerobic engine time trial style rider, if we look at his 20-minute power, you can see it really hasn’t fluctuated all that much. Even now when he’s not as strong as he was in the past, not quite hitting the same wattages, but he’s pretty darn close. So, you haven’t seen a big decline in that sort of power. We’ve talked about, he just can’t respond to those attacks and the moves in the races, so let’s look at his one-minute power. This is where you can really see that change, you can see in the past, he was hitting some big, good one-minute wattages every month, look at 2019 to now over here, and you can see that it’s just plummeted. Something has changed, I know what it is, and that’s private between him and me, so I’m not going to reveal that. But you can see, started about 2019, that big jump, that big power is just gone away, and it’s something we’re trying to work on, and it is nice to see that little peak a month ago, but would love to see this one-minute power get a lot higher.
Trevor Connor 53:21
There are other long-term trends here, here’s your weekly TSS, weekly volume, or sorry, this is monthly volume, but really, the two that I look at the most are up here. So, again, the main point that I’m really trying to make here is, WKO is a tool that can take a while to learn how to use, certainly if you want to build your own charts, you’re going to have to put in that time to learn how to build charts, but there’s a big payoff if you do that, it’s actually incredibly robust in terms of the charts that you can create an in terms of those dashboards. If you put that time in just like I’ve found, you’re going to start putting your personality into those dashboards, into those charts, which is something you can’t do in other tools. Even something like TrainingPeaks, you go to TrainingPeaks, somebody else has designed the layout of that, and you’re pretty much stuck with that layout, not the case in WKO. You can figure out what you want to see, what you want to learn about yourself, or you want to learn about your athlete and create those dashboards and those charts that are going to give you exactly that. So, it takes some time, it takes some work, but if you’re willing to do that, you can get a perspective of yourself and your athletes that I don’t think you can get almost anywhere else.
Trevor Connor 54:34
If you’ve created WKO graphs or dashboards, and if you find them especially helpful in your training and what to share, I’d love to hear more about them on the forum. As a reminder, if you’re unsure of how to create your own, all my favorite graphs are available on this page for members to download. Thanks for watching, see you next time.