With the heat and increased motivation, taking a rest week is difficult.
So far this week I have done two workouts of easy riding (~180watts) and two of tempo riding (45 minutes of tempo at around 236watts). However, in the 100+ degree heat while the effort is easy, the heat makes it much harder so I was wondering if I was resting at all. Also, my CTL (chronic training load) was in the -27 area on Monday as a result of a hard training week last week. I was wondering as I do these easier workouts, what would be the ideal CTL loss and TSB (training stress balance) for the rest week without getting "too fresh" or going back into the next hard training week having gone too hard in the rest week.
My coach was easily able to tell me what to look for in my daily data record. He said that as my training week went on I should see a gradual loss of CTL and gain of TSB so that my TSB would be zero or positive for 1-3 days. This would indicate freshness and that I rested properly. My CTL will drop but it is better than trying to keep it high and enter the "over-training" phase.
It is hard to see that CTL drop because of the work put in, but trust is the issue, trusting your training plan, and your discipline.
One of the neat things about training with power is the ability to use spreadsheets to predict what efforts you have to do in order to bring a statistic like TSB up/down to a specific level. I can simply enter in my predicted TSS (taining stress scores) into the spreadsheet and watch what will happen to my CTL and TSB. So, I can create a ride(s) with the intensity and length that will allow me to get to the desired TSB level without going too far either way. While not a 100% accurate measure of what is really going on physiologically in my body, it will be closer than any other measurement tool available.
It is the same technique one would use for tapering for an event.
Lastly, I asked about a "magic number" for CTL to climb to in order to have enough physiological adaptation and be "fit" and competetive this fall. It seems like 80-100 tss/d is the range for CTL for optimum performance in many riders. That is probably ideal for those with unlimited training time. I think I will be lucky to get it to 76 tss/d before October.
Everyone always says that the best performances are built by good rest weeks and using the power meter is is clearer to me why this is the case.