How Fit Am I? TSB or METmax or HRV ?

The Race (novel)
The Race (novel) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s a hard question to answer. “How fit am I?”

Lots of triathletes would say VO2 max and there are probably a million other ways than what I’m going to briefly talk about here.

Q: VO2 max – how do you measure it properly?

A: In a lab

So maybe it’s not so easy to measure the thing that is the best. And really anyway what we probably want to know is “How race ready am I…NOW. Yep right now.” And that needs to be based on the stats that I normally record because I can’t be bothered to do a special test (sound familiar? 🙂 )

So you need something that is fairly easily accessible ON A REGLUAR basis.

If you’ve read this blog before you’ve probably seen me go on about TRIMPs and TSB (CTL/ATL). They seem pretty good measures on the whole.

My A race was in June and I actually did about as well as I could expect for once. But what did the stats say? Well my race readiness (TSB) was FAR from what I had historically considered the best and my CTL and ATL were also not in a great place historically.

If I look instead at FirstBeat Athlete (link to download a trial version – I don’t get paid anything for that link). It produces a METmax measure of fitness (based on estimated VO2max and a few other things). That said that 5 days before my race I was at the best I’d been all year. So that appears to be right. However 5 days prior to my race I was already well into tapering and so taking it a bit easier. In fact the ideal scenario to record a proper METmax figure (apparently). So it peaked because for once I was doing the reading properly. Nevertheless I’ll watch this one from time to time. I’m also going to do a review of Firstbeat Athlete at some point as well. Watch this space.

My HRV figure from bioforceHRV showed a high readiness level but then again it does that fairly regularly as and when I have my rest days. So that might be a good indicator in the sense that if it is not at its best for a race then something is wrong.


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