14 Aug Off
Importance of Training with iLevels in WKO4
You have the power meter, head unit, and ability to auto sync your data to Training Peaks, WKO4, Strava and many other online tools using your phone’s Bluetooth capabilities, but are you maximizing these tools and more importantly the information you’re gathering? At its very core training with power is an extremely precise way of quantifying your individual strengths and limiters as those attributes align to the demands of your goals. Likewise, a sound training plan requires tracking your training with regard to stimuli specific to areas of opportunity, balancing fitness, and maximizing overall time spent training.
Dr. Andrew Coggan’s ilevels in WKO4 provide the most accurate and now individualized framework to track the stimuli-response relationship.
Up until about year and half ago athletes and coaches were training using Dr. Andrew Coggan’s Classic zones which were based off percentages of a finite value, generally obtained from a 20 minute field test. With the inception of WKO4 and more importantly Dr. Andrew Coggan’s iLevels we now have a 9 level system with precise wattage and time parameters to operate within. With that there are 4 individualized zones above FTP which are- FRC/FTP, FRC, Pmax/FRC, and Pmax. These four zones replace VO2 Max and Anaerobic Capacity in the classic level based model. See the image below for a side by side comparison of the two models-image from “How to Individualize Training in WKO4 on 5.9.16 Dr. Andrew Coggan and Tim Cusick.
What are they– According to the WKO4 Product Manager and elite coach Tim Cusick, iLevels are training levels that are configured by blending modeled functional threshold power (mFTP) and modeled power duration data to track with your actual capabilities and ensure that training targets (power and time) are optimized to produce maximal results. What is unique to this model is the fact that ranges adjust daily and automatically. The significance lies in the software’s ability to interpret micro changes in the PD Curve to provide the most up to date ranges (time and power) specific each individual athlete and their unique physiology.
Importance- Through iLevels, the PD curve, and modeled FTP, WKO4 will phenotype a rider. Understanding your phenotype and how your body works to produce power is paramount. This in part plays a pivotal role when prescribing intervals and tracking your bodies response. The introduction to the 4 supra threshold ranges and their prescriptive nature now offers an added level of precision when formatting a training plan. This is a massive bonus for athletes doing mass start events where efforts between 30 seconds- 4 minutes are vital.
Implementation and tracking at Pinnacle Coaching using Dr. Andrew Coggan’s ilevels is done on a tiered basis. The athletes are prescribed training plans (Stimuli) using the periodized training model, which will consist of macro and micro phases of over-reaching. The prescriptive nature of the stimuli or over-reaching is largely driven by phenotype, historical data, and time in zone metrics particular to the athlete’s current fitness level and long-term goals. With that each workout has projected TSS, IF, and time is zone projections aimed at producing the most efficient means of training using individualized training for each athlete. On a finer note training plans entail intensive and extensive phases of training. Extensive refers to building endurance or fatigue resistance within a range by prescribing intervals at the bottom end of the wattage range while drawing out the duration of time the athlete rides in that range. The intensive approach builds power at a particular level by prescribing wattage ranges at the top end of the level for periods on the shorter end of the time curve.
Best Practices associated with iLevels
- Make sure you are testing every 6-8 weeks given the PD curve requires current data to provide optimum time and power based ranges. Remember physiological adaptations can occur as quickly as 6 weeks but can also take up to 16 weeks, stay vigilant with your training.
- Make sure the overall body of work is progressive and clean. Intervals should reflect a variable index (VI) value of 1.00 to 1.03 on the very high end. Be progressive and aggressive with the stimuli over the course of a macro cycle. Every other workout should generally reflect extended time or increased wattage ranges depending on the phase of training. Keep the data clean and maximize the waste by eliminating soft pedaling and coasting during workouts.
- Make sure that your head unit is configured with a page that works for you. Users owning a Garmin Edge 1000 and 520 models can load the iLevels directly to their device for a real time visual. Lap power, lap time, and 3 second average power is a great starting point.
Maximize your tools and cutting edge technology to get the most out of your time spent training. Grabbing quality time in zone specific to your physiology and tracking to adaptations has just become exponentially easier. Unsure as to your iLevels, phenotype, or best way to address your unique physiology with the time you have available. Pinnacle Coaching can be reached via: -call (845-629-8299) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) me and I will gladly assist.
PD Curve – Power Duration Curve
FTP – Functional Threshold Power
mFTP- Molded Functional Threshold Power
FRC- Functional Reserve Capacity
TTE- Time to Exhaustion
IF- Intensity Factory
TSS- Training Stress Score
iLevels – Individualized Levels
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