Traditionally, getting an ATP started from scratch takes a lot of work, but Bereda has the ability to take some of that heavy lifting off your hands, calculating highly individualized plans based on inputs to the “Overview” tab. Setting up these plan builds is pretty straightforward, as there are two primary inputs:
Events – input an athlete’s race schedule (with priorities) and unique life events like family vacations and training camps.
Settings – input an athlete’s starting values and training preferences to get a plan that suits their preferred training style.
Once inputs are set on the Overview tab, a plan can get built (or rebuilt) in the Training Load tab. Pretty simple, huh?
Bereda fills the settings section with some default values so that when you click on the training load tab, a plan is able to be built. Here’s what the two tabs look like:
The Settings Section
The settings section lets you set the plan’s start and end dates, input the athlete’s starting Fitness (CTL) and Form (TSB) values, and the athlete’s training preferences like mesocycle ramp rate and weeks per mesocycle. There is also an advanced section which includes Fitness and Fatigue constants, but in almost all cases these should not be touched.
The default values in the settings section make a plan that’s 12 weeks long and split up into the default 3-week mesocycles (see image above). If an athlete likes to train with mesocycles of different sizes, that can be changed:
Plans in Bereda can be up to 52-weeks long, so by changing the start and/or end date, you can get plans of different lengths:
Beneath the mesocycles’ names are the number ‘1.5’. This is the “Preferred Meso Ramp Rate” from the settings section of the Overview Tab. This number means that, if a mesocycle starts at a Fitness (CTL) of 30, then after a 4-week mesocycle, Fitness will be 36.
30 + 4 * 1.5 = 36
For a more in-depth look at mesocycle ramp rates and how they compare to weekly ramp rates, check out this post: Everything Ramp Rates.
When an athlete doesn’t have any events inputted, Bereda continuously builds mesocycles of the preferred length at the preferred ramp rate. For athletes without firm goals for a season, using Bereda in this way provides weekly training load targets which will increase fitness in a controlled and measured way. Events can be added to the plan which causes markers to appear above the PMC. This gives more context to the plan, and the user can manually adjust the plan to better account for these events.
However, if one of the events added is an ‘A’ race, Bereda builds quite differently, achieving the race targets specified and accounting for the position of ‘B’ races and increased and decreased training periods automatically.
Building Plans with ‘A’ Races
When you add a new race to the season, you assign it a priority of ‘A’, ‘B’ or ‘C’.
Races should be given ‘A’ priority if they’re the main focus for a certain portion of a season. When a race is given ‘A’ priority, they are assigned a target Fitness (CTL). Bereda builds differently to achieve that goal. The following image shows a plan which built to meet an ‘A’ race Fitness (CTL) of 70, with a starting Fitness (CTL) of 50, and a preferred ramp rate of 2.0.
When a week has an ‘A’ race it becomes a “race week” and the race fitness is achieved at the start of the week. Bereda works backward from the ‘A’ race at the preferred ramp rate, creating mesocycles of the preferred meso length when it can.
Depending on the difference between the starting Fitness (CTL) and the race Fitness (CTL) and the number of weeks until the ‘A’ race, Bereda either will or will not be able to build using the preferred ramp rate. Using the scenario from the image above, here are some examples of what happens using different race Fitness (CTL) targets and ramp rates:
1.) The original scenario: starting Fitness (CTL) of 50, race Fitness (CTL) of 70, and a preferred meso ramp rate of 2.0. There is more than enough time to reach the race Fitness (CTL) target using a meso ramp rate of 2.0, so the athlete is able to take four easier weeks before starting their build-up to their event. If those easier weeks don’t make sense for the athlete, that period can be manually edited. Otherwise, they can be removed by increasing the target race Fitness (CTL).
2.) Starting Fitness (CTL) of 50, increased race Fitness (CTL) from 70 to 90, and a preferred meso ramp rate of 2.0. With this setup, the athlete must start training right away and are able to use their preferred mesocycle ramp rate of 2.0.
3.) Starting Fitness (CTL) of 50, increased race Fitness (CTL) from 90 to 120, and a preferred meso ramp rate of 2.0. With this setup, the athlete must start training right away but with a ramp rate that exceeds their preferred. To reach the race Fitness (CTL), a mesocycle ramp rate of 3.5 was necessary.
4.) Starting Fitness (CTL) of 50, race Fitness (CTL) of 120, and a preferred meso ramp rate of 5.0. With a significantly increased preferred meso ramp rate, the race Fitness (CTL) can once again be achieved even with a few easier weeks to start. Keep in mind that this particular example is quite an extreme training schedule in reality, but it illustrates how race Fitness (CTL) and the preferred meso ramp rate interact.
‘A’ races can take more than just race fitness as an input, you can also specify if you’d like a peak period to bring Form (TSB) to a certain value leading into the race week. This will generally cause the build-up to the ‘A’ race to start earlier.
Additionally, if ‘A’ races are close enough together they get grouped together into a race period as opposed to a race week.
Including Vacations and Training Camps
Unique life events that affect an athlete’s training availability are important to account for when annual planning. These are categorized generally in Bereda as “Decreased Training” and “Increased Training” event types which are meant to be used for periods of time that take up more than four days of a week. These events allow the ability to specify the “Training Availability” of the period.
Bereda positions Decreased Training periods as exaggerated rest weeks. So, in the example above where we selected a Training Availability of “Much Less” for the athlete’s vacation, that’s relative to the size of the normal rest week that would have otherwise been there. Other Training Availability options are “Normal”, “Less”, and “None”.
Bereda positions rest weeks directly after Increased Training periods. The Training Availabilities (Normal, Medium, Large, Very Large) are relative to the build week that would otherwise be there. In the above example, we selected “Medium” for the training camp.
Adding ‘B’ Races
‘B’ priority is given to races that aren’t the main focus of the season but are important enough that training should be adjusted such that the athlete can be fresh and ready to perform for them. As such, when you give an event ‘B’ priority, Bereda tries to position a rest week to encompass the event. Typically races are at the end of the week, so after a mesocycle’s build weeks, the athlete has time to freshen up for the weekend.
There are situations where ‘B’ races won’t be able to have an influence. If they are inside a peak period, the peak period takes precedence. If a ‘B’ race lands in a period of decreased training (example: when fitness is dropping after an ‘A’ race) it will have no effect. The user can manually adjust the weekly training loads as they like to plan for the ‘B’ race.
‘C’ races, Notes, and Goals
‘C’ races are sometimes referred to as “training races”, meaning that they’re used for training purposes. While athletes might still care about ‘C’ races and race to win, they aren’t considered to be worth altering the overall training schedule. As such, races with ‘C’ priority don’t affect how Bereda build plans.
Notes are added as an event so that they conveniently show up in the event schedule, and make markers on the plan. An example of a note might be for a smaller life event, or perhaps to indicate when the indoor training sessions typically begin.
Goals can be used to indicate training goals or important training events. These might be FTP tests and or weight goals in the lead-up to a target ‘A race’.
Seasons can have more than one ‘A’ race, and they can also have more than one race period. If ‘A’ races are far enough apart, they’ll each have their own race weeks, creating a double, or even triple peak season.
Head back to: The Complete Guide to Bereda
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