At some point it happens to everyone. You will either forget your Garmin/Polar/SRM/PowerTap computer, the battery will run out mid ride or the data will be corrupt. If you have spent a lot of time and effort to get all of your data into training software to monitor your progress it can be a real pain, a whole ride’s data gone. So how do you deal with it.
The good news is that there are a number of ways in which you can make up for the lost data. The exact method will depend on a few factors but here they are:
- If you have completed the same or a similar structured training session before then go back and check the score (TSS, Bikescore, TRIMP, etc) for that session. Then create a manual session for the missed workout and enter the previous sessions score for the new workout. (Nb: This is my preferred method.)
- If you have heart rate data but no power data then you can use the average heart rate. The equivalent Bikescore (Golden Cheetah) or TSS (Wko+ and TrainingPeaks) would be calculated as:
Bikescore/TSS = ((avg heart rate – resting heart rate) / (threshold heart rate – resting heart rate))^2 x 100 x time (in hours).
(For example an average heart rate of 152 for 3hrs 20mins, with threshold of 174 and resting as 50 would be calculated as (152 – 50) / (174 – 50)^2 x 100 x 3.33 = .8225^2 x 100 x 3.33 = 225 )
- If you do not have any data for the ride, nor a previous file then use the following method (if using power). Set an intensity factor based on the overall intensity of the session, with E1 as .75, E2 as .85, threshold as .95 or 1, O2 sessions at 1 or 1.05 and anaerobic sessions as 1.1. Then do the following calculation: Bikescore/TSS = intensity factor^2 x 100 x duration (in hours). Using the previous example as an E2 session this would result in .85^2 x 100 x 3.33 = 240.
- If you do not have any data for the ride, nor a previous file and you only use a heart rate monitor then use this method to calculate the TRIMP. First check your setup in Golden Cheetah, etc to see what your TRIMP factors are set to for each zone (E1, E2, etc) and then multiply this factor by the number of minutes on your training ride. For example, I use an intensity factor of 2.57 for my E2 zone, so for the 3hr 20min ride used in the previous examples the TRIMP would be: 200min x 2.57 = 514
These examples provide a few extra, valuable bits of information about the various training load systems:
- If the data missing is only for one ride then don’t get too pedantic about the result of the manual calculation being a little off. It’s ok for it to be 5-10 points off as the impact of this single ride will soon be swallowed up into the broader assessment of training from all of the surrounding days data.
- You cant mix the systems. For example you can’t calculate Bikescore or TSS using an intensity factor from the TRIMP method. This will result in a vastly different results and this will skew your training data.
- Don’t feel constrained to the intensity factors for the power calculations. If your session was a hard E2 session, maybe with lots of time just below threshold, then your IF value should be closer to 90.
- The perceived effort of a session can vary a great deal for the same score. Don’t overestimate the intensity factor and where possible base your calculations on either a previous ride of a similar nature.
So, there you have it, a few nice and easy ways that you can fill in your daily data when you have a problem with your bike computer, and remember, don’t worry if the final numbers are out a little bit – it’s only one ride so it won’t have a significant impact on your training charts.