How TritonWear Can Help YOU Stay Healthy During a Break
We’ve all been there. Adversity hits, and a break from your typical training is either mandated or voluntary. It’s definitely not ideal, you'd prefer not to, but what can you do? Walk away from your goals... or tackle them head on with what you have within your control? We hope you choose the latter.
During times like this there is no reason to suddenly stop training completely, and in fact you shouldn't. Simply ceasing all exercise dramatically increases the risk of injury and illness, instead there should be a period of de-training where overall exercise output is slowly reduced to lessen this risk as much as possible. Of course this may suddenly be very different training than usual, but the key is to slowly transition to the new ideal training volume and intensity to avoid incurring additional injury, or illness.
So how do you effectively de-train? How do you safely stay active while you are unable to train normally, for any reason? And how do you safely return to your regular training volumes? The answer to all three questions is simple, you use tools like TritonWear's Load Monitoring. To LOWER risk of injury or illness as you reduce and maintain healthy levels of training while on break, then to help return safely back to regular training!
Let us explain...
If you haven’t been using our Load Monitoring Tool, now’s a great time to acquainted with this. Essentially Load Monitoring works by assessing the ‘work load’ or stress put an athlete on a daily basis. The goal of tracking the load is to keep an athlete healthy and under the RIGHT amount of stress to avoid over or under training.
How is it calculated?
An athlete’s load is calculated through their ACWR value. ACWR stands for Acute Chronic Workload Ratio. Basically your ACWR score is a stress score for training balance based on the fitness and fatigue model. The ACWR score looks at both short term and long term load to determine if the athlete’s short term load remains within their typical training load range (which is in accordance to their long term load). Here is the basic calculation:
The fitness and fatigue model states that causing an athlete to be in fatigue in the short term, ultimately results in achieving long term fitness.
From a value perspective this means an athlete needs to stay between 0.8-1.5 of their ACWR. That score means an athlete is consistently training at an intensity that is AT LEAST 80%, but NO MORE than 150% of what their body is typically used to. Your ACWR score is easily depicted by a river plot on a graph (after 28 days of consistent tracking) in your TritonWear account.
How do I ensure my Load Monitoring Tools are tracking?
You have the option of TWO different calculation methods to determine your ACWR score. The first is based off of Distance only (assumes mid-range RPE always) and the second is based off of Distance + RPE. This is where it is important to understand entirely what a training load is:
A training load has to take in two factors: Internal & External. Some examples of an internal load factors are: what’s happening outside the pool (exam stress, lack of sleep, relationship troubles, etc.), which can all be easily summed up by an RPE (or intensity) value given by an athlete.
The external load, on the other hand, measures what is happening during a pool session. Easiest value to attach the external load is how much volume (distance or duration) a swimmer is executing everyday.
Keep in mind the actual definition of Load is: Load = Volume * Intensity. So if we take an athlete's volume (distance swam or duration of exercise) and multiply it by their internal load score (RPE or intensity), we will get an overall load score.
What is RPE?
RPE stands for Rate of Perceived Exertion. This is a subjective score given by a swimmer to assess their current internal load. The scale of RPE 0-10. 0 is the lowest effort, and 10 is the maximal effort. It is essentially an athlete telling someone else (who knows nothing about the sport) how hard they worked, on average, over the entire workout (including warmup and cool down).
When interpreting the scale, think of it like 0 being nothing—like floating in a pool. And 10 is the max, hardest you’ve ever worked and you have absolutely NOTHING left in your tank.
0-10 Scale for RPE:
Unsure of how to enter your RPE value? Click here for a step by step instructions.
So out of your two options of assessing an athlete's overall load, science says RPE + Distance gives you the MOST accurate representation of training load—but, we are also aware there are many situations where an athlete may not be able to accurately assess their internal load factors well, which is why there is a Distance Only option for load calculation too.
To check whether you’re calculating your Load through Distance or the Distance + RPE option, click here.
So How Does this Correlate to Off-Season Time, Voluntary Breaks, and/or Being Injured?
Our Load Monitoring tools can still assess your current training load even WITHOUT being in the pool. Going for a run? Track it! Getting outside to cycle? Input it! Even if you’re not currently training in the pool, you can still input your ‘out of pool’ workouts—by adding what we call “an additional workout!"
By keeping track of all your workouts, in or out of the pool, you ensure you are tracking the MOST accurate representation of your current training load. This will help minimize your injury and illness risk, and give you a better overall picture of the stress from training on your body from workouts you may not be super familiar with. One could even argue it's almost MORE important to track activities that you don't normally partake in, as these activities can be a shock to your system and take you a longer time to recover from. We want to avoid any situation where you may be in a compromised state and are at a higher risk for getting sick or injured.
The data shows that most athletes train with a 20-30% risk of injury, and that their risk of illness increases by 50-70% with an intense training load. So our goal with our Load Monitoring Tool is to help YOU make better informed decisions while training because experiencing adversity or times that are out of your control is part of life--no one's training program ever truly goes as planned.
To learn more about how to add additional workouts to your TritonWear insights, click here.
Now, you can join TritonWear and use this tool absolutely free, because at TritonWear, we believe every single person should have the tools they need to stay healthy, especially when adversity hits.
If your team already uses TritonWear, but you don't yet have a profile, ask your coach to invite you, absolutely free, to use this tool.
If you're not ready to track your training, even for free, we wish you all the best during your time off from the pool.
If you have any questions or comments regarding our Load Monitoring Tool, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us—we are available anytime.