Little Green Boxes
October 6, 2019
October 6, 2019
By Jess Smith
It’s Sunday evening. As you are getting yourself ready to start another week, you enter your comments into today’s training block in Training Peaks. You revel in the sea of green from this week’s workouts and give yourself a mental pat on the back for nailing the plan. We get it. Seeing all that green makes you feel GOOD and STRONG and proud of what you have achieved for the week. Yellow, orange, or even red boxes can often lead to feelings of self-doubt and stress that you aren’t getting the training you want or need for your next event. But are there times that not getting green boxes can be a good thing? Yes!
First, let’s break down the different color codes. This is based on a planned value in duration, distance, or TSS score.
*For the purpose of this blog, we are only talking about yellow and orange in terms of UNDER the prescribed workout values, although it can also mean exceeding the prescribed workout values
If you are CLOSE to what is prescribed, you are getting a green box. I’m sure we have all pushed a little harder or longer than we want because we want that green box. But there are times when following the plan can do more harm than good. How do you know when it’s time to go yellow, orange, or even red?
If any of the above things pop up, don’t worry about green boxes. First focus on what you can do every day to avoid these common pitfalls. Here’s what we recommend to keep your stress-levels low and green boxes flowing:
If you do get sick, or life stress takes over, adjust your future training, but don’t worry if there are a few of those non-green boxes. They can help you (and your coach) identify patterns in your responses to training. Maybe they let you know a certain weekly schedule is not manageable or show illness patterns that can help you dial in your recovery. The goal should be to move towards a schedule where you CAN get as many green boxes as possible – not because you push through when you shouldn’t, but because you have a plan that is manageable for your lifestyle. There are a lot of coaches out there who force the athlete to fit the plan. We believe 100% that the plan needs to fit the athlete. That doesn’t mean you don’t have to work HARD to reach your goals, but it does mean you need to be smart about how you work. The next time you get a non-green box, don’t’ stress about it. Evaluate why the color isn’t what you want, and then adjust your training and schedule so you can get more green boxes down the road. If you find yourself unable to let those colors go, remember you CAN turn them off completely under your account settings in Training Peaks. Go to the section ‘Layout’, click on ‘Calendar’ and under ‘Compliance’ you can simply unclick the ‘color workout tiles based on compliance to plan’. Ultimately you need to make your training experience as positive as possible. If the colors stress you out, turn them off and focus on consistent training that pushes you, but not that pushes you over a cliff.