Performance Potential for biking not building

Looking at my performance potential for biking it is not really improving over the coming months. My run goes up nicely, but this one doesn’t. Anybody any ideas why or seeing similar things?

Did you select Train to Maintain or do you have races entered for your season? Look at your Settings/ Training/ Races or “Train to Maintain.” See what is checked there.

Hi Antonie,
I think this might relate to your settings. You have lowish max hours set as limits. Within the model we (and Banister 1970) use for working out load it is quite duration biased. Thus, if you let out more leash and can train a bit longer, you should attempt to change your settings accordingly and I am guessing that this will help. If you do so, please allow for a bit of time for updates to take place. Let me know how you get on.

Thanks both Pauls :wink:

My race settings are fine. Next race in April. I updated my hours from 12 to 15 which is the upper limit for middle distance but 4 hours later still no change in graph…
Did I not wait long enough or is something else wrong?

@Prof, as another data point on this, my current plan is for an “A” long distance triathlon in early September, with a couple of “C” races sprinkled in beforehand. I’m using the long distance high volume settings.

For bike fitness, the model projects I will only go from 56 to 60 by race date in over seven months. Notably, peak bike fitness of 64 occurs much earlier (April / May) in the plan, so the “A” race fitness is actually a decline off peak. Why would the peak fitness occur well-before the A race?

For run fitness, the model projects I will actually lose fitness by my September race date, going from 57 currently to 49. Does that seem right to you?

Swimming is the only discipline which seems to have significant gains, going from current 23 to projected 56 on race day in September. Btw, this significant swim gain compared to the other disciplines is consistent with some of my past observations suggesting that Athletica seems to have a strong swim bias when programming workouts vs., e.g., running.

Is this correct and expected behavior for Athletica? I guess I expected it to program a plan that would consistently build fitness towards your A race in all three disciplines. Maybe it just thinks I’m generally too slow and a lost cause? :slight_smile:

Thanks very much.

For what it’s worth once I moved to high volume duathlon both my models showed improvement whereas before only the running did and I got warnings my bike fitness was too high for the plan.

Ultimately I think I fall somewhere between medium and high volume and it appears for the most part using time restraints in the beta has stopped Athletica from assigning me 6 hour rides on the weekend. I’ll likely scale back as necessary, but it seemed like the medium plan wasn’t enough volume.

Now, I work from home so I can sneak those sub hour run and rides over my lunch hour, and I recognize not everyone may be as lucky.

Bumping this inquiry so that it doesn’t get lost for feedback from @Prof regarding why the “Performance Potential” chart projects no / minor improvements over several months in certain disciplines and, in my case, decreased running fitness? Thanks very much.



My graph showed improvement this morning. I do find it strange though that I had to move from 12 hours to 15 hours for a half trial to get improvement.

Out of curiosity, what is your FDP and average bike time For long ones? My FTP is 271 and I can easily manage up to 100-120 km. but my bike fitness is 35 so wondering what it takes to get to double.

Hartelijke groeten, Antonie de Kok

Thanks @BrentK. I can confirm that these enquires are in the queue and will be looked into. I believe the answer will come back being related to settings. I would let out your upper range of max hours out to 25 as that is likely the issue (I can see you are on 20 max with high volume plan). As stated previously, we have a duration-biased training model. More duration you let out will equate to larger loads.

Our backend team of developers and scientists have taken these comments on board to form a collective Athletica response for the group on this topic. @Antonie , @SimpleEnduranceCoach , @BrentK , @DaveBoyle

Thank you to everyone that has voiced in here. To begin, and as I alluded to, the fitness level is mainly a proxy for training volume. So higher fitness level and more time spent training (in e.g. @BrentK ’s case on the bike) go hand in hand. What’s important to note however is that a higher fitness level does not necessarily translate to better race performance. It is only one variable to consider. For example, I have trained big league Ironman triathletes like Kyle Buckingham and Andi Boecherer to know this first hand. Sometimes it’s associated with a top performance and other times it isn’t. There’s much more to performance than just duration. If you are wondering, what? Focus on your performance in key sets. Improvement in 30/30 power and set number. Improvement in SE power and rep number. Improvement in weekend key set power and rep number.

All that said, fitness is still one variable we like to keep an eye on for good reason. Aerobic exercise and endurance performance is associated with training time — training time is specific to the task at hand. Athletica is using a modified version of the Bannister model when programming training volume. But as mentioned, peaking is much more complex than just maximizing fitness for race day. Even the Bannister model has multiple variables (fitness, fatigue, form) to consider. There are many other considerations outside the Bannister model, and Athletica also models the relation of different modalities to each other — something coaches and other platforms may struggle to do. In fact, Athletica always drop fitness before race days a few percentages, if other constraints allow it to do so.

@BrentK we note that you already have exceptional fitness level for a triathlete. You have set a maximum of 25 hours per week of training, which you will reach on build weeks before your A race. The training volume and fitness level is distributed among swim-bike-run optimally. If you increase your limit to 30 hours, you might end up having higher fitness, but you should decide if training more will be beneficial for your race performance or not and if you have the time to do so. Remember our earlier comment - more is not always better and I noted this even in coaching two of the best triathletes on the planet.

For @Antonie, your bike CTL is already increasing now since you made a change. Note that you could also set >15h on a mid volume plan, technically, but then the high volume plan would be more optimal. Note that there is a certain point above which fitness will never increase on mid volume. Same for low volume plans. For all of these plans in reference to CTL, we must remember that the goal is to improve race performance, not increase CTL. That is what we will continue to focus on doing for athletes and coaches using Athletica.


This is really helpful, Paul. Thank you for the taking the time to explain the details.


Thanks for the detailed explanation. So if I understand correctly I should not worry to much about the graph since it closely relates to training length and not necessary on bike performance or development?


Great answer there @Prof !

The fitness numbers are not magical. I’ve been at a higher level of “fitness CTL” and not performed, and at lower level of CTL and performed better than at a higher level of CTL. Both in terms of me vs. me, but also me vs. others. It’s not always the athlete with the highest theoretical “fitness” that wins the race.

Would it not be awesome to do some great “Fitness” building workouts and see your “Fitness” grow AND hit best performances on race day?! If the theoretical models just worked linearly like that, then we would all be World Champions, right? We could crush those HIIT workouts day in and day out and watch ourselves turn into super humans : )

Thankfully we are all humans, and much more complicated than that :smiley:

Ok, now I’ll give a practical advice:

  • Think of your goal race, and its demands. If you are doing a 100 mile gravel race or an Ironman, you know what you need to be able to do. You kind of have an idea what your speed needs to be to cross the finish line, aligned with your goal.
  • Thinking back on the event demand, take a look at where Athletica is taking your long bikes, runs, swims etc. If you feel like Athletica is not building long enough rides *just an example, then add some time to some of those bike rides towards the end of the build before taper/peaking. You want to feel comfortable and confident that you have done the training required for desired performance.
  • You don’t have to have done the full Ironman in training to be able to absolutely nail it! When it comes to marathons, I would remind you that running takes a lot more out of your body than biking. Every time you do a really long run, you risk injury or illness. unless you are a very experienced runner, I would not push past 32K.
  • A very cool thing about Athletica is the invisible threshold detection and Power/Pace charts that can be very helpful in determining your race pace strategy. How? Look at what you have done in training - form your pacing strategy and be ready to ditch on race day based on your feel!

This is a long way to say - trust the process. Adapt and pivot as needed. Learn from your mistakes and come back stronger. Life is a game, let’s have some fun!