What do the numbers mean?

Hi All, new to the forum, hoping someone can help my understand the numbers a bit better. I know what each section means, but is there a general rule of thumb for each one? Fatigue and form are probably sub optimal but I am managing the workload ok it seems. Will the plan just do it’s thing and auto adjust to account for this or should I really be deleting some sessions as it suggests?

Hi Mark, which numbers are you referring to? Fitness, Fatigue, and Form?
Each person is different so you can’t really compare these three to others. You want to see your Fitness number, which is an estimate of your general condition, continue to increase with training until you peak for an event when it will drop slightly in order for your Form, which is an estimate of how good you feel. (Athletica is clearly figuring you out at the moment with the large negative Form number!) Generally, I look for my athletes to be just over 0 when it comes to an A event.

Fatigue is your recent training stress and shows the amount of work you’ve been doing in the past week.

There’s more that goes into these numbers, but I hope that should be enough to get you going.


Hey @Alpine1981
Fitness, fatigue, and form are calculated based on a model developed by Banister et al in the 70s… Athletica uses a modified version of it. You can find the Help&education section in your profile if you want to learn how these are calculated and what they mean.
Fitness - how are you adapting to the training stress over a longer time (if I remember correctly the last 6 weeks, @Prof ?)
Form - or Freshness - how much relief you have from training stress.
Fatigue - accumulation of stress over a short time (14 days?)

When i look at your numbers and the performance potential chart, it looks to me as if your training load has been quite substantial, and both your fitness and fatigue has ramped up quite fast. Form -93 would alert me to take it easy and let my body recover - but as always, your feeling is the most important factor to base any training decision on. If you are honest to yourself, and you feel great - keep going - perhaps Athletica is just getting to know you. If you are not honest to yourself and start to feel niggles, illness, loss of motivation, I’d say it could be time to ease off a bit. But I don’t know your circumstances. Maybe you are adapting really well to quick ramp.

As much as I love training with data, I don’t really like the Fitness numbers because it lures us to think: “The bigger the number, the better the fitness, so if I just train to make the number bigger - and fast, the fitter I will be”. That’s what I call Number, or Green box Chasing. Remember these numbers also depend on how well your training zones are set. I am not saying that you are doing this, but I know of athletes (ehem… asking for a friend…) who add a set or time just to get to bigger Fitness number. This one friend (ehem… it may have been me… who knows) got overtrained chasing the numbers…

I am happy they are not longer visible on the weekly training diary.

Long story short: listen to your body :smiley: if you are feeling like you are coping well, you probably are. If you feel off, consider easing off a little.


My rule of thumb is that fitness should be a gently ascending blue line, with small dips during base or build week 1 as you reduce the amount of training in those weeks. I can’t see the time scale on your chart but it looks like a much more aggressive increase in the volume and / or intensity of your training compared to mine.

This is from Joe Friel but I like to see my fatigue in the -10 to -30 range. It’s manageable and productive whilst keeping you out of the injury or sickness zone. If I’m working harder than I’m ready for, I’ll start to see low level respiratory illness. If I carry on increasing the load that may see that develop to the stage where I need to stop training. The only time I see my form as low as yours is after I done one of my ultra distance events. I always have some days recovery / easy endurance after those. My HRV / Resting HR is also picture at that point.

As @Marjaana says, don’t chase the numbers, let them come to you naturally.


Hi All, thanks for responding. I think I’ve got a grasp on it now. I’m not really chasing numbers and I think it may just take Athletica a little bit to get up to speed with my current fitness as I am probably a bit fitter than it has accounted for to begin with. It seems from everyone responses that as long as my blue line is tracking up and I listen to my body re: rest and recovery I’ll get the most out of it. Thanks again everyone! see you around some races one day hopefully. Cheers Mark


Yeah it takes a little bit of time before athletica knows you :laughing: what’s your A race this year?


I’ve got a race this weekend I’ve put down as my B race, then a A race in March. I’m still learning the system as well. Will be a good test this weekend to see things play out.