When taking on a new athlete, one of the first steps is to welcome and introduce your new athletes to the TrainingPeaks platform, and a streamlined process (including a step-by-step informational checklist) can help tremendously. This outline can be customized to your coaching information and used as a general email to send out to athletes. Or if you are able to be there with your athlete you can help them start up by following these steps in order.
Create and Link Account
The very first step should be to have the athlete acquire a TrainingPeaks account and connect you as their coach. If they already have a TrainingPeaks account with a previous coach, or links to other individuals, you’ll need to discuss with your athlete how the connected accounts should be removed and who is going to mainly host your Training Peaks platform.
The best recommendation for coaching is to have a premium account and host the athlete yourself within their monthly coaching costs. To connect, make sure you have the proper email to request as a connected coach and send your athletes a link to TrainingPeaks.com
Connect Training Devices
Second, have your athletes sync their training devices to automatically upload to TrainingPeaks. Almost all fitness recording devices can be synced under the settings in their account under “manage devices.” (You can also send them to this page with connection instructions sorted by device to supplement if needed!)
This is also a perfect time to go over what data recording values you want them to focus on. You can talk about which fields they like to see on their device, as well as which metrics they prefer. You can also go over how you want specific segments, laps, intervals or data distinction points to be recorded from their device.
Get the Mobile App
Whenever possible, have your athlete download the TrainingPeaks app to their mobile device. It makes it easy for them to check on any workout information, as well as their current and past stats on-the-go. The app also creates the ability to automatically upload their training data directly to their smartphone or tablet. Creating seamless, automatic upload transfers makes it easy to post all the information you need along with what they need to perform their workouts and understand the analysis.
Set Training Zones
In order for your athlete to be hitting the correct efforts and pacing for their training, it is important to discuss zones, even if they are not super clear on the concept or haven’t performed a test. To start, use your best-estimated zones from their old data, their races, or by asking them if they have any general idea what is easy, hard, race pace etc. This way your athlete can assimilate to their training before performing a full-on threshold test.
If they’re new, help your athletes understand that their beginning training zones will most likely fluctuate as they gain fitness and experience. It’s also good to note that some training devices and applications can change their threshold from data that may not always be accurate—so their TrainingPeaks zones should aways be their go-to for guidelines.
Home Screen vs. Calendar View
The TrainingPeaks home screen view is automatically set up to feature the calendar layout, with an overview of the workouts planned for each day, along with the appropriate icon for quick sport diversity in a monthly format.
Whenever possible, ask how far in advance your athletes like to see workouts—sometimes they’ll prefer that you provide a week at a time (in this case you can hide future workouts to streamline your planning).
It’s also helpful to ask your athletes to place notes on specific days when restrictions like travel or limited time are expected. This provides the athlete a customized structure to complete the necessary training, and also helps you plan ahead.
Uploading and Understanding Data
The next step is to discuss what items to input into TrainingPeaks post-workout. Typically, smart training devices and applications will automatically upload into the correct planned workout, but if more than one application is synced, you may need go over how to avoid creating duplicate uploads of the same workout. It can be helpful to compare the two uploads from different data collection sources, but you’ll want to make sure your athlete can eliminate double uploads where necessary.
Additionally, go over what post-workout comments you want them to include about their training after completion. When analyzing their laps/intervals, as their coach you can also include any interesting data in the post-workout comments so your athletes can understand at a glance how they performed—and if they feel comfortable analyzing their files themselves, they can add data they’d like you to notice in these fields as well. These options help connect the athlete and the coach for even better and more precise communication.
Understanding TrainingPeaks TSS and More
Lastly and maybe after some time, discuss the Training Peaks Training Stress Score (TSS), and how it plays into workout compliance and planning. You can go over how they can use Chronic Training Load (CTL), Acute Training Load (ATL) and Training Stress Balance (TSB) to understand fitness and recovery.
Other important data points, graphs or information you’d like your athlete to understand from the Training Peaks platform can also be provided after all the previous steps have been completed. This part can be an ongoing process; you want your athletes to understand the dynamics of training, but always at a pace that is good for them.