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W'bal its implementation and optimisation

So, the implementation of W'bal in GoldenCheetah has been a bit of a challenge.

The Science I wanted to explain what we've done and how it works in this blog post, but realised that first I need to explain the science behind W'bal, W' and CP.

W' and CP How hard can you go, in watts, for half an hour is going to be very different to how hard you can go for say, 20 seconds. And then thinking about how hard you can go for a very long time will be different again. But when it comes to reviewing and tracking changes in your performance and planning future workouts you quickly realise how useful it is to have a good understanding of your own limits.

In 1965 two scientists Monod and Scherrer presented a ‘Critical Power Model’ where the Critical Power of a muscle is defined as ‘the maximum rate of work that it can keep up for a very long time without fatigue’. They also proposed an ‘energy store’ (later to be termed W’, pronounced double-ewe-prime) that represented a finit…

Implementing the Banister Impulse-Response Model in GoldenCheetah

Over January 2019 I implemented the Banister model in GoldenCheetah, along the way I learned a little about its strengths and weaknesses.

This post is about that; explaining the Banister model and how it relates to the PMC, how it has been implemented in GoldenCheetah and what it's limitations are. I've also added a bit at the end covering some of the things I'm looking to do with this next from potential model improvements through to deep learning.

In some ways this post is a longer written form of this tutorial I recorded covering Banister and GoldenCheetah.
The Banister Impulse Response model In 1975 Eric Banister proposed an impulse-response model that could be used to correlate past training with changes in performance in order to predict future improvements from future training.

Originally proposed for working with collegiate swimmers it was reworked in 1990 for working with running and of course also applicable for cycling. Each type of sport needed a way of calcula…

Elite Coaches Interviews

Best Practices in Planning MethodologiesAs part of the planning and design of planning functionality in GoldenCheetah I interviewed a number of elite coaches working with athletes in Olympic and Pro-tour cycling teams.

Whilst there are some differences in the overall philosophy to training, how to manipulate training volume, intensity and density or the relative importance and focus of different types of workout in developing skills or capabilities, there was a lot of similarity in the methods they followed.

I thought it would be valuable to capture some of these themes as they may prove useful to other coaches, if only to validate what they are already doing.


1. Understanding the individualThe age of the athlete and their training history, their type (sprinter, rouleur etc.), their genetic disposition such as work capacity and trainability, their weaknesses and desired changes are all commonly measured and monitored by the elite coach.

Special attention is paid to the timing and demands …