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General Fitness - All Workout Types
Training load measures the impact brought to your body from the training. Each workout tracked using a COROS device receives a training load score based on training impulse (TRIMP), a well-established method of quantifying training load using heart rate and workout time.
Training load can be added to data pages on your COROS watch to be viewed in real-time to gauge the intensity and duration of your training. Longer and more intense training yields a higher training load score. Compare your training load in your COROS watch or via the COROS app to see how today’s training compares to similar activities in the past.
Base Fitness & Load Impact
Base fitness measures the ability to take on exertion from long-term training. It is calculated based on your training load in the past 6 weeks which is essentially your fitness level with an exponentially weighted model. A higher value means your body is capable of training longer and more frequently in higher intensity. Base fitness will gradually decline if you stop training for a while.
Load impact measures the amount of impact brought to your body from short-term training. It is calculated based on the training load in the last 7 days with an exponentially weighted model. A higher value means a higher impact is introduced to your body and will limit your performance from tiredness. Load impact goes down if you take more rests and up if you train more.
Fatigue is the difference between Base Fitness and Load Impact in a carefully designed 0 – 100 scale system with 5 different zones. It reflects the amount of fatigue your body is suffering from the recent training while considering your ability to sustain the impact. A low value means that your body is ready to take on more intensity while a high value indicates overtraining.
Many people may think load impact is your fatigue. Here's an example to explain the difference. While the load impact of a 100k training week may be similar for you and Eliud Kipchoge, the amount of fatigue left in your body can be entirely different because Eliud’s base fitness may be way above yours. To achieve the best race result or your best day in the mountains, you want the base fitness to be as high as possible, and fatigue to be low but not too low as this can lead to a decline in base fitness.
Fatigue is a powerful and objective tool to help provide accurate feedback to avoid injuries and adjust your training plan to reach the expected training outcome. To give the best recommendation, COROS has set 5 different fatigue zones for you. You will want to be in the Optimized zone (40-60) for maximized training efficiency, and in the Performance zone (20-40) for race days. The concept of tapering is to take your body from the optimized zone to the performance zone.
- Minimal (0-19): Your current training load is light and may reduce your fitness in the long term.
- Performance (20-39): Your current training load has been reduced to allow for optimal performance in races.
- Optimized (40-59): Your current training load is ideal for maintaining or improving your fitness.
- High (60-79): Your current training may be unproductive due to the high recent load.
- Excessive (80-100): Your current training load is excessive and increases the risk of injury.
Training Effect (Aerobic & Anaerobic)
Training Effect is determined by training load per minute and evaluates how your training impacts both your aerobic system (from cardio building activities) and anaerobic system (from high-intensity interval training). What divides these two groupings is your Lactate Threshold. Generally, a lower load per minute below the lactate threshold intensity will help your aerobic fitness and a higher load above lactate threshold intensity will improve your anaerobic fitness. Both the aerobic and anaerobic training effects have the same scale from 0-5+ or inefficient to overreaching.
There are 6 different types of aerobic and anaerobic training effects.
- Inefficient (0-0.9): Minimal effect on fitness
- Recovering (1.0-1.9): Good for recovery but low on fitness improvement
- Maintaining (2.0-2.9): Maintaining fitness
- Improving (3.0-3.9): Improving fitness if repeated 2-4 times per week
- Optimized (4.0-4.9): Improving fitness efficiently if repeated 1-2 times per week
- Overreaching (5.0-5.9): Improving fitness significantly with sufficient recovery or may lead to overtraining
To get the best improvement to your fitness, you will have to train with fatigue, but training when you are too tired can easily lead to injury. After each training, the recovery timer provides feedback on the time needed to receive full recovery and suggests when you are ready for easy or hard training based on your marathon level, training load, running performance, and remaining recovery time. It’s straightforward to use – stop and take a rest when you are in the red zone, start mild training when in the yellow zone, and resume a high training load when you are back in the green zone. The more you train with your COROS watch, the more accurate feedback it will give you as EvoLab keeps learning your fitness data.
Currently, the countdown is designed to be used during a training block with a maximum recovery time set to 96 hours or 4 days. Don’t be surprised if it tells you that you are ready to train hard again in a few days after a 100-mile race as most people will take an extended recovery following a goal race or completed training block. Please listen to your body, take enough rest, and start using the recovery timer again when you are ready to kick off a new training session.
- 0% - 29%: Please rest
- 30% - 89%: Ready for easy training
- 90% - 100%: Ready for hard training
4-Week Intensity Distribution
Each training phase may focus on a different intensity. It is usually recommended to start off with low intensity early in the season and gradually increase the portion of medium to hard training. 4-Week Intensity Distribution breaks down your past 4 weeks’ training based on threshold zones to help you understand if it aligns with your plan. If your goal is to train hard but the 4-week intensity distribution shows that most of the training is easy, it's time to adjust your training focus and increase the intensity to spend more time in higher threshold pace zones.
There are 3 different intensity levels to categorize your road running. Threshold heart rate zones are used for all other workout types.
- Easy: Threshold pace zone 1 or below.
- Medium: Threshold pace zone 2 and 3.
- Hard: Threshold pace zone 4 or above.
Road Running - Run & Track Run Mode Only
Marathon Level measures how you perform on a flat road over the marathon distance. It considers your recent running performance and vital fitness data including VO2 Max, lactate threshold zones, running efficiency, and more. A higher score means you will complete a full marathon faster than when you have lower scores. Marathon level usually does not change much in the short term and will improve gradually with proper and continuous training.
This metric is only affected by Run mode and Track Run mode. Indoor runs are not applicable because it’s challenging for a watch to register an accurate distance reading without GPS natively. Marathon Level is also not affected by Trail Run mode, as elevation changes and different surfaces can have a significant impact on data accuracy. Trail Running may be included in EvoLab in the future.
Marathon level ranges from 0 to 100 and has 5 different levels with 100 equates to completing a 2-hour marathon.
- Beginner (0-40): Completes a full marathon for over 5 hours.
- Recreational (41-60): Completes a full marathon between 4 to 5 hours.
- Intermediate (61-70): Completes a full marathon between 3.5 to 4 hours.
- Advanced (71-80): Completes a full marathon between 3 to 3.5 hours.
- Elite (81-100): Completes a full marathon between 2 to 3 hours.
While marathon level doesn’t change daily, your performance is impacted by a variety of factors including sleep, recovery, previous training, and even mental stress. Running Performance is created to provide feedback on how good your last run is compared to your overall running fitness. The range goes from 80% to 120% and has five different levels from poor to excellent. Over 105% means you are outperforming yourself and likely to peak in races. Lower than 95% indicates that you may need more rest to bounce back.
Running performance may not be available for the last road run if the workout isn't over 10 minutes or if the intensity is too low.
The range is from 80% to 120% and has 5 different levels.
- Poor (80% – 95%)
- Fair (96% – 98%)
- Good (99% – 101%)
- Great (102% – 104%)
- Excellent (105% – 120%)
EvoLab provides race time and race pace estimates for 5k, 10k, half marathon, and full marathon based on your past 6 weeks’ training via your COROS watch and the COROS app. With this race predictor, you can plan your race strategy accordingly.
It is rare for someone to train for a 5k and a marathon at the same time, so different types of workouts will impact different race distance predictions. Long runs over 30k have a major impact on your marathon prediction while a 60-minute threshold pace run will mainly affect your 10k or half marathon estimates.
You can also edit your race predictor easily on the COROS app if you just started using EvoLab and want to receive accurate fitness evaluation sooner than the system’s learning period which can take up to a few weeks. Manually updating the race predictor will affect running-related features including marathon level, running performance, and more.
Running VO2 Max
VO2 Max is the maximum amount of oxygen your body can consume during training. It is a very popular metric in a variety of training systems. A higher VO2 Max usually means better fitness. COROS estimates running VO2 Max based on workout data including heart rate and pace from your recent outdoor runs, which is tested to be very close to the lab test results. Also, VO2 Max is not a metric that should change drastically in a short term. The VO2 Max estimates from EvoLab are much more stable than those offered by other brands.
Threshold Zones (Heart Rate & Pace)
Lactate Threshold is the breaking point when aerobic training starts to transform to anaerobic training. It can also be defined as the intensity of training at which lactate acid begins to accumulate in the blood faster than it can be removed. It is a popular indicator used in competitive sports. In addition to the traditional heart rate zones, we’ve now introduced 6 threshold pace zones representing different focuses in training. Threshold pace zones are a great tool to measure your effort and it eliminates any issues that could develop with your heart rate readings.
EvoLab recommends personalized threshold heart rate and pace zones as the default setting based on your general fitness level. To better suit your training, you can edit the default zones or choose other heart rate zones such as max heart rate zones or heart rate reserve zones. Training at each zone has a unique effect on your body and fitness. You can improve base endurance, lactate threshold, anaerobic endurance by training at associated zones.
Below are the details of the default threshold heart rate and pace zones and they may not match the zones that are edited manually.
- Heart Rate Zone 1 & Pace Zone 1 (Aerobic Endurance Zone)
- The pace in this zone is comfortable enough to maintain conversations. It is suitable for basic cardiopulmonary function training, which mainly exercises basic aerobic capacity.
- Easy runs usually fall into this category.
- Heart Rate Zone 2 & Pace Zone 2 (Aerobic Power Zone)
- The pace in this zone is moderate. You tend to take more deep breaths and it's getting hard to maintain conversations. It is suitable for marathon endurance training and improves the ability to control the rhythm in races.
- Race pace training usually falls into this category.
- Heart Rate Zone 3 & Pace Zone 3 (Threshold Zone)
- The pace in this zone makes you a bit uncomfortable and breathe fast. It mainly strengthens the ability to remove lactic acid in your body to increase threshold pace.
- 10-min fast runs usually fall into this category.
- Pace Zone 4 (Above Threshold Zone)
- The pace in this zone makes you slightly uncomfortable and breathe fast. It mainly strengthens the ability to remove lactic acid in your body to increase threshold pace.
- 10k race pace training usually falls into this category.
- Heart Rate Zone 4 & Pace Zone 5 (Anaerobic Endurance Zone)
- The pace in this zone makes you uncomfortable and causes shortness of breath. It applies to high-intensity interval training, which mainly improves VO2 Max level.
- 5-min interval runs usually fall into this category.
- Heart Rate Zone 5 & Pace Zone 6 (Anaerobic Power Zone)
- The pace in this zone makes you struggle to breathe. It is suitable for anaerobic training which improves anaerobic capacity and muscular endurance.
- 1-min interval runs usually fall into this category.
If the heart rate or pace readings are below Zone 1 (Aerobic Endurance Zone), they will not show up in the heart rate or pace zones summary on the workout details page on the COROS app.
Training Focus measures the primary improvement based on the training load and intensity at the end of your run. The workout will be labeled with one of six different Training Focuses including Easy, Base, Tempo, Threshold, VO2 Max, and Anaerobic. While threshold zones are great for effort measurement, you typically won’t stay in one zone during your training session and this is why training focus is added to EvoLab. In a nutshell, Training Focus is determined by the differences in training load for each threshold pace zone.
- Easy: This training helps with recovery.
- Base: This training improves basic aerobic endurance.
- Tempo: This training improves the ability to control rhythm in races.
- Threshold: This training improves pacing at lactate threshold pace.
- VO2 Max: This training improves VO2 Max.
- Anaerobic: This training improves anaerobic endurance.