Understanding Fitness and Freshness

I would like some help in understanding my Fitness and Freshness curve which i have found very interesting but indeed struggling a little on how to react to it.

I have noted over the last 7 days that my fitness score has not changed, ie it has flat lined, hence that im not making any progress there, but indeed maintaining it.

I note however that my Fatigue Score is rapidly decreasing which of course is good news

As well as my Form score which is increasing and it also good news.

I find that without all these fancy Strava tools i go with my gut reaction,  I noted i did need to ease off the running this week but I am wondering whether to take a few more days rest and perhaps lose a little fitness but recover much quicker or just see how things go and keep things ticking over.

As things are going here we have a Public Holiday on Monday where i may do another short slow run then finish for the week as I know im going to have a busy end of the week (non running).

I wondered if anyone had any thoughts and interpretations?







  • Hello Frazer, there is a link where the zones of form (it's called TSB there) are explained: http://www.joefrielsblog.com/2015/12/managing-training-using-tsb.html

    Summarizing: A form between -10 and -30 is optimal to increase your fitness, but only if your heart rate zones are set correctly and you keep hearing on your gut reaction.

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  • A little late maybe - but...  yea, seems like you are interpreting the graphs properly.   Light easy runs and active recovery runs help maintain fitness, stride/gait, while not hindering recovery that much.   A step back week with less intensity and less mileage achieves that, often every third to fifth week.   Usually fitness might drop a little... and fatigue drops significantly.   

    I would say looking at your graph, you have stair step fatigue level, which is a good thing, rising...then dropping or flat...then rising again.   The Fatigue line as well as listening to your body is my most important guide.   Let it rise for a few weeks...then try to get the line back down to below your Fitness line (so that Form is above zero).  Some extra easy runs (even shorter then normal) or an extra rest day really helps.   The following week you should feel fresh and ready to get at it!

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  • Bit late here too but just come across this from a search. Thanks for the explanation Nick.

    It seems like I've been interpreting my F&F chart fairly correctly too, and do try and have an easier 3rd or 4th week but I was was not entirely sure about my fatigue curve in that it seems to be always rising, albeit with the steps. What is interesting, therefore, is your comment about getting it down to below your fitness level.

    That suggests then that different points in time along the fatigue line are not comparable (on their own)? ... and it doesn't matter that it continually rises overall, in fact it must to if fitness increases? ... and that it is more relevant to compare fatigue level to fitness level? This all makes sense really, if I understand it correctly that is?


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