Normalisation of power & stress


#1

I was thinking of formulating a question for the podcast, but I see there is a tag specifying the podcast here and I’m interested in what other users think too. I personally sway one way and then the other.

The formula for normalisation of power is really simple, has no physiological basis and is unvalidated against any gold standard. As well as making no logical sense for any organism it assumes that all humans are all identical. From this already shaky foundation is calculated training stress using another hugely simple unvalidated formula and from there another unvalidated simple formula calculates chronic training load. It’s like building a tower of jelly on a foundation of trifle and expecting its height to mean something…

When the formulas were generated it made sense as bike computers had hardly any power and memory. You can calculate Normalised Power and the other metrics using relatively little. This limitation clearly does not apply to TrainerRoad and as outside workouts are now imported TR can use a different formula to others. Before you would want TR-stress value to equal any other stress value, but now you can put everything in TR.

So my question is should TR improve and individualise the formula?
I sway between thinking:
A) it may be nonsense, but it is nonsense we know and have used for years. We know its foibles and mentally compensate already.
B) yes, it’s mega-bonkers & can clearly get better with not much effort.

And this is not to mention that stress is obviously different for isolated leg drills, indoors/outside (most people), starved… etc. TR could allow you to select some of those using buttons if they wanted, but would other people want…