Coach Squires Energy Index Chart

Bill Squires - Boston Globe

Sharing is caring!

As you know, we live in the times of algorithms telling us how to train. Zones we need to stay in. A ring to tell us if we are recovered, or not. It’s a lot. It’s overwhelming. And, in my opinion, it takes away the reliance on the best computer there is right now- your brain!

A = 4B = 3C = 2D = 1F = 0Your
Day EnergyFelt great
all day
Felt good
most of day
Felt normal
most of day
Felt Sluggish
most of day
Run EnergyStarted strong,
Finished strong,
quick recovery
Felt good most of
workout. Good
OK during
workout, nothing special
Low energy, a struggle to get through, slow
Very tried,
Leg SpringJumping 3x in a row: jumps easy and highJumping 3x, fairly high and easyJumping 3x, average, not so easyJumping 3x: legs feel flatJumping 3x, legs sore on landing
Comfy hitting times or exceedingHitting times, feeling goodClose to times, working to do soSlower than usual, feel tiredNowhere near times, feeling beat
Rate yourself in all four categories, then calculate the average score by adding the points and dividing by 4. This will give you your average Energy Index Score.

Here’s a PDF to print off for yourself to use:

Energy Index AvgHow to interpret and apply daily index average.
3.5-4.0 Ready for very strong race effort
3.0-3.5Ready for challenging workout or low key race
2.5-3.0Handily handling training load
2.0-2.5Training hard, performance level likely off due to hard training
1.5-2.0Needing to cut back to allow adaptive energy to return
1.0-1.5Either sick or over stressed. Need rest, consider medical attention.
Calculate this regularly. Maybe once a week at the end of the week? Maybe on Mondays at the start of new training week? Just be consistent with when you are measuring.

How I would use this

Maybe I am just old school (or just getting old), as when I started running, GPS wasn’t even a thing yet. People seemed to run pretty fast and train pretty hard then. However, I also understand the role of technology and metrics in the whole scheme of things. To me, the problem becomes when we rely simply on what a screen is telling us, and not blending that with our body is telling us. This is especially true when we talk about the concept of cumulative fatigue. The data is probably going to be telling you one thing and your body might be telling you another. To me, this scale puts that into perspective. For some, I can see where this is going to show them that, they are ok! They are just training hard. For others, I think know it’s going to show that they are in over their heads as the schedule progresses. This could be from being over ambitious early in the segment, setting to big of a goal, running too hard on easy days, or just being in a plan that is too aggressive for where they are currently at. Either way, it can give a complete look at how the training is affecting them when blended with what the data is telling them.

I would hope that when a person starts a training segment, they would be in the 3+ range on the average score. If not, you need to rethink your starting point. From there, you should hang out in that range, but gradually, as training increases, I would think it to be logical to drop in score. So, don’t panic when this happens. It will be part of the training process.

When you get to peak training, you would ideally be in that 2.5 to 3.0 range, but probably dropping to a 2.0. The key here is when you get to that point. If you are using an 18 week plan, and you find yourself lingering into the 2.0 down to 1.5 range and you still have 10 weeks to go, then that will certainly be a problem. If you are at 2.0 with 6 weeks to go, then that’s cumulative fatigue. That’s where you should be, but you want to monitor closely. If you dip under 2.0 and stay there for a week, then scale back. Either spread SOS days out more, or take a day off, really focus on rest and nutrition, whatever you gotta do. But you don’t want to get down under 2.0 and stay there for any length of time.

Anyway, I hope this helps you with quantifying progressing from feeling really good at the start of the training to your entry into that cumulative fatigue state. I think this can help many of you monitor how your body is reacting to training along with what your watch data is telling you. If you can marry these together, you can learn to tell where the edge really is and when you can keep pushing. Overt time, you will hopefully get a handle on the timing of that cumulative fatigue state to line up with where it needs to be to balance hard training, but staying out of being overtrained. This will put you in a much better position to perform at your best when you are actually racing- not 2-4 weeks before then!

Related Articles