User Manual

1. General Overview

1.1 PWR Theory/Philosophy

Every team, athlete, and organization has a story to tell and everything we do, we do, to better understand those individual stories. PWR Lab is a team of data scientists, practitioners, and sports scientists who believe that the complexity of athlete data made simple can be more actionable and visually powerful.  Out of this belief came a system built from the ground up to better tell those individual stories and help coaches and performance staff keep players playing.

PWR Lab is driven by a deep purpose to empower every user with the opportunity and choice to simplify the complexity of athlete data and bridge the gap between current research and applied practice. PWR Lab renders sport-specific and powerfully customized visualizations revealing opportunities for increased performance, and most importantly; minimize injury risk.  

We believe that exceptional data visualization should always facilitate meaningful questions, stimulate collaboration through focused discussion, and empower smarter decisions directed at the health and performance of athletes. Athletes can’t get better if they can’t’s that simple. It is this elevated awareness and ability to make precisely informed decisions that keep players playing and ultimately is what helps win games. With that in mind, the PWR Lab ecosystem is designed with the critical understanding that high performance is built from a foundation centered around three key variables- Preparedness, Wellness, and Resiliency. The PWR philosophy is the driving philosophy that underlies our passion to better understand and help those achieve individual and team success.

Knowledge is PWR...and PWR is performance over time!

1.2 Defining PWR

Preparedness: Ability to perform a defined task, based on specific sport, at the level necessary to achieve the defined goal.

Wellness: The quality or state of being health in body and mind, especially as the result of deliberate effort.

Resiliency: Ability to perform day after day, month after month, year after year without long term interruption to training.


1.3 Intended Use

3A Philosophy: Ask -> Analyze -> Act

We strive for curious athletes who have the data that leads to questions. Those questions prompt further analysis of data. And that analysis directly results in creating a plan to move forward confidently.  

  • This tool should not replace good judgement but should validate a feeling that all athletes internally possess.

  • The user should be looking for changes in key metrics- not just at the raw number

  • PWR Lab approaches the athlete as a whole and as such uses Preparedness, Wellness, and Resiliency as cornerstones of a successful athletic career.  

  • The PWR Lab system is designed to help coaches and athletes better understand: focus areas, strengths and weaknesses, how the past influences the current and the future, athlete specific trends, instances of high injury risk

2. Dashboard Chart Guide

2.1 Injury Risk and Training Effectiveness

Goal: Green bars and a high gray background trace -> optimal load and consistently building chronic load.

How to Interpret:  

Red Bars: High Injury Risk - load ratio is dangerously high

Yellow Bars: Moderate Injury Risk- load ratio is moderately high

Green Bars: Effective and Safe Training- load ratio is optimal

Gray Bars: Ineffective Training- load ratio is too low

Gray Background: Chronic Load (the goal is to keep the line increasing steadily over the course of the season.  High sustained chronic load is linked to lower injury risk).

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Terms to know:

ACWR: Acute Load / Chronic Load (aiming for 0.8-1.3)

Acute Load: Last 7 days of Load (aiming for consistency)

Chronic Load: Last 28 days of Load (aiming for sustainably high chronic load)

Features: Interact with the chart by using the selector on the time axis just below this chart.  

Actionable Insight: If yellow or red bars exist, then load has reached a level at which injury risk has ben shown to be greatly increased.  The athlete should consider adjusting or redistributing load in a safer way.


2.2 Managing Ground Contact Time

Goal: Maintain an average GCT under the target line at 275 milliseconds.

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How to Interpret: This graph is coded green/yellow/red to represent low/moderate/high injury risk respectively.  The y-axis is the total number of runs and the x-axis is ground contact time in milliseconds.  The bars therefore represent the total number of runs that have an average ground contact time that falls into the range over which the given bar sits.  The target line is set at 275 milliseconds.  This graph will filter over the selected bars for further investigation.  

Actionable Insight: If average GCT is above the target line, consider incorporating drills that improve ground contact time.  Activities such as jump rope can help improve high GCT.

2.3 Preparedness: Max Effort Distribution (time)

Goal: Maintain a smooth curve with no sharp spikes and optimize target race power.  

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How to Interpret: This chart plots rolling maximum power outputs at designated time intervals as indicated on the x axis.  A sharp change in this curve signifies a discrepancy in power output. A drop in power indicates a weakness and a spike in power indicates a strength at the given time interval.    

Actionable Insight: Target workouts to address the time intervals that are experience power dips in the graph.   

2.4 Data Table

Goal: Provide specific details of a training session.

How to Interpret: This data summarizes a given training session.  If you are analyzing your data to determine why that session is color coded red or yellow, this table can provide the raw data to help better understand why this occurred.

Actionable Insight: Use the raw data to ensure that specific variables are within optimal ranges.  Target workouts to address mechanical, cardiovascular, or strength weaknesses.

GCT goal: <275ms

Cadence goal: >85 strides per minute

Distance, Pace, HR: appropriately building fitness for target goal

2.5 Calendar

The calendar exists in order to allow the user to select a specific workout to examine in further detail as well as provide access to the daily diary.  By clicking on a workout in the calendar, the user will be navigated to the Risk Factor Chart for that specific workout. Below the Risk Factor Chart, the athlete will find a box titled “Daily Diary”.  Please refer to either the Risk Factor Chart or the Daily Diary sections for further details on how to use these features.

2.6 Risk Factor Chart

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Goal: Risk Factors are maintaining both as power changes and as the training session progresses.

How to Interpret: Cadence, Stiffness (Kvert), and GCT are three important risk factors to consider while running.  All three variables should remain stable through the course of a training session. If one of those variables starts to change during a session, that indicates that fatigue has set in.  Once fatigue is reached, mechanics begin to deteriorate and, as a result, the risk of injury is substantially higher. Furthermore, f cadence is above 85 strides per minute or if GCT is above 275 milliseconds, this is an indication that the athlete is operating at a high risk of injury.

Actionable Insight: Incorporating mechanical work and running drills into training will address any discrepancies or flags that are seen on the Risk Factor Chart.


3. Training Planner

Click on the ‘Training Planner’ Button.

The resulting page will allow the user to plan out training sessions.

Data entered into this training plan will result in a forecasted section of the load graph.  

Goal: Plan out training that optimizes preparedness and minimizes injury risk.

Actionable Insight:

Minimizing Injury Risk: If the user plans out training that overshoots their historical load, then the load graph will indicate this by coloring in that activity red on the graph.  The user should consider adjusting the load to ensure that injury risk is minimized.


Working in the Caution Zone: If the user is an established athlete and at the peak of training then the athlete may be comfortable to operate in the yellow coded load  zone. Knowing that the load is coded yellow simply indicates that the athlete should proceed with caution and be aware that injury risk is moderately high.


Optimizing Training: If the user enters training session(s) that do not optimize the athletes established load, the graph will indicate that the load will result in undertraining by color coding the session gray.  In this situation, the user should consider increasing the proposed training until the load is color coded green and therefore an optimal load.

4. Daily Diary

The Daily Diary can be found by clicking on a workout in the calendar.  The Daily Diary will load beneath the Risk Factor Graph. Include your notes in the box and click the “Post” button to save the entry.

Goal: To assist athletes in developing the ability to self assess and record important aspects of each training session.  

Actionable Insight: This daily diary allows users to keep notes and record details regarding specific training sessions.  

The following areas are important for athletes to record as they train:

How did a workout feel?

Are any injuries being controlled for and if so how did they feel on this session?

What were the goals for this session?

Were any improvements made on either preparedness or mechanics?

Did any obstacles arise during the course of this session and how were they managed?

Was fueling and hydration sufficient optimal?

How did you psychologically manage this session?

What are your take aways from this training session?