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2017-05-03 10:20 PM

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Subject: TSS/week for training
So I'm playing with Golden Cheetah and looking at my training. Been pretty bad and inconsistent this year but I also looked at old data. I created a TSS/week chart and see that this year I've yet to break 300 watts (only biking 2x a week...eeeks). For my IMWI in 2014 I peeked over 400 but at random times (around 8.5 hrs). This was able to get me a 5:35 bike split on that race. I never really looked at this and instead went by time, performance manager, and what I could fit into schedule. Last year I peaked at 540 TSS/week early in the season and was yielded my highest FTP ever. That came from a running injury and I swam and biked like crazy instead though. Curious on what other people's TSS/week are for different training plans.


2017-05-04 5:56 AM
in reply to: Blastman

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Master
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Eugene, Oregon
Subject: RE: TSS/week for training
Really not sure. My peak weeks in HIM training seem to be about 420-450 TSS but....

* TP only seems to give TSS if you log data that relates to a benchmark like threshold pace, power, or heart rate, and I don't do all my runs with tech. So that is probably not counting TSS on one or two (typically easier) runs. I do use HR for most of my run speed work, but tend to leave the HR stuff at home for easy efforts and just record time. I've been running for almost 38 years, and I know what an easy run should feel like! So that number is minus 1-2 easy runs of 30-60 minutes each, which should probably be in the range of 30-50 TSS.

* Also, there is something really wrong (I think) with how TP calculates my TSS for swimming. Maybe my coach never put in the threshold paces or something? For example, this morning I did a 3400m workout averaging 1:42/100m (and that includes 1200m of warmup and 200m of cool down). The main set was 5 X 400m. My threshold pace is (I think) 1:41/100m, so that for me is a pretty tough workout. (Maybe not quite as tough as that would indicate--I'm a much better distance swimmer than sprinter, and it included a total of 1000m of pulling with paddles, which for me is a few seconds faster/100m than normal swimming, but still....not easy). And TP shows a TSS of 4.7 for that workout. WTF??

I'm guessing if I logged HR data for all my runs, and had the swim paces set up properly, 600-650 for peak weeks? (I swim 3X a week almost every week, and most workouts have quite a bit of intensity.) My training time is limited due to my work schedule--during the school year I'm rarely putting in more than 12-13 hours, but I do a lot of intensity, especially on swim and bike. I swim a lot more and a lot harder than many triathletes, but this has always worked for me--have both a swim and run background and have always found that swimming a lot and swimming hard helps me maintain run fitness with lower mileage and less injury.
2017-05-04 7:50 AM
in reply to: Blastman

Master
10208
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Northern IL
Subject: RE: TSS/week for training

Hoping the "watts" by 300 was a typo as TSS doesn't really have units like that. More of a score.

TSS isn't really a goal, but more a tool in a system to help manage training load. If it was only just accumulating TSS then you'd just ride at an IF of 0.85 all the time and maximize this. It's quite possible to make some notable gains like this, but not necessarily get the most out of things. While it's possible to spot some trends in using TSS, what you really want to get to are things like acute & chronic training loads. TSS is more of an intermediate value in getting to those.

2017-05-04 7:53 AM
in reply to: Hot Runner

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Subject: RE: TSS/week for training

Originally posted by Hot Runner * TP only seems to give TSS if you log data that relates to a benchmark like threshold pace, power, or heart rate, and I don't do all my runs with tech. So that is probably not counting TSS on one or two (typically easier) runs. I do use HR for most of my run speed work, but tend to leave the HR stuff at home for easy efforts and just record time. I've been running for almost 38 years, and I know what an easy run should feel like! So that number is minus 1-2 easy runs of 30-60 minutes each, which should probably be in the range of 30-50 TSS. 

It can't give values without some type of quantification for what you did and a way to relate that to how fit you are. And yes, it will just skip over those workouts without data as it can't do anything with them.

2017-05-04 8:25 AM
in reply to: brigby1


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Subject: RE: TSS/week for training
I just started with Trainer Road and noticed TSS listed. Can someone tell me what TSS actually is ? Thanks as I have no idea
2017-05-04 8:38 AM
in reply to: Chitwnnole

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Subject: RE: TSS/week for training

Essentially it works down to TSS = IF^2 x Duration x 100

There can be other multipliers in there, but it's easy enough to figure out so long as it's remembered that an IF of 1.0 for 1 hr will yield a score of 100.

Duration is just the time the workout took. IF is the workout intensity in relation to threshold. For bike power that is Normalized Power over Threshold (NP/FTP).



2017-05-04 9:16 AM
in reply to: 0

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Katy, Texas
Subject: RE: TSS/week for training
Originally posted by Chitwnnole

I just started with Trainer Road and noticed TSS listed. Can someone tell me what TSS actually is ? Thanks as I have no idea


TSS stands for Training Stress Score. It's a way of estimating how much work you're doing. For example; you could ride your bike super easy for an hour or ride really hard for 20 minutes and in reality you are stressing your body in a similar fashion. TSS is a way of normalizing this so you can track it. It uses something called an Intensity Factor (IF), which is based on your threshold limits, or the maximal output you can do for a given period of time.

So, let's say that your functional threshold power (FTP) is 200 watts. That means that if you rode your bike for 1 hr and absolutely MAXED yourself out, like you had 0 left and were falling off the pedals at the 60 minute mark, then your average power would be 200. It's the maximum power you can put out for that period of time. So TSS is calculated based off of that. If you did go out and ride your bike for 1 hr at 200 watts, you would get a TSS of 100. The program would take your IF, which would be 1.0 since you're at your threshold, and multiply it by the time spent at that value, which would be 1 hour, times 100. So 1.0(IF)*1.0^2(hr)*100=100(TSS).

So if you ride your bike at 80% of your FTP, which would be 160 watts, for one hour, your TSS would be .8^2*1*100=64TSS.

Where this falls short is when you do intervals. When you do intervals you stress your body more, whereas this calculation is linear. Also, you will maximize your body's super compensation (i.e. when your body grows stronger after the stress of a workout) by varying intensities. In other words, going easy one day, long another, and high intensity another.

So it's a good tool, but doesn't tell you everything. So take it for what it is.

Also, and this is a big one, your threshold values MUST be accurate, otherwise it will give you inaccurate information. Nailing threshold values is not easy and takes experience to properly test and use the results of those tests to properly set your thresholds.

Edited by 3mar 2017-05-04 9:17 AM
2017-05-04 11:14 AM
in reply to: 3mar

Master
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Northern IL
Subject: RE: TSS/week for training

The IF is squared, so it's not linear. Normalized power isn't linear either as it uses exponents to weight the higher values more so, which is reflected in the NP always being at least AP, and more likely some amount over.

The intervals can have a little varying effect on people whereas the calculation assumes it's the same. I'm not sure that someone with a steeper power curve (eg, better at going over threshold) is going to be as stressed as someone who has a flatter curve.

Also in the "falls short" area is more on the user to understand what the data says and does not say. In this case it's right in the name as it's Training STRESS Score, not Training Adaptation Score. Adaptation is what we're after and it isn't going to be 1 unit of stress gives a constant "x" units of adaptation. Hence the different types of workouts.

2017-05-04 11:27 AM
in reply to: brigby1

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Katy, Texas
Subject: RE: TSS/week for training
Let's not get too caught up in the minutia here. I was trying to give more of a general explanation as opposed to just tossing an equation at the OP which doesn't do much.

By "linear" I didn't mean mathematically. More so that it simply takes the time you spend at various % of threshold and sums them (with a square tossed in there). So an interval workout and a VO2 max workout and a Sweet Spot workout could all yeild the same TSS but the stress would be very different.

It may be obvious to you that since "stress" is in "TSS" that it's stress vs adaptation, but if someone is asking what the heck TSS is, then they could probably use the explanation....

Did you ever hear the joke about the manager and the engineer? All the technically correct information in the world is still not the least bit helpful in a lot of cases (this being one), which is the first part...the second is a funny jab at management. Still has a good moral though.



A man in a hot air balloon realized he was lost. He reduced altitude and spotted a woman below. He descended a little bit more and shouted, “Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don’t know where I am.”

The woman below replied, “You’re in a hot air ballon hovering approximately thirty feet above the ground. You’re between 40 and 41 degrees north latitude and between 59 and 60 degrees west longitude.”

“You must be an engineer,” said the balloonist.

“I am,” replied the woman. “How did you know?”

“Well,” answered the balloonist, “everything you told me is technically correct, but I’ve no idea what to make of your information, and the fact is I’m still lost. Frankly, you’ve not been much help at all. If anything, you’ve delayed my trip.”

The woman below responded, “You must be in management,” to which he replied, “I am, but how did you know?”

“Well,” the woman responded, “you don’t know where you are or where you’re going. You have risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise which you’ve no idea how to keep, and you expect people beneath you to solve your problems. The fact is, you are in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but now, somehow, it’s my fault.”
2017-05-04 11:59 AM
in reply to: 3mar

Master
10208
50005000100100
Northern IL
Subject: RE: TSS/week for training

Originally posted by 3mar Let's not get too caught up in the minutia here.

I'm trying.

Couldn't quite tell on some things and that specific one (linearity) does matter in some parts of the same discussion.

I think we're saying much the same thing about stress vs adaptation, and it hasn't been so obvious to others. I've just seen a number of people put in an amount stress like it's a check box and not get why the adaptation doesn't move as much as they think, hence the point of emphasis on the distinction. Also with the training at an IF of 0.85 example from earlier. Can make a lot of gains with it, but not likely to lead to the greatest adaptation.

2017-05-04 12:24 PM
in reply to: 3mar


44
25
Subject: RE: TSS/week for training
Originally posted by 3mar

Originally posted by Chitwnnole

I just started with Trainer Road and noticed TSS listed. Can someone tell me what TSS actually is ? Thanks as I have no idea


Also, and this is a big one, your threshold values MUST be accurate, otherwise it will give you inaccurate information. Nailing threshold values is not easy and takes experience to properly test and use the results of those tests to properly set your thresholds.





Thanks for the info. I am wondering if this statement might refer to the issue I am having with Trainer Road. As mentioned, I just started using Trainer Road (or any kind of training software for that matter ) in the last week. I have a decent but not heavy cycling background. I recently did my first half ironman in April and my bike training was mostly on the trainer. I basically just mashed it each workout. I did the "20 minute" test and got an FTP score of 187. I have started a base build work out (medium intensity) and have to say that it just really seems way to easy. Should I expect the intensity to ramp up over time ? Right now I feel like I am taking a big step backward. I understand this might be part of the process. I am pretty positive I can carry whatever they have me at for well more than an hour.

Any ideas ? And thanks for the response above and explanation


2017-05-04 12:27 PM
in reply to: brigby1

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1502
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Katy, Texas
Subject: RE: TSS/week for training
Originally posted by brigby1

Originally posted by 3mar Let's not get too caught up in the minutia here.

I'm trying.

Couldn't quite tell on some things and that specific one (linearity) does matter in some parts of the same discussion.

I think we're saying much the same thing about stress vs adaptation, and it hasn't been so obvious to others. I've just seen a number of people put in an amount stress like it's a check box and not get why the adaptation doesn't move as much as they think, hence the point of emphasis on the distinction. Also with the training at an IF of 0.85 example from earlier. Can make a lot of gains with it, but not likely to lead to the greatest adaptation.




Yes, we're definitely saying the same thing. The problem is that there's no real good tool for putting it all together. A PMC is pretty close, but still relies way to heavily on TSS.
2017-05-04 12:34 PM
in reply to: Chitwnnole

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1502
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Katy, Texas
Subject: RE: TSS/week for training
Originally posted by Chitwnnole

Originally posted by 3mar

Originally posted by Chitwnnole

I just started with Trainer Road and noticed TSS listed. Can someone tell me what TSS actually is ? Thanks as I have no idea


Also, and this is a big one, your threshold values MUST be accurate, otherwise it will give you inaccurate information. Nailing threshold values is not easy and takes experience to properly test and use the results of those tests to properly set your thresholds.





Thanks for the info. I am wondering if this statement might refer to the issue I am having with Trainer Road. As mentioned, I just started using Trainer Road (or any kind of training software for that matter ) in the last week. I have a decent but not heavy cycling background. I recently did my first half ironman in April and my bike training was mostly on the trainer. I basically just mashed it each workout. I did the "20 minute" test and got an FTP score of 187. I have started a base build work out (medium intensity) and have to say that it just really seems way to easy. Should I expect the intensity to ramp up over time ? Right now I feel like I am taking a big step backward. I understand this might be part of the process. I am pretty positive I can carry whatever they have me at for well more than an hour.

Any ideas ? And thanks for the response above and explanation


If it was your first 20 minute test then 99% chance you went way too easy. If it was your second 20 minute test, then that comes down to 97%...and so on. True threshold testing takes understanding what your actual upper limit is. It should hurt....a lot...a lot more than you think it should, then a lot more than that....then add some intensity and you're almost there.

By minutes 5-7 on your test you should be upset because you came out WAY too hard and you think there's no way you'll make it to 20. By minute 13 you should be absolutely sure that there is no way your heart isn't going to explode and your legs fall off. By minute 15 EVERY alarm bell your body has should be going off but at this point you might as well finish just so you don't have to retest because it's the most horrifying event of your life to this point. By minute 18 there should be at least two different bodily fluids coming out of you and you should absolutely not care because snot, spit, urine and or blood are the LEAST of your worries. Somehow you will make it to minute 20 and swear you will NEVER do that again. If you get there, then you're one or two tests away from actually reaching your upper limit.

Long story short...you should probably retest.
2017-05-04 12:53 PM
in reply to: 3mar

Master
10208
50005000100100
Northern IL
Subject: RE: TSS/week for training

Originally posted by 3mar
Originally posted by brigby1

Originally posted by 3mar Let's not get too caught up in the minutia here.

I'm trying.

Couldn't quite tell on some things and that specific one (linearity) does matter in some parts of the same discussion.

I think we're saying much the same thing about stress vs adaptation, and it hasn't been so obvious to others. I've just seen a number of people put in an amount stress like it's a check box and not get why the adaptation doesn't move as much as they think, hence the point of emphasis on the distinction. Also with the training at an IF of 0.85 example from earlier. Can make a lot of gains with it, but not likely to lead to the greatest adaptation.

Yes, we're definitely saying the same thing. The problem is that there's no real good tool for putting it all together. A PMC is pretty close, but still relies way to heavily on TSS.

Right on there. The PMC can do more of what people end up trying to do with TSS, but there is no one number that can tell everything.

2017-05-04 6:02 PM
in reply to: brigby1


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Subject: RE: TSS/week for training
I'm around 600-700 TSS/per week on 12ish hours of biking. No running or swimming. Would be higher if I could find time to do a 4-5 hour ride on the weekends but it's the spring racing season so no space for those right now. I believe I was closer to 300ish/week when I was training three sports.
2017-05-04 8:09 PM
in reply to: ziggie204

Master
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Northern IL
Subject: RE: TSS/week for training

Originally posted by ziggie204 I'm around 600-700 TSS/per week on 12ish hours of biking. No running or swimming. Would be higher if I could find time to do a 4-5 hour ride on the weekends but it's the spring racing season so no space for those right now. I believe I was closer to 300ish/week when I was training three sports.

That's some solid riding! Curious how you changed the composition of the rides, beyond a seemingly obvious volume reduction that is. 



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