TP screen shot

I am getting a lot of questions about what the new screen on Training Peaks means when you open it up on your mobile app.  It is beyond the scope of a blog to explain every analysis tool TP (Training Peaks) has, but I’m hoping to shed some light on what you see when you open your app.

I’m going to do a blog “series” to explain TP.  To start this discussion will focus on TSS or Training Stress Score.  This is the score that “form, fatigue and fitness” is calculated from on your TP app.

KEY POINT:   For the data to be appropriately analyzed the athlete must properly upload their training logs for every workout.  This means you have pace, heart rate, and / or power for all workouts added to your log.  If you are not a data person, this discussion is not something you will likely be interested in.

TSS= Training Stress Score:

This is a measure of how much work you’ve done.  If you go ride your bike easy for 3 hours, you might accumulate 150 TSS points.  This means you did a moderate effort for 3 hours. You were given 50 points per hour, so your total TSS is 150.

If you ride your bike hard for 2 hours your TSS might be 150 meaning you got 75 points per hour.  The ride was 1 hour less but the TSS was the same because of the increased intensity of the workout.

TSS measures volume and intensity to assign a “work score” for the workout.  This is what your form, fatigue and fitness scores are based off of.

From Training Peaks:

  • You earn 100 TSS for an all out, 100%, 60-minute workout. Of course most workouts are not completed at 100%, so most workouts will accumulate less than 100 TSS per hour.
  • You can earn more than 100 TSS within a single workout (as long as it is longer than an hour), but never more than 100 TSS per hour.
  • Think of intensity as an RPE value on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the hardest. If you exercised at a level 5 for two hours, then you would accumulate 50 TSS/hour or 100 total points. It wouldn’t matter if you were training for the Tour de France or to simply complete your first triathlon.

How does TP analyze TSS

  • For bike workouts, TP first uses power first THEN heart rate to calculate TSS.  In other words, if you don’t have power but you do have HR, it will use HR to apply a TSS score.  You can also switch from “TSS” to HR TSS on your workout log by clicking here.  (The circled arrow below.)

Bike TSS vs HRtss

  • Run TSS is calculated first by pace, then by HR.   If you don’t have pace for a workout, it will use HR.  You can also switch it to HR by clicking here.

rtss shot

  • Swim TSS is by pace.  If you don’t swim with a watch, you can use the simple addition of applying 1 TSS point for every minute swam.  So if you are moving for 43 min of a swim workout, you get 43 TSS points. This can be manually added.

How To Establish Your Zones to Calculate TSS.  

Bike:

  • Do an FTP test to measure your Functional Threshold Power.
  • Do a 30 min time trial and measure your HR the last 20 min of the ride.  This will give you a good estimate of Bike Threshold HR.
  • Do a V02 test in a lab to establish threshold HR.

Run:

  • Do a hard 10k race use your average HR from the race to establish threshold.
  • Do a 30 min time trial and measure your HR the last 20 min of the run.  This will give you a good estimate of Run Threshold HR.
  • Do a V02 test in a lab to establish threshold HR.

Swim:

  • Do a 1000m time trial. Take your time and divide it by “10”. This gives you a pace / 100m score.  That is your threshold swim pace.

Below is a link with more information on how to establish hour zones.

TP Calculate Threshold Power, Pace HR.

To add your zones in your TP account, follow the link below.  Your Team TriLife coach can also help you with this task.

How to set your thresholds and calculate your zones

In blog 1 we haven’t got to the point of defining Fatigue, Form and Fitness yet!  That is coming.  Hopefully this was a good start.

Always remember that Training Peaks has a really thorough library of self help videos. If you have a question, put it in your google search and you’ll be amazed at what you find!

Please forward your questions and comments to angie@teamtrilife.com.  This blog is not meant to replace anything TP does.  My goal is to offer a simplified explanation of the numbers you see after each workout in Training Peaks.

Angie