Alphabet Soup

FTP vz TSS

Graph borrowed from Graeme Stewart

Now a day’s our lives are full of acronyms. I have acronyms for work, for my kid’s school, for my kid’s games, and of course my exercise.  You will constantly hear or read about FTP and LTHR and HR etc when reading anything on training for endurance sports.  Well I just found a new one, TSS, Training Stress Score.  I have a feeling that this is nothing new to many of you. I had not seen it until I started using Training Peaks to log my training for my coach and TranierRoad for doing my turbo trainer workouts.

Here is the definition from TrainerRoad on TSS:

“TSS is the amount of training stress generated from a workout. The higher this number the more potential fitness you earned from a workout.

To gain the most fitness, you want to earn the most TSS possible.  All of the workouts on TrainerRoad have a TSS score on them.  This means that if you were to ride the workout exactly like it is prescribed you would earn that amount of TSS”

If you were to do an hour at your FTP (the average maximum power you can sustain for 1 hour) you would earn a TSS of 100.  (read here for more)

I think the cool thing about TSS that you don’t get from any of the other measurements (besides time and distance) is that it is a cumulative measurement related to effort.  You get more and more TSS the more you workout each week and the harder you workout, the bigger the TSS. What is cool is even doing easy workouts will still get you TSS.  I think it will give me a more normalized number to compare training week-over-week other than time or distance.

Luckily Training Peaks gives me a TSS for all my activities including swimming.  I may need to analyze TSS from Training Peaks by discipline because the running TSS look really high.  I am excited to add this metric into my analysis of my training.

Link to blog from which I borrowed the graph is here.  He has more data on this topic that involves much more math than I did!

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One comment

  1. My favorite is EF and Power: HR….I love to watch my fitness curve improve!! I send way too much time analyzing my data year over year….Recently I’ve been graphing how long it’s taken me to get my speed back after IMFL…it’s been VERY hard work, but it didn’t take near as long as I feared!! 🙂

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