Is TSS correct for runs in the calendar?

Hello everyone, I have been reviewing my cycling and run workouts in the calendar since inception and the TSS estimates for runs seems low compared to cycling where the perceived effort on the runs, for me at least is the same if not higher that the cycling workouts over the same duration.

When comparing a sweet spot or threshold cycling workout and a threshold (HR) run where the durations for both activities are the same. The calculated TSS is normally 20-30 points lower for runs.

In the scheme of things this doesn’t really matter as I am using the same ‘tool’ to measure so even if the TSS isn’t right it’s consist.

Where this does throw things out is when I haven’t been on the bike, warranty repair on my trainer as an example. I replace my usual cycling training with additional runs, my TSS takes a hit for that week, where I would argue the effort is higher. My heart rate data appears to support this as well.

Some may say to change the TSS when logging the runs. I chose not to do this and I just use the ‘effort’ dropdown based on the perceived effort. My logic, want the numbers to be consistent over time.

On a side note, not that I use it anymore but Training Peaks record the same runs with a higher TSS, usually a tad higher than most cycling training sessions. Again from heart rate data and perceived effort that feels right to me.

All of the above are just my observations, interested to hear what other multi sport athletes have experienced.


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Not an answer, but some existing discussion:

Similar question with no response:

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I wouldn’t say TR run tss is accurate or repeatable. Without any threshold identification for running there isn’t any way to measure if those numbers are worthwhile.

I use TP and generally agree with you that my runs incur more TSS than riding. However, it’s all relative to threshold. I’m fully using FTpace in TrainingPeaks for accuracy.

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If you added your plan to your calendar more than 2 months ago, the intensity of many of the runs were mistagged and way too low: Tri plan runs - bad Intensity/TSS numbers

They put in more reasonable values after that, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re still off a moderate amount.

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