3 x 100 TSS vs 6 x 50 TSS

The basic problem here is that a complex set of idea is being compressed and represented into a single number (TSS). Then THE question becomes, what does that number mean. This is a common problem in organisations (Profit), economics (GDP) and training (TSS). The real question is “What is going on underneath this headline number?” and “What specific type of decision was this number introduced to inform?”

So, as others have argued, you could even do a a single ride of 600 TSS, once every 2 weeks. Or 6 rides of 50 TSS in a week. The appear the same to average weekly TSS!

TSS Is only a general measure of effort vs functional threshold, over a ride, and over a period. It is not a measure of the details of how that ride was carried out, or the various variety and intensity of each ride.

TSS is a measure of the overall training load and stress. (Hours and miles are two others). It is used to interpret the increase in effort and training load against FTP. The training stress: hence its name. Looking at TSS in a day, week or 6 week period provides different indications of training stress and trends. (A richer view that hours, or miles, alone).

To interpret the detail on the type of training, you have to look at the individual intensity and time and patterns of each ride, and then look at the pattern over time. You cannot interpret (or even hallucinate) the individual training effects under those TSS figures. You have to have an understanding of the detail and what you are trying to achieve.



On average, Michael Jordan and I have scored 15 points per game in the NBA.

1 Like

I would say it depends also on your goals. It is obvious that if you are training for a fondo, you need prolonged rides. If you are training for crits, sacrificing longer rides and compensating with higher frequency with a decent specific intensity dosage would better suit you in general.
Then there is the individual aspect. Some people just respond better to higher training frequency. Others can get decent form just with a couple of long rides per week.
I am not on that boat. My general fitness improves much more from riding daily even if only for 30 minutes with low intensity that from doing the same volume distributed by 3 or 4 weekly longer rides.
So just follow the plan and see what suits you best using (some of) the Calendar flexibility.

1 Like

I am a fan of frequency myself, it helps to establish a good routine and consistency. After getting consistent on 6 days a week, you can then start to look for low hanging fruit and how to incrementally add in some extra time on the one day or two days to start getting in some longer rides. Coming back to regular activity after dad duties, I went with the frequency route. Even up until this current training year I didn’t do anything over 2 hours, and they don’t need to be really hard stuff but mixing up the intensities will keep things fresh.

Love the use of the word “grumpy”. Exactly the correct word when you don’t want to offend but need to be honest :rofl:

1 Like

As per the book, you need to stay around 0.70 - 0.80 IF range per week. If you are above this range, then you are over training, if you below it, you need to check your training schedule and/or your FTP.

As far as I understand from the book’s content, it is not the TSS but it is IF. You can then structure it as you wish to.
For example I had 90min workout today with 119 TSS and 0.89 IF. Considering this weekend’s criterium race, I am going to do 60min with 80TSS with same IF. This way I will take down my fatigue while push fitness and form up.

Hey TR, we need performance management chart ASAP please :slight_smile:

Quote:“I’m sorry, but that is just a cop out or a non-answer.”

That was rather rude of you I think.
The guy gave you a polite answer that he thought was justified.
I think you will get better replies if you don’t attack someone so quickly, whether intentional or inadvertently imho.

You could do a 150tss long ride, a 75tss vo2 ride, and a 75tss sweet spot ride per week for a total of 300tss/wk and hit all of that stuff. Work up to 200/100/100 and we might be onto something

Do you know if there’s a way of tracking average weekly IF in Training Peaks?

I have that, but not WK04.

I dont think so. i do it manual.

Yes you are right. Looking back, that day I was really tired, after a couple of very early shifts at work, and I overreacted to the last part of the comment. I am “allergic” to people telling others to “stop thinking for yourself, and just do what you are told!” I know (now) that’s not really what @MI-XC meant, and I apologize for that.

I should have focused on the first half of the comment, and have provided more information. I wanted the discussion to be as general as possible, so it would apply to everyone considering how to structure their training week, but after reading the comments above, I concede that the type of training matters a lot. As @Captain_Doughnutman noted, six days of VO2max a week, might not be the most enticing prospect :tired_face: and six short endurance rides is probably not going to do (as) much good as fewer longer ones. It will probably also not give you a fatigue resistance on par with MVDP :grin:

I started thinking about this, inspired by the Eastern European/Russian training philosophy of less hard - more often, where each workout is intentionally not so hard, so your body can recover and train again the next day. That way, the total volume is as high or higher than going hard every other day. This philosophy is AFAIK used mainly in sports where technical skills are important, such as jiu-jitsu, boxing and weightlifting, where it makes sense to train less hard and focus on improving skills every day. Thus, it might not be applicable to cycling, but I thought I’d ask the TR community.

As noted above, it might be a good idea for things where proper execution is important, such as form sprints perhaps?

Once again, sorry for the poor attitude previously!


Thank you for your reply. I think this is a great forum and far more “civilized” than other cycling forums I have visited.
Hopefully, you will get the information you are seeking.

1 Like

@Zahlmiac you quickly dismissed that early reply with:

In your questions, think of TSS as a cap on length of workouts. Its not the real question IMHO.

That early reply by mathewsparents is part of the answer, and the other part is implied. If you are doing a 4 week block of sweet spot, threshold, or vo2max work, then you should focus on 3 workouts per week in order to get enough time-in-zone, and to make each week progressively harder by increasing time-in-zone. In my opinion the questions to ask yourself are - with limited training time will I get enough time-in-zone doing 3 or 6 workouts per week, and can I progressively increase time-in-zone in weeks 2 and 3?

I find the formula for TSS completely sucks for me. Two 80 TSS rides can create completely different levels of stress.

Of course, because it is a single figure designed to tell you something else. It is not a ride stress score. It is a training stress score. (see earlier post)

I’m not sure I follow. Could you further explain this:

Wouldn’t doing twice as many, half as long workouts, give the same time in zone? (Say, doing one workout with 40 min Z4 or two workouts with 20 min Z4 each). That might not give the same adaptions though, and that is really what I would like to know more about. How does the way you split up your weekly workload affect the adaptions and your recovery?

I get your point about the importance of progressing the time in zone and I can see that will be hard, if you adhere to my proposed TSS based structure. I should probably describe it based on time instead, which is what matters when scheduling anyway.

The question could then be:
What would the differences be between doing 3 x 90 minutes vs 6 x 45 minutes, when the workouts are similar (except for the duration) and the weekly workload (time in zone and TSS) is the same? Will the answer depend on which training phase you are in/what type of training you are doing? (from previous comments, I would say that is a Yes)

It would also seem, that some people respond better to one than the other.

There’s a few posts in the forum (god knows where!) which present studies of the different types of ‘responders’ — volume or intensity.

Not sure there’s a way to tell which type you are except to try different training over time. The study also comments that most riders overvalue intensity and undervalue volume. Take from that what you will.

[edit: found —


Unfortunately, you/we/us are most likely an average or low responder (to V and I). ]


Sorry for the late reply, but thanks a lot for link. I read the article and the two related ones on his site. Interesting stuff! Since I don’t have the avaliable time to do a lot of volume, I’m hoping I am an intensity responder :grin: but as you say, I’m likely not… Sadly :grin:

This :arrow_up:
TSS and FTP … quit chasing a number for the sake of chasing a number.

While I do not advocate anyone should stop thinking or trying to understand the plans, there are many who if they “just follow the plan” would actually improve and learn something in the process of doing so. It is all too common for someone to get a plan online, via TR (Coach Chad), or even via a personal coach and then decide they know better. In this case, why bother with a plan?!

1 Like

Or a coach?