Estimating Track session TSS

Hey, quick question on what people are doing to track/estimate TSS for non-standard workout sessions? For me, I’m starting to add in a track session every few weeks and realize that estimating the TSS isn’t as simple as it is for my commutes. This is as the structure of the class (typically race sims) is highly varied and will have a fair amount of time of instruction on the boards between intervals during the 90min. So taking the full time and applying a RPE doesn’t quite work, and trying to add up the various intervals and guess at RPE is too time consuming. I know I don’t need a perfect estimate, but any strategies out there for developing a good “plug” number?

A session from ~month ago as an example (no power, only HR track. Below 100 = stationary getting instruction, >170 = dying while trying to spin a rental 48x16 as fast as I can to keep up with properly geared attendees): https://www.trainerroad.com/career/jamesleaton/rides/63992900-ist-race-sim-friday-s-team-pursuit

For stuff like that, when HR data is available but power isn’t, I’ll usually just upload it to TrainingPeaks and take their HR-TSS number.

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These might help. Derby velodrome. Riding a 92" in a vets SQT session:

  • 50 lap warm up, 5.5 miles, av 20.5mph, 16 mins, TSS 10.3 (PS I know miles & laps don’t make sense)
  • 40 lap group rteam pursuit, 9miles, Av 24.3mph, Av power 147W, TSS 22.5
  • Pyramid sprints 15.30/4530/15 seconds, 4.38m 14 mins, Av 18mph, 126W, TSS 25
  • In and out of 3 man pursuit, 8.5m, 23 mins, 21.7mph, 153w average, TSS 31

So these were generally 20 min sessions as part of 2 hr SQT session, but things like a pair of derny races, is two short efforts and loads of waiting about, whereas a 40-50 min sesion of mock madison, in and outs or even a warm up is more intense.

Probably makes little difference if on 84" or 94", though it is definitely different to put out loads of effort when you are spinning at 130rpm in 84" than riding a 94".

Of course it all depends how hard you are trying :slight_smile:

I hope this helps… Phil

That does help - thank you! Leads me to where I was heading - just loosely estimating the “blocks” for both time and IF/TSS and use those for a manual value. I’ll likely just use very basic ranges (maybe 0.75TSS/min, 1.25 and 1.75 -> similar to where yours seem to have landed). As long as the session isn’t broken into too many blocks that should work out. Reminds me that I’ll need to keep better notes on these sessions as well so that I can look back and at least keep relative standard ranges for the various blocks. From my memory my session was a warmup, then a ramp-up/burnout drill, team pursuit exchange technique, 30/90 all-out/recovery intervals, then team pursuit mock (maybe another team pursuit technique in there as well, but can’t remember). Issue will be that each session will be completely different, but I can work with that.

I know the cadence doesn’t make a technical difference in the TSS calculation, but the RPE (and HR!) is quite different when I’m spinning at likely 120+. Definitely a different training experience!