Good TSB Score During Recovery Week?

Just wondering what kind of Training Stress Balance score you want to maintain during your recovery week? Should I add TSS so my TSB score isn’t too high and I lose fitness? Based on my LV plan workouts for the week, my projected TSB would climb to 29. I was thinking I should add TSS to bring my TSB back down closer to zero. I don’t know, maybe I’m reading too much into it.

Adaptations happen when you recover. Let it be an easy week. Ignore TSB/CTL and trust the process. Learn what works for you as you go and adapt based on what you learn.

That said, I should take my own advice, I never take scheduled recovery weeks. I just let them come when they come, which with a family and normal life balance tends to happen enough for me that I don’t usually get into too deep of a hole. It will be different for everyone but I’ve learned enough about myself to know that if I’m on a roll and want to keep training that’s usually ok. But it has bitten me once or twice in the past too…


Yeah, I was worried that if I added a bunch of TSS, I wouldn’t get the recovery I need, even though I feel good. My last recovery week was 7 weeks ago but I never dug myself into a hole. I don’t think my TSB ever went lower than -29.

Absolutely do not do this. It’s a recovery week, go with the flow, if you want to get stronger.

Exercise makes you weaker
Recovery makes you stronger


Sleep. Rest. Eat. Listen to your body.

Look at data adterwards.

The data should be descriptive, not prescriptive.


Well said! Thanks. That’s kind of what I’m gathering. Very easy for a beginner to get distracted by a temporary decline in CTL.

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Don’t worry about CTL. Like at all.

If you’re a high volume rider (say 70+ CTL) then a TSB getting to 0 is a good goal in recovery. AT LEAST 0. Go positive by all means!

Reduce volume by 50% or more. Take full dayS off. Recover!

But again, don’t chase CTL. It has to go down for you to recover. Then you bring it back up. Should look like a jagged incline over the long term.

But again… no CTL chasing in the short term!


Agreed. My question is more about how much recovery is too much?

I have yet to meet an athlete who cares who recovers too much. :laughing:


Better to be slightly undertrained but recovered and keen than overtrained, under recovered, and burnt out. Your mood and motivations can tell you a lot about which state you are in.

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Well, I ended up doing one hour of zone 3 and nine hours of zone 1 & 2. I feel like I could have rested a bit more than I did :joy: but I’m taking tomorrow, Tuesday, and Thursday off the bike, so I think I’ll be plenty recovered by race day. Monday Norragard, Wednesday Bashful +1, Friday Laurel, and Saturday race day (39 miles Cat 5/Mas 35+ B).

Ten hours in a recovery week, I take it your normal weeks are 17-20 hours?

No, normally between 8-12 hours. However, I usually do a lot more intensity. It definitely wasn’t the rest week I planned on. I have a hard time staying off the bike. I did take Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday off though. I’d probably feel better right now if I hadn’t got destroyed on my Wednesday Bashful +1 workout. Then last night I couldn’t sleep a lick. I’ve heard the most important sleep you get before a race is two nights before. We shall see how I feel tomorrow. Hopefully I get a full night tonight.

Honestly I find tsb and ctl really problematic. I usually retest after a recovery week and my FTP goes up. So whilst I might then work harder or burn more kj in the next block, it’s all normalised to FTP so my ctl will never go up.

I honestly think we should be using some kind of ctl*FTP measure for overall progress.

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Not very aero.

Your CTL doesn’t need to go up, and it wouldn’t make sense under the construct of TSS for it to do so. One year you have a 100W FTP and you ride for 4 hours at 50W and get a 100TSS. The next year, you have a 200W FTP, you ride for 4 hours at 100W and get a 100TSS.

As far as “training stress” goes, those rides are equivalent, so why should your CTL go up?

This is the problem when we call and think of CTL as “Fitness”. That’s a bad label that TrainingPeaks uses, and it’s a complete misnomer. CTL is CTL, and that’s all it is… and it’s just a general marker to help us track long term training performance and trends. It shouldn’t be something we pay all that much attention to.


So, what metrics do you suggest focusing on to avoid over and under training?

I use subjective stuff with a lot my athletes and myself. I also watch HR relative to what they’re doing. E.g. if they’re doing an endurance ride or threshold ride and HR is subdued, that’s a good sign of fatigue.

Of the TSS based metrics, TSB can be a good indicator, but you have to know what you’ve been doing as well. TSB of -25 of all endurance riding might not be a big deal, but TSB of -25 after a bunch of threshold work might be.

Sorry I can’t give you hard and fast metrics, but the reality is it needs to be subjective and you need to be dialed in and listen to your body as much as anything else.

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