How do I determine RPE for a running workout?

I’m doing a running + cycling mixed plan these days - using Jack Daniels for a 10k build-up plan, and doing SSBLV1 + 2 in parallel, all on a 9-10 days cycle. Ok, all good. But-

Since TR does not ingest running workouts, I have to enter them. And then put in either an RPE estimate, or a TSS estimate. What should the RPE be like for interval workouts? I’ll do, say, 15-20 mins warmup (so RPE 2 or so), then a couple of sets of 200/400m intervals (certainly up in the 8-10 RPE range during the intervals), then a cooldown for another 15-20 minutes. What’s the RPE for this run, an average of the 3 blocks? The max of the whole thing? And if I wanted to go straight to TSS, how does one do that?

Sorry if this sounds like a newbie question - I never used TSS before starting on TR a bit more than a year ago.

Maybe this will help?

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Hmmm - not really. The link helps interpreting a workout defined in terms of RPEs into something one can use to perform the workout. But not the other direction - how do I estimate the RPE from a (non-TR) workout when it consists in very different blocks? Time-based average?

If you do a tri plan it will include running.
You can probably ignore the swimming and add a some easy runs instead.

Depending on what you are doing, following a TR plan plust JD might be a bit too much.
JD do a lot of T, R and I paces on the 10k plan. When you add that to the SP and VO2max on the bike, you might not have enough time to recover.

I tried to follow my own running (basically trying to do my interpretation of JD wos) and ended on a huge wasted weekend when i cooked my legs after 4 weeks of R and T running wo, culminating on an easy 4x1T. That was the last drop. My legs abandoned me afterwards.

I mean, If you can handle that level of training, by all means do it!
But just watch out.

I personally dont like the RPE system.
My rules is anything under RPE6 is mostly equivalent to the E on JD, tho I might go the high range of E on RPE6.
anything above it is T, R or I

good luck!

I’m quite used to the JD plans, done a couple of years of half marathon with them, so I’m used to adapt them to my needs. This time, I’m doing a 10k plan, 4 runs per week (a total mileage that’s way lower than the lowest volume plans JD proposes, but again I’m used to do that sort of adjustments), I stretch those 4 days over 8-9 days, add in a SSBLV on 2 workouts per week (just spread it forward), and that’s it - ends up a 3-4 runs per week, 2 TR workouts per week. Overall TSS (assuming I’m evaluating running TSS in any intelligent way - the topic of my original post) is in the 300-400/week range, nothing crazy since there’s usually 2 easy (but longish) runs in there. My knee is the best indicator of over-training and/or over-aggressive ramp-up - it will start screaming (it’s just mumbling now).

So - no, I’m not using the RPE system. I’m using the JD paces. But I still don’t know how to take a 4x200m, 2x400m, 4x200m R session with warmup and cooldown and say what the RPE or TSS of that should be.

I see your question.
Well, it will be hard until TR add the running uploads (happening in the future).
I think you can open a free TP account and that will give you the week TSS with nothing else. (I dont remember because i pay for the service).
Strava has its own TSS calculator, and its decent (but is not TSS), but you also have to pay to see this.
Garmin also have a TSS thing buried somewhere on the desktop dashboard.

On a side note, I was used to JD. I use it for years and pulled a marathon PR using his plan (in 2017, 2:59:48).
Its a great system. But it can be very taxing. But you are not doing 4 bike rides a week, so you will be ok.
If you ever get to the point where you are biking more than running (which happened to me this year) then it might be time to reevaluate.

Thanks. Yeah, I used to do either running summers, or biking summers. I’m trying to do both this year, with an emphasis on running - trying to prove myself I could still do a sub-50mins 10k before I reach 60…


Go for it. Hope your summer is not as hot as in Florida!
Cycling will only make you a better runner!

I’ve seen the time for easy run pace to drop reduced from the usual season start. (that’s one thing I do differently from JD, I pace all E runs on 75% MHR). I chalk that to my TR programs over the winter.

And no, not as warm at all - I was in full winter kit 2 weeks ago… and still around 12 C this morning.

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If it’s me, and we’re talking running…RPE is aways 11. Always.

Knees/ankles/feet just refuse to take the abuse :grimacing:


With a fair degree of experience the RPE calculator for running workouts in TR tends to under estimate especially for longer runs. As a way to get an estimate, I use a free Training Peaks account and then have Garmin Connect sync out to that. If you use a heart rate monitor (or without) it will give you a TSS value. Usually I just put that into the calendar in TR so I have total weekly TSS.

It’s still an estimate so I have no idea if the value is real or not but it seems about right most of the time.

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I do get my data through Garmin Connect, HR included, so I’ll try that path. I use SportTracks, which has a TRIMP model, and it does calculate the load from my runs, so I assume the TP TSS model would also work.


I would use overall average. Some parts may be hard, some may be easy. It’s a rough correlation to IF.

You can also wear a HRM, and then upload it to TR, and gauge based on the HR TiZ and avg HR. It would be similar to TrainingPeak’s hrTSS. It’s also what I do for some of my rides that don’t have power. I just carry it over from TrainingPeaks, as it’s close enough.

Garmin Connect has an “Exercise Load” you can estimate TSS from that, from historical data. Look at some Z2 and Z3-centric efforts and gauge. The “Exercise Load” can guide there as well, higher and lower.

Did that, it seems to work - except for elevation gain/loss. TR invented a 154m gain and a 134m loss on a run where GC shows a gain of 4m and I was basically on the flat all the time. If elevation is used in any way in TP’s calculations, it will be offset big time. Still trying to find where that comes from.

The only thing I can find is the FirstBeat Training Effect (a 0-5 number) - is that it?

I use Elevate’s HRSS, which is roughly the same units as TSS. I find it works pretty well. It does require that you have an estimate of your LTHR entered into Elevate.

There are other heart-rate-based and pace-based metrics that output numbers on the same scale as TSS. (The pace metrics require a LT pace.) I believe Golden Cheetah and TrainingPeaks each implement both of those.

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Get a Training Peaks account and it will calculate rTSS for you…whenever I sued to layout my tri training plans, I would invariably plan ~10 rTSS / mile and got a reasonable expectation for my rTSS, both for the individual workout and then captured in a the full week TSS.

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It should be below that, at least on the web page.

Screen Shot 2020-06-08 at 12.32.59 PM

Not getting that apparently.
**image **

Hmm, weird. Maybe it’s a run vs bike thing, I’m not sure. The above was from a MTB ride with only HRM. I can’t say any more than that. :frowning:

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