I commute 4 days a week and I was concerned with them impacting my training time as well. My commute is 12 miles (-ish) each way, I usually drive in on Monday, leave my truck there all week and use it as a base of ops for storing clothes and such, then drive home Friday. Lately that’s been a little impacted with a job change where I have to be in early on Wednesdays but that’s the gist.
Right now I use tue/thu/sat as TR days and mon, wed, fri as ramp up and recovery days.
Like you, I’ve been trying to estimate the calories used on those rides, as well as the TSS with a goal of keeping it way down to allow me to focus on the TR days, and I agree the ELEMNT and STRAVA calculations were crazy before I put a cheap power meter on my commuter. I would ride 90 minutes (less than 1000ft of climbing) and get a TSS off 125 and 1300 calories burned. unlikely to say the least. What I did was buy a Stages FSA Power Meter and then put the matching Crank set on the Cross and Commuter bikes, so I can switch the meter back and forth. Works like a champ. At an hour ride home now I get about 450Kj and equivalent calories with a TSS more like 65. Same route.
This is an example of a wonky ride. The Kj is 460 the estimated calories is over 1000. At 118W average…
It makes me wonder what Wahoo is thinking with that calorie and TSS calculation. Something is throwing it off, but I have yet to figure what it was.