RPE and TSS for run workouts

I’ve been working through half iron base, mid-vol. One thing that has seemed off to me is the RPE estimates for the interval run workouts.

For example, the next speed workout on my calendar (week 8) is this:

10min Warm-Up, Easy, RPE4 then dial things back to 6x1-minute, all-out repeats, RPE10 for this recovery week. Recover for a few minutes between repeats at RPE2 and then cool down for 10 minutes, RPE4 for about 45 minutes of running.

So 45 minutes of running, with 20 mins warmup/cooldown (RPE4), 6 mins of intensity (RPE10), and 19 mins of easy recovery (RPE2).

The planned TSS for the workout is 68, based on an intensity estimate of 9 (!!!) for 45 minutes.

How is the overall intensity of a workout that’s only 6 minutes of work and 39 minutes of smooth/easy considered a 9 overall? Running 45 minutes straight at RPE9 would be much harder and more stressful than this.

Is the inflation of overall RPE estimates an attempt to correct for the reported too-low TSS estimates for run workouts?

FWIW, I’m doing different interval workouts than the ones prescribed, but every time I see the planned description and pre-plugged-in estimated intensity I have to scratch my head…

Sidenote: hey, wouldn’t it be cool if run workouts were imported directly into the calendar from Garmin just like bike workouts, and TSS could actually be calculated instead of estimated…


I use Training Peaks for my running TSS and add it to the calendar. I follow the basic suggestions (VO2, base miles, tempo, etc…), but I ignore the RPE recommendations.


This is exactly what I do as well. Feels much more realistic as far as training stress numbers go to me.

Bit of thread necromancy here… I’ve reported exactly the same thing just now to TR support for the full distance mid volume plan. A 50 minute run has 4 minutes of RPE 9 and the rest is 6, yet the whole workout has the TSS of a 50 minute race. I skipped it and did my club session instead which was a race pace 1 mile time trial followed by some reasonably tough intervals, which I added separately to the base miles I did that day and rated each accordingly (8 for the TT and intervals, taking an ‘average’, 6 for the base). Didn’t come close to the TSS for the prescribed, much easier, workout.

I do wonder if it’s intentional. Maybe these microbursts are just harder on you than a consistent effort and the TSS is deliberately inflated. I suspect it is just an oversight though. Can’t wait for the runs and swims to get some more focus as TR expand and evolve :chart_with_upwards_trend:

Just found this line. I’m on the same plan and am having the same problems. If I follow the time of the workout then my TSS score is lower than expected and to match the TSS I’ve had to imput my workout with higher power/pace rates for the warm up , cool down, and between intervals run or I increase the length of those sections of the workout. I use the workout feature in Training Peaks to create the workout and import it into my 920xt for the actual run. If the TSS is what we are shooting for then the workouts need to be longer, if the workout needs to be followed then the TSS is wrong which might not be too bad considering the swim workout TSS is also incorrect for slower swimmers, but thats a totally different problem.