Running - Does this add any useful TSS?

I have a typical training week of perhaps 400 TSS.

If i add in a couple of steady pace (tempo) 5 mile runs does this have any useful impact on my cycling TSS?

Does it notionally add another 50 TSS for instance?

“Useful impact” is subjective depending on where and when you place the runs within your cycling schedule.

The run intensity (tempo) can have different affects based on running experience and overall fitness. I would say you will only know through experimentation. However, as mentioned, be mindful of where you place them within your weekly cycling schedule, and the time of day (ORDER) you do your runs and cycling to allow for adequate rest and recovery. The added runs, if done at proper tempo efforts, will increase your TSS. Whether they are useful or not depends on your goals and how your mind/body responds.


I have the same doubt. I’m planning to add 1 long skimo workout per week

Probably not the response you were looking for but, I can verify that for me being new to running again after 15 years of no running my quads are insanely sore. So whatever stress I did running affects my TSS on the bike which is what I’m after for adaptation to be a more “fit/faster” cyclist.

I do think the value in running for cyclist is the same as strength training. That is, it puts different and valuable stress on ligaments, tendons and different stabilizer muscles not used cycling. This is important for long term injury prevention (as long as you don’t overdo the running or strength training) bone density, etc…

So for me wanting to be a faster cyclist but, stay healthy long term I plan to add a couple super easy runs or speed hikes a week just to mix it up.

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does running add useful TSS? I dunno. does running make you a better cyclist? I dunno. But, I do think it does help with overall fitness. GCN recently did a video on this topic…

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I agree with what others have stated. Running can certainly negatively affect the quality of your cycling workouts depending on when you run and how adapted your are to the stress and how you recover. In terms of TSS impact for a 5 mile tempo run your probably talking somewhere around 50 - 60 TSS per run. So if you do 2 of these runs a week your upping your total TSS from roughly 400 to 500.

Podcast 189 touched on this topic @ the 56m20s mark. I try to run or do a long hike once a week. Even if it doesn’t make me a better cyclist I don’t see myself stopping. I did a 74 mile backpacking trip this past summer and my joints were shot by day 1 of 4; mostly due to my focus at that time being 100% on cycling…


If you were not already doing 5 mile runs, I would say it would put you in a bad place for cycling. While I am one of those who believe that running can have a good impact on cycling fitness, it has to be done with the right balance.

Similar to cycling, don’t go by the length but by duration. I would start very short, say 10 mins and then increase the duration every run. Keep the intensity low. You should be able to breath only through your nose. I wouldn’t do it for longer than 30 mins and factor it in once or twice a week.

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If you are training purely for cycling then no, it’s neither useful TSS and potentially actively detrimental.

If you are looking for a more rounded fitness or just for general well being then yes, running can be a great addition. Unlike cycling it’s weight bearing and will add an extra type of activity and stress that your body has to cope with and adapt to.

I’ve had a couple of periods over the last number of years where I’ve had a run injury but been able to ride and I reckon that my threshold has increased by maybe 20W in a six week period if I’ve just focused on cycling which has then gradually whittled away as I’ve got back into running.

I keep seeing protour cyclists running and doing skimo here in Andorra, dunno too

As Im in the Army, I have an occupational requirement to run, (at least to able to knock out two miles in under 17 minutes), but I also very much enjoy running to a certain point. I enjoy the freedom it provides, to get a workout in without any real attachments. I keep a pair of shoes and some shorts in my truck so I can just go any time I please. That being said, I don’t consider it a big part of my training, nor do I have any real running goals, other than a loose, amorphous desire to complete a marathon, its one of those “someday” goals. I do walk, most of the time with a load (24 years as an infantryman, your value is based on the ability to carry a useful load overland) and I know all of this has some degree of hit on my weekly training load.

Like a lot of you I have yet to determine exactly where to fit it in. It doesn’t take a huge amount of running to meet my requirements performance wise, but I like to work in a nice 3 or 5 miler for personal satisfaction on the reg, and I hate feeling like I survived it, rather than enjoyed it. So I figure Im looking at working in around 11-13 miles a week, plus a 3 to 6 mile walk with 50lbs. The ruck walk will likely be a bi-weekly thing, and probably on Sunday, since I don’t have much scheduled for Mondays. I’m doing a Sweet Spot base LV right now, and I THINK I should be able to maintain my goals and not blow myself up with this setup.

I usually have a PT test twice a year, and I increase my running and speed work in advance of those, and lay off the cycling during that time. As it falls in March and October usually, it works perfect because those are lulls in the training season for me, in advance of the spring road/gravel season and also in advance of the fall cyclocross scene. Thats my theory anyway.

I’d love to keep reading thoughts on this, it seems like its something the tri crowd should have worked out huh?

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I’ve done a few triathlons including an IM and I used to really enjoy running, doing hill sets and intervals and trainign to be fast (for an old guy anyway). I’d left it alone for most of the last year due to injuries but i’ve started to get back into it recently and i genuinely enjoy the simplicity of trotting along a country road. It’s a real pleasure. I’m also doing quite quick Parkruns again and loving it. If i’m honest i’m enjoying it a bit more than cycling at the moment (Horror!).
That was a good link posted above with Emma @ GCN. If you look at her Instagram she seems to be talking about running a lot. Not sure if she does Triathlons but she’d nail them for sure.
@mellowdave - your points about trail running are interesting. I listen to a really good podscast called “The Science of Ultra” and there was a guy on there a couple of weeks ago talking about the value of trail running and using loads. Check it out.

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If you enjoy running keep on it! You’re right, here’s something very appealing about just being able to throw on a pair of trainers and get out of the door for a run. A 5k Parkrun PB is one of my winter goals for this year as well.

@RCC I added it to my listening que, I’ll check it out. Thanks!!

Emma’s a former duathlon world champion and has won marathons and triathlons.

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Emma is something else is what she is. In addition to World Champion, she also completed her PhD.

BL- I’m impressed with her.