Running HR & Training Peaks TSS

Hey guys,

I have always had a high heart rate when I run. For context, I ran a 10k back in March and had an average HR of 181 with a max of 187 and a half marathon in April with an average HR was 182 and a max of 193. I’m currently on the Low Volume Half Triathlon Build plan (already completed base) and Sundays are my long run days. Today I had a 1 hour 35 minute run at an RPE of 4. It FELT like an RPE 4 run with a pace of 9:25 per mile but my HR average was 156. I felt like I could have held a conversation without gasping for air (though I was totally alone for 95% of the run so who knows).

The thing that bothers me is that Trainerroad said that run should be a TSS of 74 but when I checked Training Peaks today my TSS was estimated at 138. I have my HR zones and running threshold updated to what I believe is accurate based on my current fitness. TP said that of the 1 hour and 35 minutes, 1 hour and 22 minutes were spent in were in zone 2 of 7 on running pace but 6 of 7 on HR for about the same amount of time.

So my question is, should I ignore HR rate and just go off RPE? I know HR can be variable based on stress, caffeine and 100 other things but my running HR is consistently high. OR could I be overestimating myself and I’m running faster than I actually should be based on an RPE of 4? Is my high HR the reason for the drastic difference in TSS between TR and TP?

I wish I had a good answer but I dont. I think for multi sport athletes it’s best just to pick trainingpeaks or trainerroad for total tss and stick with it. I use my trainerroad for the total plan. But training peaks for total tss. Kinda of a pain. I’ll be so happy when runa and swim import into tr


Used to find this was the case (+20 tss from the TR plans) however spending a lot of time dialling in my aerobic base mileage and nose breathing + proper technique the HR has come down to the 130s for my base runs. Not sure if this is the case for you but i had to really work on my breathing and long slow stuff. For reference my HR numbers were similar to yours, just PR’d a 23km race with an average HR in the high 170s where most of my weekend running was a HR in the 130s, with only a couple tempo runs during the week where the HR got into the 170s.

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Thanks! I may try to slow down on my next long Sunday run and see what kind of results I get. I’m mostly concerned that I’m over doing it and I’m actually accumulating significantly more TSS than the plan calls for.

You mean that the heart rate zone for TP was 6 and the run zone was 2?
How did you estimate the HR zones in TP?

This is what I do too. Pain in the ass.

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My threshold hr is around 173-175bpm.
I’ve run a 70.3 half marathon at 168 in 1h40
I do my runs (basically only easy runs) at no more than 140bpm.
50’ of easy run yesterday was something around 55-60 rTSS.

Hope it helps.

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I’m glad you asked this. I prefer to use Joe Friel’s method from the Triathlete’s Training Bible but my HR threshold in TP was loaded as 165 which I know is not accurate. I’ll have to do another race to get my HR threshold but if I estimate it at 175, which I think is probably pretty close, then an average HR of 156 puts me at the very top of zone 2. Does TP determine TSS based on the HR zones you have loaded? This would explain the reason for the drastic difference in TSS.

in TP you can switch between hrTSS or rTSS. see below


for a 10k you probably do around threshold pace, a bit dependent on how fast you are? anyways, you also have the HM above, both gave you about 180 HR avg. 175 may be the right ballpark, maybe it’s even a bit higher!

as you say a good way to measure is Joe Friels method, also described here…

Never noticed that drop down for TSS. Strangely enough when it’s on rTSS it gives 138 but 107 for hrTSS. When I checked my running zones in TP I realized they weren’t accurate either. I had updated my speed zones under Default Speed/Pace but not Run Speed/Pace… Sigh. Still getting used to and understanding all this data. Feel free to OK Boomer me haha.

I’ll try again on my next few runs. Thanks so much for your help!

It takes a while to dig through it.

FWIW my zones are set correctly for run pace and HR but there’s still quite some difference. I don’t mind it, as long as you use the same metric over time it delivers what you are looking for.
But it’s not possible to accurately compare the TSS with others,
like for cycling (although that may be also less accurate then we wish)

I never knew you could switch between hrTSS and rTSS, good to know, thanks

TR’s running TSS estimations are quite low… An easy run might be 75-80% of threshold, but RPE of 4 estimates like mid .6 IF. Which even if you have a pretty decent 6 min/mile pace for threshold, would dictate about a 9:30 min/mile pace for RPE 4. For my planned RPE 4 runs, I try to keep my HR below 130, but I also only have a 180 max. I’m sticking with TR’s estimated TSS since I"ve already got a year’s worth of data using it and want to benchmark against previous years.