Running Pace and TSS Comparisons

So now that the Calendar is out, we’re getting a better look at target intensity levels for the running workouts in the Triathlon Plans, in the form of Planned TSS. I wanted to see some other people’s thought on how they reconcile RPE vs Pacing in these workouts.

Up until now I’ve been converting the running workouts into pace zones based on some information that I’ve read from Coach Chad over on Slowtwitch and some information from Training Peaks on Running Zones. Here’s the chart I had built and have been using to put the Triathlon Plans onto a calendar to plan TSS. Roughly its all built off the idea of RPE 8 being my Functional Threshold Pace (Hour race pace), which means that my FTP is a bit slower than my 10k race pace. RPE 9 is also just a bit slower than my 5k race pace.


However, now that I can see the TSS that TR plans for these running workouts, its quite a bit lower than what I’ve been doing. For instance here’s the workout I’m looking at:

50 Minute Tempo Run
10 minutes at RPE 6
30 minutes at RPE 8
10 minutes at RPE 4

Based on my chart above, this should be about a 76 TSS run, however the planned workout shows it as a 60 TSS run. Running some backwards calculations, to get a TSS of 60 for that workout, it would mean RPE 8 should actually be closer to 82% of your FTP.

TSS is of course a relative metric, and the way I’ve been doing it has been working pretty well, but I’d be really curious to see how Trainerroad planned the TSS and consequently, how we can better derive pace zones from the running workouts.


There’s a more accurate way of calculating this.

If you use Daniels (search for attackpoint vdot)
You can use the Daniels vdot calculator from a recent race, and that will give you a threshold pace, obvs threshold pace for 1hr is 100 TSS.

So based on that information, does the TR TSS vs Your RPE table (using Daniels threshold) get a bit closer?

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Yeah I used TrainingPeaks to calculate my threshold pace based on a 10k race. However, what your threshold is doesn’t really matter, as I’m basically trying to gauge how the Trainerroad “RPE” compares to a percentage of threshold pace.

I did find the chart on this page, which does say they think of RPE 8 as threshold work. I guess it would suggest that work at RPE 6 should be lower as they categorize RPE 6 as Easy-Moderate/TR Endurance. On the cycling workouts Endurance is like 65-75% FTP.

If RPE 8 is threshold pace the TSS is likely too low. TP and TR show a difference of up to 20TSS for my tempo runs! Personly I go for the RPEs and let the TSS be what it is, I manually enter the value from TP afterwards as it accouts for your threshold.