TSS for different categories?

I know, it’s individual, depends on the background, the time of the season and so on but could anyone give some insight on weekly average TSS for different cats?
How about the TrainerRoad staff? Cliff bar guys?


Some of the numbers I have seen people throw around are a little out of whack. I have been successful into the 3s and beyond operating just under what Friel/Coggan and others recommend.

Its important to note the actual stress the TSS imposes on you also. Gym work may not correlate well to high TSS but it makes me feel like dogshit for awhile after. Same goes for Indoor work or Threshold efforts (my true weakness). I can do v02 max work or sprints – really any interval that isn’t long followed by a recovery – 5 days a week and still be functioning. My point? Don’t let an internet dick measuring contest throw off what you can actually handle. Stress yourself accordingly and the results will follow.

Now, I normally tried to maintain somewhere between 400-650/ week. The actual stress of that is entirely down to if I was racing or training or riding. All three have their own effect and I have learned to treat them differently.

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This Training Peaks blog post might help. There is a chart for cyclists. It’s individual but at least this is a start.

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I personally believe 95% of the guidance you’re going to get on this will be highly overestimated. I’ve had conversations with folks on my team, and there’s people who’ve said to be competitive in cat 4 / cat 3 you should be riding 15hrs a week. I’m currently a cat 2 racer (almost cat 1) and am generally doing it on 10ish hours a week, and average in the 450-600 TSS range. I have other cat 2 team members who are putting in similar hours / stress.

A lot of this depends on what type of racing you do, how structured your really willing to be, what your goals are, and somewhat genetics. It takes 0TSS a week to go from cat 5 to cat 4 (just do 10 races). It takes > 0 TSS and fitness to upgrade from there. How much depends on how smart you race, and your skillset.

My personal guess is you can get to cat 3 with 400ish TSS of structured and consistent work a week. You aren’t going to be riding away from the field in big time races, but you should be able to hang out and take advantage of opportunities as they come up. To get to cat 2 is probably closer to the 500-600 range. To get to cat 1 TSS is probably irrelevant, and it’s more about how smart you race, and being able to take advantage of opportunities.