TSS for Run workouts/Triathlon plans is incorrect

The TSS that the TrainerRoad calendar computes for running workouts is completely wrong, and as a result, so is overall TSS planning. I’ve seen several people notice this in the past, but no good description of what is broken and why. So here goes, in the hope that someone at TR can go ahead and fix it. (Support didn’t seem to understand what I was talking about when I reported it).

There are two bugs:

  1. RPE values for workouts (“Estimated Intensity”) don’t correspond to the actual average effort. Typical example:

“Run 55min Easy-Moderate, RPE6 and randomly insert 8x30s bursts of high speed, RPE9 over the course of your run with at least a minute of recovery between each fluid, high-speed effort.”

It’s clear that with only 4 minutes at RPE9 and the rest at RPE6, this workout averages somewhere between RPE6 and RPE7.

However, in TrainerRoad’s Calender this is marked as RPE9 (Race Pace). This RPE9 then gets multiplied with the full duration of the run to arrive at the TSS figure. So this workout is calculated as 83 TSS being RPE9 times 55 minutes.

Second example:

“Run 50 minutes Easy-Moderate, RPE6”

This should obviously have the “Intensity Estimate” at RPE6 times 50 minutes. But in TrainerRoad’s Calendar, it is set as RPE4 @ 50 min, arriving at a too low TSS figure.

  1. The TSS calculation is incorrect. 100 TSS = 1 hour at threshold. But the Calendar computes 100 TSS = 1 hour at 10RPE, which is quite a bit above threshold, deep into anaerobic territory.

TrainingPeaks for example assumes RPE8 = Threshold, so 1 hour @ RPE8 = 100 TSS, which is much more reasonable. They put 1 hour at RPE10 at 140 TSS.

1 Like

I use rTSS on Training Peaks and just edit the workout after completion. Not ideal, but a lot closer.

At the moment the TSS estimates for the runs aren’t fit for purpose. But I don’t think they’ll be updated. Nate has dropped some strong hints at new features coming for the Run/Tri crowd, I think they’ll probably just roll those out rather than going back to fix the TSS on a feature they’ll probably abandon.

HrTSS and rTSS hopefully pulled in from the actual runs via Garmin etc. Would be nice to have some updates for the winter. Fingers crossed :crossed_fingers:.


You cant add up TSS from different sports, its a nonsense.


You cant add up TSS from different sports, its a nonsense.

Even if you subscribe to that idea (TrainerRoad does not agree with you and does add up all TSS for the load graphs!), and only look at running load, the TSS is still completely wrong as it just doesn’t correspond to the workouts.

I pull them from intervals.icu, which back-estimates them from HR. But right now you definitely can’t look at the TrainerRoad Calendar (or TSS graph!) and get an idea what you’re up against.

Ive made my peace with how they want us to record TSS for running, based on RPE and in fact come to prefer it for running.

As for it ‘being wrong’, yes Ive seen some text not match the session RPE. Theres a thread already on helping them correct text. :+1: