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:
- 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.
“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.
- 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.