TSS Quality Metrics

I’ve been thinking about TSS lately. I mean, aren’t we all?

Good training seems hard to quantify and TSS seems like the best quantification of training yet, but i have a few questions:

Is there anything else out there that tries to quantify training?

Second, I’ve heard and experienced that not all TSS is created equal. Since tss is based off of intensity, Normalized Power and duration, in relation to your current FTP, I see those three numbers as helpful metrics. What other metrics, qualitative or quantitative, do you think makes up high quality training?

There are a few of metrics which could be though of quantifying the training impact, or stress. TSS, kJ /kCal consumed, normalized power and intensity factor come to mind first. kJ consumed is a really good one for measuring endurance rides or race specific efforts in terms of metabolic demands. NP and IF tell a lot more about intensity than TSS. E.g. in which power zone did you stay for the workout.

As for the second question: I think high quality training has more to do with having a good and targeted progressive plan which can be followed. It also has to take individual recovery etc needs into account. I would use the above, and the following, to Track this. Muscle soreness, mood, heart rate variability and resting heart rate. The latter here being recovery metrics which allow you to get feedback on how you are coping with the demands (TSS, kJ, NP, duration) of your training plan.

The 2 quality metrics for training volume are TSS and TiZ.

Yes, it is true, that not all TSS are created equal (that subject has been beaten to death on TR). However, over an extended period of time that includes training in all zones, total TSS volume over different periods of time are comparable. Joe Friel, in Table 7.2 of “The Cyclist Training Bible”, publishes suggested annual TSS training volumes for each of the 5 race categories as well as juniors and masters. Weekly and monthly TSS is provided in table format in Training Peaks’ WK04 for easy tracking or copying/pasting to a spreadsheet for further analysis.

The other quality training metric is Time in Zone (TiZ). WK04 provides this information in table format, similar to TSS, for each of Coggan Classic Levels (6 level model) and Coggan iLevels (9 level model).

Both TSS and TiZ are extremely powerful information on their own and when used in conjunction Power Duration Curves (PDC) that compare two training periods, it allows you to see if the prescribed workload (e.g. Base, Build or Specialty plan) delivers the desired results.

I think the most importatn 2 metrics are TSS and IF. The amount of stress that you are putting on your body and the volume of workout.

IMHO both are most important metrics and they will predict your form, fitness and fatigue.

Good luck

1 Like

Agree to an extent. You can cumulate a huge stress measure as TSS. If you are not able to recover from this stress, you are not going to improve. Thus sometimes lower cumulative TSS will produce better results assuming that your training intensity distribution is optimal.

1 Like

totally agree