Weekly TSS advice

Hello all I have a few question regarding weekly TSS. I have started to train again and have enrolled in the Sweet Spot Base Low Volume 1. Three rides a week at around 211 TSS for the week. I also commute to and from work each day, Monday to Friday. The commute is short at around 15mins each way.

My concern is that my average weekly TSS (when including the commute) ranges from 600-820 and I have been doing this for around 4 weeks now. I’m feeling fine right now however I really don’t want to burn out/overtrain/get injured with this weekly TSS. Before starting the plan I was just doing a few rides a week nothing long or intense.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to handle this training load? I still would like to commute each day but also do the three rides on TR. Should I just continue down this path and not worry until I feel run down then cut down on some TR rides?

My main objective is to get fit and enter a few 150km+ long events next year.

Also just to note I have my FPT updated across all my devices so it should not be reporting inaccurate numbers (I heard this could be an issue on one of the TR podcast episodes).

Thanks for any advice anyone would have.

That sounds like quite high TSS for the commutes. I’d expect them to be much lower each as they are short, and presumably not done at VO2 max.

As for handling high TSS the trick is in fuelling and recovery and resting enough. Eat lots - Eat well.

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I think that there’s something wrong with the calculations you’ve done. 15 minutes each way adds up to 2.5 hours a week. If you do that at a relatively easy pace, the Intensity Factor would be <0.7. That should only give an additional 175 TSS, and even smashing the commutes as hard as you could would probably only be 300. How are you getting 400-600 TSS in 2.5 hours?

In terms of advice, if you can do your commute at an easy pace then I would regard it as nice easy base miles that you can do some structure on top of. Just be aware that if consecutive workouts start feeling super hard (to an extent that you can’t complete them, or doing so completely wipes you out) then maybe you need to skip a workout or 2 (assuming your commute is a must). Then, for recovery weeks, the commute might be enough on it’s own.

I think @DuncanM23 is right, it’s very hard to see how you can get that much TSS in a 15 minute ride, you barely have time to warm up, let alone inflict such a high load on yourself.

I suspect if you had gone from no training to a weekly TSS of 600-800 you’d really feel it by now. I’m doing the mid-volume which is 350-400 per week and I definitely feel the fatigue!

I think if you take the commutes easy, then you can be pretty certain you won’t over-train if following a low volume plan. Even if you did work pretty hard on the commutes the volume would still be under 6 hours per week, which is pretty much the same as the mid volume plans.

Good luck with the longer events for next year, I think if you stick to the plan(s) you’ll be in good shape for them.

Thanks everyone.
When looking at the numbers from the commute they are around 1.71 IF. Seems high I am pushing as it’s in the city in peak hour. I think I’ll try and take these a bit easy like @DuncanM23 suggested.

Fuelling is very important and I have been looking at what I eat and have been making healthy choices so hopefully this is helping.

yeah, these numbers aren’t correct.

That would be seriously smashing it! How are you measuring this? HR or power meter?

@RCC with a power meter.

Looking at those numbers I would question the setting of your FTP? 1.71 IF is very high even for a short ride and especially commuting.

I had to google this as i’ve never bothered to calculate it before.
I just think in terms of 0.8 IF = a fairly straightforward tempo ride.
0.9 IF = pretty serious,
0.95 IF = oww my legs and
1.0 IF is like a timetrial that leaves you immobile and talking to god for a few minutes

It’s the ratio of the normalised power for a ride to your FTP.

So if you are doing a ride with an IF of 1.71 then you either have your FTP set very wrong in your device or your power meter has gone mental.

What sort of watts are you doing on your rides and what’s your FTP?


@Critwannabe the TR sessions I’ve been doing have been hard but not to the point of not being able to finish them. I’ll do another ramp test next week and see how I’m going.

Is it set the same in every place?

I use a garmin and it was set correctly in Garmin but was correct in TR so I wasn’t getting the same numbers for a few days. Once I corrected it the numbers made more sense.

Since TSS is defined as:

TSS = (sec x NP® x IF®)/(FTP x 3600) x 100


  • “sec” is duration of the workout in seconds,
  • “NP” is Normalized Power® (don’t worry about this for now),
  • “IF” is Intensity Factor® (a percentage of your FTP; in other words how intense the effort was),
  • “FTP” is Functional Threshold Power (your best average power for a one-hour race or test),
  • and “3600” is the number of seconds in an hour.

and according to @dorianbrennan’s post, he is reporting about 50TSS per 15min commute, we can back calculate what his power might be. Let’s assume his FTP is 200. If he maintains a Normalized Power of 233W for the 15-minutes then he can achieve 50TSS on each commute and thus an extra 500TSS (for the 10 commutes each week). In other words, it is possible but he needs to go way in the red for each commute. More likely something is not configured correctly somewhere or an uncalibrated power meter.


@Critwannabe yes I made sure it was set the same.
Maybe my FTP is not correct. Not sure if this is it because like I said I find the TR rides hard but I can complete them.
Maybe my power meter is not working correctly on the bike. I use the smart trainer when doing the TR rides and use the built in power meter but I use a Garmin vector when outside.

@bclarkson thanks for the reply. You made a good point with the calibration I’ve not done that in some time. I’ll give it a go tomorrow and see what happens.

Are you using the same PM to measure power indoors and on your commute? There can be pretty significant differences even with good PMS.

The element you left out in this consideration is time.

  • 1.0 IF for 1 hour is that effort of holding FTP for a typical TT.
  • 1.0 IF for 15 minutes is a much easier task, because it is much shorter duration.
  • 1.0 IF for 2 hours is essentially impossible and an indication of bad data for one reason or another.

Point being, 1.71 IF from the OP on it’s own is interesting and worthy of closer review. Taking that with the 15 minutes ride time means it is possible, even if unlikely for a commute.

As the others here, I think something is out of whack, and his data is wrong for some reason. I just wanted to add the time consideration with respect to IF, because different ride duration will make that into something very different for the rider.

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Put your bike with the power meter on your trainer, use powermatch, and then do an ftp test.

It sounds like you used the power numbers from the smart trainer, and applied them to your power meter. They are likely different.

FWIW, my short 10 min commute has about 8 TSS


If you’re using a power meter, turning OFF auto pause is essential.

It can have a very large impact to TSS on short journeys with lots of stopping and starting (eg lights).

Had almost exactly the same issue when I first started with a power meter - trying to reconcile the 1.5 IF I was getting on my commutes with TR’s RPE. Turned off auto pause and hey presto, IF of 0.7-0.9.
Much more realistic.

I think there’s an error in your calculations somewhere.

We can use that IF = NP / FTP (and 1 hr = 3600 sec), to simplify the formula:
TSS = IF^2 * hours * 100

To get 50 TSS in 15 minutes, you need an IF of about 1.4. That’s the equivalent of doing 140% of your FTP for 15 minutes. Except maybe for weird edge cases (bad data or some kind of NP-buster), I’d think that is unrealistically high.

1.71 IF is too high.

  1. FTP is not correct.
  2. Power meter is not correct.

There is just no way you’re doing a 1.71 IF to and from work every day. You would be utterly destroyed if you were doing a 1.2 IF ride let alone a huge 1.71 IF ride.

To actually answer your question your going to need to find out your real TSS that you’re doing each week normally. If you really were getting 600-800 TSS you’d probably be riding pretty hard for about 12-16 hours a week. So, you need to find your base line now and then you should try and increase your TSS little by little until you feel that it is hard to recover.

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