Estimating TSS for a 16 hour trip

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  • #44868

    Last week, I climbed Garibaldi NE Face (AD- ice) in BC, Canada. I recorded the trip on my Coros Apex and was wearing a chest strap for the entire trip. I would appreciate some help in making sense of the TSS score.

    Here is the Training Peaks Link –

    Day 1: 2.5-hour Hike to Bivvy site (TSS 161)
    Day 2: 6-hour climb to summit including glacier travel, 45 m/55 deg. ice climb, summit scramble (TSS 261) + Descent back to car (TSS – 310)

    Total trip – around 16 hours, TSS – 732

    If I add up all the rest/belay time during the trip (excluding 6-hour bivvy), it would be around 3-3.5 hours.

    Should I exclude TSS (say 40 TSS/hour) related to rest time?

    I will add TSS related to elevation gain and backpack weight, but are there any other adjustments I should be making to this TSS score?

    It has been two days since the trip and I feel well-rested now. I will take another day off before resuming training. If it helps, here are some other metrics – AeT: 140, AnT: 167, Avg. Weekly TSS of last 10 weeks of Base Period: 600

    Thank you for your time and guidance.

  • Participant
    John S on #44886

    Hey Shashi,

    Nice work on Garibaldi!

    I’ve never done a climb with a HR strap (but I am curious as to what it would record when I’m gripped out of my mind – a new max HR perhaps?) so I just estimate a TSS. Which I recognise is just an estimate but figure if I’m consistent then it is better than nothing and over the longer term it doesn’t matter too much.

    In answer to your questions though: I would be inclined to subtract from the calculated TSS – and your suggested 40/hr to account for the rests/belays seems reasonable. I can’t think of any other factors to account for.

    For comparison, this is how I estimate TSS.
    I don’t count the long obvious breaks (eg the half hour on the summit) and then use:
    40 per hour for hiking (which I would put glacier travel under) and add for elevation and pack weight if needed.
    50 per hour for technical climbing. For this I halve the total time taken to adjust for standing at belays etc. eg 6 hours of pitched out climbing would be 150. I don’t adjust for vert.
    30 per hour for scrambley stuff. I figure it’s similar to hiking, but slower, so less of a score.



    Shashi on #44897

    Thank you John for the detailed response.

    I am assuming you are assigning 40 TSS/hour for hiking because your effort is in Zone 2 below AeT.

    After adjusting for rest/belay time, elevation gain and backpack weight my net TSS for the trip is 679.

    I came across another forum topic where Steve talks about considering only half the time of the trip as training time. But, I guess these trips involve much more climbing/belaying relative to my trip.

    John S on #44925

    Yes, I am keepoing the intensity down on the approach so only 40/hr. As my fitness has improved I am trying to reset my default hiking speed to take advantage of a higher AeT but old habits are hard to break.

    That sounds like a reasonable figure to use for the TSS.

    Thanks for sharing the other thread. Nuggets of good info everywhere!

    Anonymous on #45143

    Good job. That sounds like a fun trip.

    I think it’s hard to know exactly what the training stress is for these types of trips. It’s always an estimate and (both of) yours seem reasonable to me.

    Shashi on #45155

    Thank you Scott

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