HrTSS for very easy hiking

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  • #10609


    I am quite often skitouring and hiking with my girlfriend at a, for me, very easy pace. For an ideal trainings effect the intensity is too low and for active recovery the outing are probably too long but I don’t really care that much since I enjoy them.

    But one observation I made when looking at trainingspeaks is that the HrTSS for these hikes is relatively high.
    (My aerobic threshold is around 145-148 and my threshold on trainingspeaks is set to 161. Recently I averaged 151 for a 7.5h trail ultra with 165 for the first 40′ climb. so those shouldn’t be too far off.)

    One example of a recent hike:
    4h20 (moving time on Strava 3h40)
    94 ave_Hr 123 max_Hr

    For me that seems like a rather high TSS when I compare my feeling after the hike with for example a 2.5h trailrun with similar elevation gain and an average Hr of 143 which gets a HrTSS of 171.

    I feel like anything below zone1 gives additional TSS which are not really “earned”. When stopping at the summit for example HrTSS are accumulated while for example coasting on a bike downhill at 0 watts wouldn’t give any TSS (I know NP is used for TSS so that is technically not quite true but for steady rides where NP is close to AP it should be almost zero).

    For consistency sake I reduce the activity time manually for these kind of hikes in trainingspeaks to the moving time given by Strava but so far I haven’t changed the TSS.
    One of my biggest TSS weeks was when hiking for 8-10h a day at relatively low intensity. And while it was definitely not an easy week it definitely wasn’t a >2000 TSS monster trainingspeaks makes it seem to be.

    How would you handle these?

Posted In: Mountain Running

  • Inactive
    Anonymous on #10642

    I suggest shutting off the recording feature on your watch when sitting on the summit so as to not record that. There is certainly diminishing returns when the HR is far below your AeT. BUT believe it or not accumulating huge volumes of very low intensity aerobic work does add to your aerobic base. I generally find that one hour at AeT gives a hrTSS of about 60. SO your 3:20 hike with a hrTSS of 166 seems pretty reasonable to me.

    Another way to make these girlfriend hike more productive for you is to carry a loaded pack. This will push your HR up closer to your AeT on the uphills and provide a better strength training effect on the downs.


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