hrTSS for very long workouts

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  • #14333

    What’s your experience applying hrTSS to adventures/workouts that last several hours?

    For instance, I just did a 2 day adventure, with both days around 11 hours of mostly (90%) moving, but at a very low pace/intensity, average heart rate being ~125bpm (I’ve been using ~145 for the top of Zone 1). This produced an hrTSS of about 450 each day, so after two days, my TSB is like -90 and CTL has gone up like 20. I should add that these days were definitely tiring, but not at all crushing or truly exceptional in my training history.

    Point being, the TSS produced by longer outings like this seems to skew the PMC numbers more than it should. I’m curious how experienced TrainingPeaks users might “unskew” their data.

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    Anonymous on #14415

    I would not un-skew those hrTSS. Long duration low intensity does have a pronounced training effect.


    tradigan21 on #14538


    Would you recommend applying the additional TSS formula for elevation gain/loss and carrying a pack on long days backpacking or leaving the numbers as they come out?

    valerie_ie on #24933

    I know this topic is quite old but I’m new to the UA stuff and reading most of the website and the book to get a handle on things.
    My question is, if you don’t unskew the hrTSS, the next day the fatigue levels shoot through the roof and my TP app advises me to take a rest day until fatigue is back under 25! Do you just ignore the fatigue levels if you’re feeling rested?

    trygve.veslum on #29145

    Did you have many/long breaks during your hike/climb? I have experienced that TP can score up to 30 hrTSS/hr even when doing nothing.

    Adam Fern on #29300

    @land as Scott said above, I would not “un-skew” the TSS values from long, easy days. At my all-day HR, I can count on an hrTSS of 40/hour for the duration of the event, e.g. 10 hours = 400 hrTSS.

    To address @tradigan21 question, per UA guidance, I add 10 TSS per 1000 feet of elevation gain if I’m carrying less than 10%BW. I add 20 TSS per 1000 feet if I’m carrying more than 10%BW. So, to use the example above, if I climbed 8000 feet during those 10 hours with a small pack, my adjusted TSS would be 480.

    To @valerie_ie: when your fatigue skyrockets this just means the TP algorithm is responding to your completed workout. From TP’s website: your form (TSB) today is equal to the difference between yesterday’s fatigue (ATL) and fitness (CTL). As your CTL increases with increasing fitness, the impact that big days (400, 500, 600 TSS, etc) will have on your form is less even though it has the same impact on fatigue.

    The key to getting value out of TP is consistency. Both in terms of logging every workout as well as being consistent in the assessment of each workout’s TSS. Remember that the PMC metrics are not comparable from athlete to athlete. As long as your TSS values are proportional to other workouts you’ve completed, that’s what matters.

    As purely anecdotal evidence:
    My CTL is about 80.
    My big weekly workouts usually come in around 400-500 TSS; weekly TSS is usually 700-800.
    I typically see ATL values north of 120 after my long days; this drops rapidly because of how the ATL algorithm is weighted.
    I almost always do some light workout/active recovery the day after.

    Using the form guidelines on TP to determine when you are “recovered” are only guidlines. For me, I’m recovered adequately to do some moderate workouts (80-100 TSS) within 2 or 3 days following a big day when my TSB is in the 30s. In those intervening couple days I can do low intensity core workouts or short aerobic runs.

    Adam Fern on #29303

    I attached a screenshot of my PMC for the last 28 days. In it you can see three big weeks of training and the corresponding trends of my CTL/ATL/TSB. The tail end of the chart where form starts ramping up is my taper period. I’m running a 50-mile trail race this coming Saturday.

    The red circle shows a big day (this was a 30-mile trail run with about 8500 feet of vert). With it, my ATL jumps to almost 140 and I see a healthy jump in CTL also (over 10%).

    The blue circle shows the following day when my TSB tanks because of the huge workout I did the day prior. You can see from the dot I did a ~50 TSS easy workout despite my TSB being almost -60.

    The black circle shows three days later when I did my first moderate workout of about 100 TSS when my TSB was -25/-30.

    The chart illustrates the way the TP algorithms work, which make sense when thinking about fitness and your body’s response to training stress:

    • Training stress impacts fatigue the most. This is the body’s acute (immediate) response to the training stimulus, hence the metric Acute Training Load. You do a hard workout, you feel tired. Easy.
    • Accumulated training stress is how fitness is built. Chronic exposure to training = improved fitness, hence the metric Chronic Training Load. The more training stress you expose yourself to, the fitter you become. Easy.
    • Your form, as is somewhat intuitive, is a balance between how fit you were when you completed yesterday’s workout and how hard the workout was, hence the metric Training Stress Balance. If you’re extremely fit, you can accumulate more fatigue with lesser impact to your readiness to compete/train again, i.e. your form. If you’re unfit, big workouts will have an appropriately big impact on your form.

    TP is an awesome tool for nerds. Data is power! Remember…

    “That which is measured, improves.”

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