hrTSS vs rTSS – default for trail running

  • Creator
  • #24922
    Michael G

    I have searched through and found the topics that discuss the approach of using hrTSS and then adjusting the TSS score based on cumulative elevation gain. Is the idea to only use hrTSS as the calculation approach for all foot born activities?

    I’m curious if rTSS can be used as the default for straight forward trail runs with cumulative elevation gains well under 1000′? Most of my Base runs might have ~400 to 500′ total gain. It would seem current rTSS values work pretty well for that.

    Where I find huge discrepancies are long hikes and/or big runs with lots of cumulative elevation gain and loss. For those I am going with the hrTSS + adjustment approach.

    That line up with what others are doing? Any guidance is greatly appreciated.


  • Participant
    todd.struble on #24934

    I just stay consistent since that makes it easier to track. Since I use the fudge factors recommended, I just stay with that same system even if I do a flat run. That way I don’t have to decide whether something had enough elevation gain to justify using hrTSS or not.

    As noted a bunch here, the TSS thing is an “imperfect but the best we have” proxy, so I don’t sweat a few TSS here and there. I look at the longer term (weeks, months) trends to see if they’re following what I’m supposed to be doing.

    I think the only way I’d change to using rTSS is if I decided I was going to spend a 3-6 month block training for flat running goals. Maybe others have different opinions.

    Anonymous on #24937

    Todd is correct that the best approach is to be consistent. TSS is really individual and isn’t comparable across athletes. (Perhaps not in cycling with loads measured with a power meter.)

    I use both hrTSS and rTSS, but rTSS is only for flat runs when I have an up-to-date threshold speed. For anything with any amount of gain, I use hrTSS and the fudge factors. YMMV.

    Michael G on #24944

    This is all great info, thank you.

    Are the fudge factors for elevation based on ascent only? If you run up and then back down a 1000′ hill and are using hrTSS do you add 10TSS for only the 1000′ gain or do you add 20TSS for the 1000′ up and the 1000″ back down?

    Anonymous on #24945

    The adjustment is for both ascent and descent.

    Jon Dyer on #25337

    Just to follow up on clarifying this…I had the same question as Michael. For a 1,000 ft. ascent and then 1,000 ft descent out and back for example would you add 10 or 20 TSS to hrTSS?

    Michael G on #25346

    The answer I came away with (and what I’ve been doing) is to add 20 TSS.

    Anonymous on #25365

    Sorry for the confusion.

    * When the load is less than 10% of body weight, we use 10 TSS for every 1,000 feet elevation gain round trip;
    * When the load is ~20% of body weight, we use 20 TSS for every 1,000 feet of elevation gain round trip.

    Jon Dyer on #25433

    Sorry to be so dense but I still want to make aure I’m clear on this. Sounds like it’s just based on total gain, not change? You’re use of the word gain with roundtrip and ascent and descent from an earlier reply is throwing me off. I’ll give a specific example from last sunday. I did a big mountain “run” that was basically one big uphill, 5,000ft ascent, and then back down the same route so 5,000ft descent. All with a very light pack. Nice little out n back here in the Tetons. How would you adjust the TSS? Intuitively I’m thinking the downhill change needs to be part of the adjustment since it’s so hard on the body…

    Anonymous on #25566

    The adjustments include both the ascent and descent.

    For up and down 5,000′, you could add 50 TSS.

    gliderx on #25575

    Im currently doing the 6 month mountaineering training plan and after reading through some articles and posts here I am just curious why none of this is mentioned in the plan? or am I missing something?

    Seems like a pretty important thing to have to try and find and then figure out yourself?

    I haven’t been doing any of this should I retrospectively change workouts I have done?

    Anonymous on #25677

    I’m not familiar with the training plans, but the adjustments are usually something we do on the coaching side. They may have been left out of the plans to avoid any confusion (which it looks like there could be).

    If you want to use the adjustments going forward, you could add the adjustments to past workouts. But I don’t think it’s necessary unless you want to compare apples to apples. CTL is not an exact number that means anything to anyone else. (Different athletes could all have the same CTL and perform very differently.)

    If you do decide to recalculate them, with TP’s normal settings, only the past six weeks are included in your CTL number. So not much point in going further back unless you really want to compare apples to apples.

    But again, I don’t think it’s necessary.

    gliderx on #25678

    OK thanks, I just would like to have an accurate CTL to judge my level of ‘readiness’ for my objective based on some of the numbers I have seen floating around.

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