HrTss vs. rTSS in Training Peaks

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  • #9957

    Hey Guys,

    I was hoping you could help me with some information related to how CTL is calculated based on either hrTSS (heart rate) and rTSS (running), and tTss. What I have found is when I log running workouts on my GPS watch and upload them to training peaks they will generate different TSS scores for the same distance, duration, and elevation gain during a run.

    Example: I run for 60 minutes on a treadmill and log 6 miles with 0 elevation gain/loss. It will log the score as hrTss and give a score of say 43. If I run outside for 60 minutes and log the same 6 miles with no elevation gain/loss it will log the score as rTSS and give a higher score of say 63-67.

    My question is, should I be using a “fudge factor” for the runs I do inside when they are calcuated in hrTss? I realize that TSS, CTL, etc. are crude measures. Still, it may be because I’m OCD, but I try and keep the logs as accurate as possible because I monitor the ramp rates and compare that to how my body feels to ensure I don’t over train.

    If anyone could shed some light on this situation I’d very much appreciate it.



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    Anonymous on #9958

    It sounds like maybe your HR and running thresholds in TP are off. Have they both been updated lately?

    I find hrTSS and rTSS correlate pretty closely for flat runs, including flat treadmill runs. (For easy treadmill runs, I set my treadmill at 1% to compensate for the lack of wind resistance.)

    For runs with any significant gain, rTSS is pretty much useless, so I go only by hrTSS.

    I hope that helps.

    Frantik on #9959

    I was under the impression that you should convert all your aerobic workouts to hrTSS regardless of flat or vertical to be consistent since hr is the better proxy for our sports.

    Isn’t that the case?

    I remember reading this in another post by Scott J. (here for example

    Anonymous on #9964

    There are no hard and fast rules with TSS.

    From that thread, SJ said:

    …(rTSS) which is pace based and only works for runners in mostly flat ground…

    I think either rTSS can be helpful, but the key is that it’s done using a tested threshold and only used for flat runs.

    At slow speeds, it correlates well with HR. At higher speeds, for me it does a better job of quantifying the higher impact I feel from flat runs.

    The big-picture goal is to find some repeatable way to roughly quantify the stress of training. If rTSS doesn’t work for you, don’t use it and stick to hrTSS.

    Colin Simon on #9966

    I have found similar problems, getting substantially different results.

    For example, I just went on a 7.0 mile out-and-back run which gained/lost less than 100ft/mile, so basically flat. The hrTSS gives 63, compared to a rTSS of 111.

    One possible explanation is that my running ability has increased and the zones in TP haven’t been updated. Only feel like doing so many lactate threshold lab tests…

    s.luedtke on #10002

    Thanks for all of the advice guys. I have double and triple checked my HR zones and pace threshold in training peaks. I don’t cycle or swim, so I leave those along completely. All of the zones and running thresholds/pace have been entered from my lab test. The disparity that Colin Simon is speaking of is exactly what I’m talking about. Either way, if it isn’t that big of a deal then I won’t worry about it. I’m sure my running and fitness has increased over the last 14 weeks since my test, but I doubt it would be enough to throw off all the numbers just yet. Either way I’ll keep trudging along. I suppose at the end of the day it’s most important that I just complete the workout, regardless of how the TSS is reflected.



    Anonymous on #10003

    The important thing is to have a consistent system over the long-term. The actual numbers don’t really matter since they are specific to you, not comparable to other people, and are not directly predictive of performance.

    If you continue to have conflicts, I would stick with the most relevant TSS type and remove the threshold for the other.

    For mountain athletes, rTSS is of limited usefulness, so I’d remove its threshold and just use hrTSS.

    Colin Simon on #10007

    Is rTSS really that useless? Since it has been generally giving me a greater score than hrTSS, that seems to make sense because of the greater impact on the skeleton compared to running over hiking or skiing uphill. If you are doing some amount of flat running, wouldn’t you want to include that stress in your data aggregation in TP?

    Anonymous on #10097

    I almost aways find significant discrepancy between rTSS and hrTSS with all the athletes I coach. I would with some very mountain runners who when they do a 3 hour run with 4000 vert feet of gain and loss will end up with a rTSS of 30. Crazy low and clearly not indicative the actual training load. When I convert to hrTSS and adjust for 4000 feet gain/loss I see 200-230.
    If you are running fast (Z3 and above) on the flats then yes flat running will have a significant muscular loading due to the impact and rTSS my be best. If you do most of your running on flats to gentle terrqin where there are not big swings in pace then rTSS is a good idea. BUT…..You need to know your anaerobic threshold pace and set it in TP because Tss is calculated off anaerobic threshold. To do this you can either take a recent 10km race pace if you are slower than about 40 min. If you are running 10km under 40min then use that race pace plus about 5%. This will get you pretty close. If you have no race to go off of then you’ll need to to a 45 min time trial and find your average pace. Use this to set the threshold in TP.

    The reason we normally (90% of the time) convert all TSS to hrTSS is that most mountain athletes are doing workouts on hilly terrain and they often switch modes from running to hiking to skiing. This allows us to compare across workout modalities. Apples to apples pretty much.

    As Scott said: Be consistent in how you recored TSS


    dave-7562 on #27318

    Hi Scott,

    I came across this thread when comparing rTSS and hrTSS. It seems like I always end up using hrTSS. Great note on being consistent.

    How do adjust hrTSS for vertical?


    Aaron on #27319

    Search the resources for a couple of articles on training peaks where scott and Steve outline their corrections. +10 TSS/300m + 10 TSS more/10% body weight /300m.

    dave-7562 on #27333

    Thanks Aaron. I found the article and it was interesting. I’ve always felt TSS didn’t quantify the eccentric load of running downhill well; lower heart rate and more stress. The article touched on that as well.


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