Those Training Peaks metrics can provide some very valuable training feedback when combined with your perceptions of how you are feeling. However, when first starting to use TP their mathematical model will assume you are starting at a zero TSS. It is not likely, of course, that you have no fitness what so ever but the TP model needs to collect some data on you. Their model uses a 6 week weighted, running average. So, it needs to have collected a full 6 weeks of training data before any of the metrics will even begin to reflect reality as far as you body is concerned. Even then it will continue to refine the metrics and we find that after several months the model becomes quite an accurate reflection of you condition.
A few finer points to keep in mind:
1) TP uses the Anaerobic or Lactate threshold to determine TSS so knowing this HR point and entering it into the “Zones” calculation is critical for achieving good feed back. Be aware that when they use the term ‘threshold’ they mean the upper or anaerobic one not the lower or aerobic one we emphasize so heavily. They are both important for training control but their model is based on the upper one.
2) Be sure to convert all your aerobic training sessions to hrTSS. Do this by naming them “other” in the the TP menu of workouts. Click ‘files’ in the upper right corner of the workout window and then click ‘recalculate’ to change from something like rTSS to hrTSS.
3) Develop own fudge factor to adjust TSS by how long it takes you to recover from a workout. You can start with the simple tool I use which is to add 10TSS for each 1000 feet of vertical in a workout. Refine that ‘factor’ based on how long it takes you to recover. I’ll be doing an article on this very soon but: An easy aerobic workout (Z1-2) should allow you to recover with in 24 hours and that should get a TSS of 50-75/hour (plus any vertical adjustment). A Z3 workout will probably leave you feeling it for 36-48 hours and needs a TSS of about 100/hour for the time spent in Z3 (again with the vertical adjustment).
I think you will find it keeps you more focused on how you are adapting to the training to monitor these things a use them to fine tune as you go forward.