TSS, CTL et al

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  • #25649

    I am getting accustomed to training peaks matrix – hopefully not repeating the following questions.

    TSS Calculation
    1. athlete A – young/very fit / strong – sub 3 hour marathon / run 3 miles 15% grade in 30 min )
    2. Athlete B – slower/old but good endurance – 4/4+ hour marathon / climb 3 miles 15% grade in 1 hour – but having similar AeT/AnT as athlete A (which could be possible I guess).

    TSS = hRTSS + fudge factor for height climbed.
    e.g. in 3 hours 15% grade – effort in the AeT-10 to AeT range . Both the athletes would work in the same beats per minutes HR range.

    However ,
    athlete A – height climbed = 2160 meter => TSS = 160 + fudge of 70 = 230
    athlete B – height climbed = 1080 meter => TSS = 160 + fudge of 30 = 195.
    Here there is a minor (15%) difference in TSS but almost 100% difference in speed and height climbed.

    Is TSS(CTL) biased towards average performers and hence might give an over-optmistic indication of the true speed and power for movement in mountains?

    Is CTL just to track progress and not actually indicative of an absolute value ?

    Curiously,have you observed anybody changing from athlete B to closer to athlete A
    ( not the age 😉 though )
    over a period of few years with say – a methodically executed hill climbing training plan ?


  • Inactive
    Anonymous on #25676

    Is CTL just to track progress and not actually indicative of an absolute value?


    have you observed anybody changing from athlete B to closer to athlete A over a period of few years with say – a methodically executed hill climbing training plan?

    I don’t have the experience to say, but a 100% improvement is quite a change. My guess is that it would be over a very long time.

    us on #25800

    Thanks Scott !

    Anonymous on #25848

    These metrics of TSS and CTL are relative to you as an individual and are not comparable across athletes like a race time or rate of ascent.

    Tye most important thing in tracking these is to be consistent (as much as possible) in how you count TSS.

    It is very possible to move for an athlete’s performance to move from B to A over the course of many months of training. That is the whole purpose of training: Improved performance. Will athlete B ever break 3 hours in the marathon? There is no way to know this, except to try.


    us on #25861

    Thanks Scott. The forum is really informative and helpful – appreciate your replies!

    I have been uploading heart rate data from garmin to training peaks past few weeks and using hrTSS (since rTSS is showing very low numbers – not reflecting the hardness of the hard hill climbing low mile exercises at all).

    With hrTSS+ elevation fudge factor I got a week with 600+TSS so wasn’t sure if it is an inflation. Feel good number 🙂 or a real number.

    It’s good to know that TSS/CTL is a personal number and tracking differences over a (long) period will give a good idea about the progress.

    Another question if you may oblige

    In the training effect section in TfNA – the recovery is mentioned several hours to few days.

    I read that long distance runners train twice or thrice a day.
    If there are 3 exercises (at least 2 runs) with a gap of 6 hours between or 2 exercises with a gap of 8/9 hours in them – the recovery is remarkable.
    Is this something special for runners?
    Would a daily combination of strength / recovery / aerobic exercises still work ?
    Does recovery get better over the training progression ?

    Would be great to reduce the recovery time to a few hours , not sure if any magic wand is found for this. 🙂

    us on #26103

    If somebody wants to understand and use Training Peak matrices – how to use , interpret , add fudge factors etc . following articles and forum posts (by Scott J) may help.

    1. https://uphillathlete.com/trainingpeaks-metrics-ctl-tss/
    2. https://uphillathlete.com/fit-to-climb-everest/
    3. Steve’s PMC video https://uphillathlete.com/performance-management-chart/
    4. https://uphillathlete.com/forums/topic/tss-for-alpine-days/
    5. https://uphillathlete.com/forums/topic/ctltrainingpeaks-and-tfna/

    Anonymous on #26556

    us: Recovery times

    You asked how runners (and other endurance athletes) train twice a day. For a high level athlete low intensity aerobic training should allow full recovery in 6-24 hours. If you are not recovering then there is a very good chance that you are pushing too hard. A good way to gage if your aerobic base training is at the appropriate intensity is that you should be able to go out and do tomorrow just what you did today and again tomorrow and so on. If not then the training load is too high.

    Strength training and high intensity will take significantly longer to recover from. Depending on the type it will usually be from 48 to 72 hours.


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