What Is Training Stress Score & How Much TSS Per Week?
Training Stress Score or commonly know as TSS, is a formula developed by training peaks founder Andrew Coggan. Training Stress Score helps you understand the workload of your training, and is based on your FTP and intensity factor (IF).
Maybe you are wondering what is Training Stress Score and how much TSS per week is needed. In this article, we give you a simple understanding of how it’s used and how you can benefit from it.
Training Stress Score – A Complete Guide
Learning to understand the Training Stress Score can help you to get a better understanding of your training and workload. It can also be a great tool in structuring training plans for coaches and athletes.
To get a quick understand of your Training Stress Score a 60-minute workout at your FTP would equate to roughly 100 TSS. You can see your TSS values from the past via the Performance Management Chart. Also, inside your workout box on the calendar you will be able to see it via the planned and completed areas.
Building a training plan TSS allows you to plan ahead of time with an estimated TSS value inside the performance chart. This gives coaches and athletes knowledge of the workload and physiological stress the athlete will face in a training session in the future.
Training Stress Score is calculated most accurately when using a power meter. This means the file needs to have the time series duration and power data included, while having all the threshold settings set correctly.
Once you have all these settings correctly set and have access to a power meter you are able then to monitor your TSS accurately.
Depending on your CTL (Chronic Training Load), you can calculate your actual TSS for each week. But depending on your level, and if you are a beginner cyclist, you may want to start around the 192-335 mark per week. This is equivalent to what most cat 5 riders accomplish per week. The more experienced elite rider to give you an idea usually sits between 770-960 TSS and above.
How Much TSS Per Week?
How much TSS per week you set yourself depends on numerous factors. First and foremost your current fitness level in cycling and your lifestyle.
To give you a baseline figure to work from here is some estimated TSS values for cyclists per week:
Category 1/2: 770 – 1000
Category 3: 450 – 680
Category 4: 380 – 580
Category 5: 180 – 380
These numbers are based on annual training hours of 220-1000 hours. Remember this is a guideline and may vary depending on the person.
If you are a triathlete your total TSS will be much higher than that of a cyclist:
Ironman: 850 – 1700
Half Ironman: 700 – 1000
Olympic: 550 – 850
These numbers are based on annual training hours from 400-1200. To calculate your TSS as a triathlete you can use the following as a guide for moderate training:
Swimming: 1 TSS per minute of active swimming
Cycling: Slightly below 1 TSS per minute (0.83 or close to)
Running: Slight above 1 TSS per minute (1.09 or close to)
Training Stress Score Formula
The formula for the Training Stress Score is as follows:
TSS = (sec x NP® x IF®)/(FTP x 3600) x 100
This means TSS is equal to the seconds of your workout times by Normalized Power x Intensity Factor. It is divided by your FTP (percentage of how hard it was) x 3600 (number of seconds in the hour). Then finally multiplied by 100.
Luckly there is no reason to remember it as training Peaks calculates it. But there is still a reason to understand the formula behind it and the process. Because unfortunately for triathletes there is no downloadable device that can be used to determine swim TSS.
TSS Score For Half Ironman
The TSS score for a Half Ironman or Ironman will range from 165-180 for the half and 250-285 for the Full. But this can depend on the athlete’s strength in each discipline.
The weaker cyclist may need a lower TSS to be able to run well off the bike. The stronger cyclist, on the other hand, may push the TSS slightly more. But riding at a TSS just below what you calculate can help you keep yourself from blowing up on the run. Think of it as a safety precaution that will pay dividends in the long run.
Try including some efforts at your calculated TSS in training. It can help you fine-tune the desired intensity goal for the bike in a half Ironman. Doing so will both preparing you mentally and physically to run well off the bike.
TSS Calculation Spreadsheet
If you are not a fan of Training peaks or other workout logs, there are TSS calculation spreadsheet available online. One that stands out to us is from https://setark0s.wordpress.com/ you can download this via his website.