TSS in TrainingPeaks stands for Training Stress Score. Imagine it like a points system for your workouts. It considers two things:

  1. How hard you pushed: Did you go for a leisurely ride or an all-out sprint? Harder workouts earn more points.
  2. How long you exercised: A longer workout, even at a moderate pace, will get you more points than a short burst of intense activity.

The cool thing is that TSS gives you a single score regardless of the sport. So, a 60-km bike ride with some hills might have a similar TSS to a tough hour-long running session. This makes it easier to compare workouts and track your overall training load.

Think of TSS like a gauge on your fitness journey. A higher score indicates a tougher workout that will take more time to recover from. By monitoring your TSS (and along with other training parameters) your coach can plan your training and schedule your recovery days.

Let’s compare a 1 kilometer walk and a 1 kilometer run using TSS:

1. Effort:

2. Duration:

3. TSS:

Based on the effort and duration, the walk would likely have a much lower TSS than the run. The specific values would depend on the individual’s fitness level and the specific algorithm used by TrainingPeaks, but as a general example:

This difference highlights how intensity plays a bigger role than duration in accumulating TSS. Although the walk takes longer, the lower intensity translates to a lower training stress score compared to the shorter but more intense run.