What is a Training Stress Score (TSS) in Cycling?
1. Training Stress Score (TSS)
Training Stress Score (TSS) is a formula developed by Andrew Coggan from TrainingPeaks describing the workload of a training base on your FTP and intensity factor (IF).
1-hour workout at our FTP level would be exactly 100 TSS.
1-hour workout in endurance zone would be around 60 TSS.
Above examples show us that intensity is a big factor in terms of amounts of TSS per workout.
Training Stress Scores allows us to structure training plans and plan forward, with an estimated number of TSS we can see future Chronic Training Load (CTL), Actual Training Load (ATL) and Training Stress Balance (TSB). You can see it on the Performance Management Chart.
TSS is a huge step in training planning and managing training load and fatigue.
2. TSS Formula
TSS = (sec x NP® x IF®)/(FTP x 3600) x 100
You don’t have to remember this formula, the software will do the math for you. But it is good to know where is that number coming from so you have better understanding of your training load.
Tip! If you want to count the estimated number of TSS for your workout you can do this with simple math! If you are planning to go easy for 2 hours, around 70% of your FTP (IF 0.70) just square 0.70 and multiplay by 100, it gives you 49 TSS per hour, the total for the workout will be 98 TSS.
3. What is TSS in TrainingPeaks and How to Plan Your Workouts
Now you know the most important things about Training Stress Score, what is that doing and even how to calculate it but…
It’s not enough to build your own training plan.
We would like to give you a few more advice so you can actually have a better understanding of how to use TSS in planing of your next training week.
TrainingPeaks has its own workout builder which allows you to create very specific workouts and it will automatically calculate numbers of TSS for you and IF too!
Now you can create your own workout, but how many shoud you do during the week?
Depends on your actual level, but we recommend 3-5 workouts a week, 6-7 workouts are for very advace cyclists.
Base on actual CTL you can come up with a total TSS number per week if your CTL is around 40 we would recommend to start with around 300-350 TSS per week.
Don’t forget about periodization, you should be increasing your training load every week by about 3-7 TSS per day, which means 21-49 TSS per week.
Recovery weeks! Most importantly do the recovery week every 3-4 weeks with 50-60% of TSS from previous week. Recovery weeks are most important in your training plan, that is when adaptation to stress happens and you can become faster.
4. Training Plans base on Training Stress Score
Cyklopedia provides structured training plans base on TSS.
Get access to all of our training plans crafted for specific events.
It is completely FREE!