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TSS

EdwinEdwin Posts: 785
Just reading about this on another thread, and thought I'd start a new one instead of thread hijacking. I'm wondering what level of TSS points people work to on a weekly basis? I've had a quick search, and 500 to 800 seems to be about the going rate.

For those of you with powermeters and WKO, how do you decide your level? Is it from previous experience, or are you getting a coach to quantify it for you? Are there any guidelines depending on age, level etc? I'm 33 and currently a 3rd cat, I'm still working out my training plan but in the past I've had a tendency to overtrain and burn myself out so I'm interested in using this to train effectively.

Cheers

Ed
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Posts

  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    Set your power level (Functional Threshold Power or FTP) in a number of ways but the best one IMO is average power from a 1hr TT.

    Then you set your training zones around that.

    TSS is measured using an equation based around Intensity Factor (IF) and time.

    So, if you ride 1 hr at FTP you will do a ride of intensity factor 1 and a TSS of 100.
    You could also, for example, get a TSS of 100 by riding longer at a lower level of FTP.

    The idea of the plan I have (and have been unable to follow due to the weather and wife working opposite shifts) is to use a 4 week pattern of 3 weeks of increasing TSS followed by 1 week rest.

    The easiest way of monitoring it IMO is through WKO+

    Do this a couple of times then retest FTP...

    Hope this helps.
  • EdwinEdwin Posts: 785
    Thanks, do you have a 'Plan B' if you look at it in WKO+ and you're not improving? :)
  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    So you technically cannot get an IF of more than 1 then? Unless your FTP needs retesting?
  • EdwinEdwin Posts: 785
    Apparently you can but it's rare, and like you say it's normally because you've underestimated FTP. I've pre-ordered the new edition of Coggan and Allen's book on Amazon, but I don't think it's out until April so I'm still a bit of a noob on all this and learning most of it through the forum.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    Bhima wrote:
    So you technically cannot get an IF of more than 1 then? Unless your FTP needs retesting?

    Yes.

    If your IF for an hour is more than 1 then you need to readjust your FTP so that it is 1, and reset your training zones accordingly...
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 8,640
    Bhima wrote:
    So you technically cannot get an IF of more than 1 then? Unless your FTP needs retesting?

    Actually - you CAN have an IF of more than 1.

    The IF of 1 is based on AN HOUR at FTP - but if you did a 20-minute TT - you would have an IF of more than 1 - but over a shorter length of time.

    You can get the same TSS by doing sprints for 20 minutes as by doing FTP pace for an hour, etc.

    I think people thought you meant - "Can you have an IF of more than 1 over an hour-long period?"
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    Pokerface wrote:
    Bhima wrote:
    So you technically cannot get an IF of more than 1 then? Unless your FTP needs retesting?

    Actually - you CAN have an IF of more than 1.

    The IF of 1 is based on AN HOUR at FTP - but if you did a 20-minute TT - you would have an IF of more than 1 - but over a shorter length of time.

    You can get the same TSS by doing sprints for 20 minutes as by doing FTP pace for an hour, etc.

    I think people thought you meant - "Can you have an IF of more than 1 over an hour-long period?"

    Yes. You is rite.
  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    Right, I understand now. So a short TT done at 110% of FTP would have an IF of 1.1?
  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    Pokerface wrote:
    I think people thought you meant - "Can you have an IF of more than 1 over an hour-long period?"
    You can have an Intensity Factor for a ~ 1 hour ride upto 1.05 - anything over that becomes an "NP Buster" which is almost always due to FTP being set too low.

    http://home.trainingpeaks.com/articles/ ... score.aspx
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 8,640
    Bhima wrote:
    Right, I understand now. So a short TT done at 110% of FTP would have an IF of 1.1?

    Yup.

    That's why TSS is based on the IF AND the time on the bike.
  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    edited January 2010
    Edwin wrote:
    Just reading about this on another thread, and thought I'd start a new one instead of thread hijacking. I'm wondering what level of TSS points people work to on a weekly basis? I've had a quick search, and 500 to 800 seems to be about the going rate.
    It's more the long term changes in TSS that are important rather than any one week’s TSS.

    General rule of thumb is that your CTL (Chronic Training Load = rolling average of the past 6 weeks training expressed as TSS/day) ramp rate should be in the region of +4-8 TSS/day/week MAX – in other words, if you go over a week-on-week increase of >56TSS/week you risk burning out. Finding the right ramp rate for you is maybe a bit of trial and error, but everyone has their “breaking point”.
    Edwin wrote:
    how do you decide your level? Is it from previous experience, or are you getting a coach to quantify it for you? Are there any guidelines depending on age, level etc? I'm 33 and currently a 3rd cat, I'm still working out my training plan but in the past I've had a tendency to overtrain and burn myself out so I'm interested in using this to train effectively.

    Now obviously, the bigger your CTL, the more “base” you have. Another rule of thumb from browsing the Wattage forum seems to be that getting your CTL up around 100TSS/d is a good base to race on. Bear in mind that a CTL of 100 is equivalent to riding 1hr @ FTP every day for 6 weeks straight.

    Pithy Power Proverb time:
    FTP=how fast you can go and CTL=how long you can go fast ;-)

    I’m very much experimenting with this for the first time this year. I’m currently trying to get my CTL to rise from a low of 50 following 2 weeks off the bike in October using a ramp rate of around 6TSS/d/wk. How high I can go will be ultimately limited by how much time I can train, but at the moment with work quiet and an understanding wife I’m aiming at 700TSS this week which boils down to around 12 hours L2-L4 training for me.

    For the uninitiated, Alex’s blog (as ever) has lots of useful info on all this stuff:
    http://alex-cycle.blogspot.com/2006/10/ ... chart.html
  • acogganacoggan Posts: 26
    Bronzie wrote:
    Chronic Training Load = rolling average of the past 6 weeks training expressed as TSS/day

    CTL is actually an exponentially-weighted moving average with a (default) time constant of 42 d - thus, it mostly (87.5%) reflects what you've done over the last ~ 3 mo.

    Similarly, using the default time constant of 7 d ATL mostly reflects what you've done in the last ~2 wk.
  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    The more I learn about all this powermeter magic, the more excited I get about buying one. :D

    Although, i'm totally baffled at how one can have the FTP set correctly and get an IF of 1.05 for an hour. If I go at the highest steady power I can for one hour, I don't see how I can get above 1, unless I go higher and not complete the hour. I'm assuming the steady-state power you put out in a 1-HR TT to determine FTP is the best pacing strategy. Is this not so?
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 8,640
    Bhima wrote:
    The more I learn about all this powermeter magic, the more excited I get about buying one. :D

    Although, i'm totally baffled at how one can have the FTP set correctly and get an IF of 1.05 for an hour.

    What - you've never heard of 'giving it 110%'?! (Or 105% in this case) 8)
  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    acoggan wrote:
    CTL is actually an exponentially-weighted moving average with a (default) time constant of 42 d - thus, it mostly (87.5%) reflects what you've done over the last ~ 3 mo.

    Similarly, using the default time constant of 7 d ATL mostly reflects what you've done in the last ~2 wk.
    Thanks for the correction Andy
  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    Bhima wrote:
    Although, i'm totally baffled at how one can have the FTP set correctly and get an IF of 1.05 for an hour. If I go at the highest steady power I can for one hour, I don't see how I can get above 1, unless I go higher and not complete the hour.
    Because IF is calculated from Normalised Power not Average Power, in a highly variable effort 1 hour event (ie hard crit race) it is possible for NP to exceed your FTP by upto 5%.
    But anything more than that means you have almost certainly set FTP too low.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    I am soooo lost. :cry:
  • Jeff JonesJeff Jones Posts: 1,865 Editor
    To the OP, I recently went back over my training data for the past four years and estimated TSS for each ride (based on heart rate, type of session and some real power data). This is a prelude to getting some actual power data in training and racing this year.

    I found that my weeks would vary between 200 and 900 TSS/week, with CTL peaking at ~100. Good form generally corresponded with a CTL of 90-100, but those numbers didn't predict form particularly well. Could be a case of garbage in-garbage out, but I was using a consistent estimation method.

    The types of training used to get those numbers were important, as was the weekly ramp rate. I can now see I've done some pretty silly things, like going from 170 to 650 TSS in a week, then a bit more the next week, then get sick :)

    What I'm trying now is a steady build (30-50 TSS/week) with a mix of training types. Since starting in the last week of November, I've done significantly fewer miles than last pre-season but I'm about a month ahead of last year in terms of speed on the road.

    The plus is that I don't feel tired from trying to pummel myself into shape in the first few months of the year. Mainly because it's been a slow increase rather than "I must do 500km this week".

    In summary, I think you need to consider several variables when devising a power-based training program, not just the final load.
    Jeff Jones

    Product manager, Sports
  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    Jeff Jones wrote:
    I found that my weeks would vary between 200 and 900 TSS/week, with CTL peaking at ~100. Good form generally corresponded with a CTL of 90-100, but those numbers didn't predict form particularly well.

    CTL in isolation is a very poor predictor of form, because the nature of the TSS is what impacts an event. You could build huge CTL by riding around slowly for 9 hours a day. or you could build lowerCTL doing solid training to boost 10 mile TT performance. The CTL alone would not predict your performance in a TT.

    Given appropriate training, then CTL (along with TSB of course, if you just have a huge CTL but are knackered it won't help so much) can be a reasonable predictor however.
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • rokkalarokkala Posts: 648
    If you know what your FTP is from a 1hr effort, is there a rule of thumb or general guide to what you could then theoretically sustain for a period of say 4hrs?
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    rokkala wrote:
    If you know what your FTP is from a 1hr effort, is there a rule of thumb or general guide to what you could then theoretically sustain for a period of say 4hrs?

    12 watts less than me.
  • chrisw12chrisw12 Posts: 1,246
    To share my own experience.

    I've got my ctl upto a max of 120 by end of November (good weather, commuting and I like riding my bike).

    My ftp is not great and my power/weight is poor really (fat tester syndrome). I often compare my figures with a friend who has higher ftp than me but does less training so has a much lower ctl. He beats me easily over 10, less so over 25, we're about even over 50 and I beat him easily over 100. It seems that bronzie's saying is quite true ctl=how long you can go fast.

    So to answer Rok. and talking power figures, my best 50 was very close to my best 25 but I have gone down to 95% of ftp in one (bad) race. My only 100 was at (approx)90% of my ftp. I was quite pleased with this as when I asked other people on the tt forum most suffered a bigger drop. Some of the top guys/girls don't suffer as much drop though (suppose that's why they're at the top.)

    What's interesting for ME is that because of the weather I've been forced to drop my ctl (hovering on 100) and work more on my big weakness my ftp score and guess what, ftp has increased by approx 15w from the summer figure. Focused work, drop in training time and more rest. Saying that if I were to do a 100 now it would be a lot less than 90%.

    This proves a point for me. Use the winter to work on my weaknesses and not just follow the old school advice of 'get the miles in'. Fair enough if that's a weakness but for me it certainly wasn't.
  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    Right, i'm about to massively over-simplify things:

    I know the maximum average speed I can maintain for an hour on my rollers and I use this as a proxy for FTP. Yesterday, after a warmup, I did exactly 1 hour at 96.5% of this, followed by exactly 58 minutes at 98.4%. Today I did 1 hour at 99.2% and another 20 minutes at 102.5%.

    Am I right in thinking (assuming my proxy for FTP is correct):

    Yesterday's IF values were 0.965 and 0.984 (0.9745 for the 2 hours combined?)
    Today's IF values would be 0.992 and 1.025 (not sure what they are combined...?)

    Is it possible to work out TSS scores for these? Even if it's possible to only get ball-park figures, it would be better than nothing to help me get some kind of structure going until I get my powertap... If 1 hour at FTP is a TSS of 100, i'm guessing the TSS score of yesterday's workout was close to 200. This seems right, as it fits in with the general guide on the page Bronzie posted.
    150-300 - medium (some residual fatigue may be present the next day, but gone by 2nd day)
    I was fatigued a bit in the morning, but felt fine by the time I got going (around 5pm).

    Again, it's all oversimplified estimations, but the power/speed relationship of my rollers is pretty good as long as I keep on top of tyre pressures...

    This is all pretty interesting to me, and it's giving me motivation to do epic 2 hour roller sessions while I experiment with fatigue/RPE/pacing/etc.
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 8,640
    Bhima wrote:
    Right, i'm about to massively over-simplify things:

    I know the maximum average speed I can maintain for an hour on my rollers and I use this as a proxy for FTP. Yesterday, after a warmup, I did exactly 1 hour at 96.5% of this, followed by exactly 58 minutes at 98.4%. Today I did 1 hour at 99.2% and another 20 minutes at 102.5%.

    Am I right in thinking (assuming my proxy for FTP is correct):

    Yesterday's IF values were 0.965 and 0.984 (0.9745 for the 2 hours combined?)
    Today's IF values would be 0.992 and 1.025 (not sure what they are combined...?)

    Is it possible to work out TSS scores for these? Even if it's possible to only get ball-park figures, it would be better than nothing to help me get some kind of structure going until I get my powertap... If 1 hour at FTP is a TSS of 100, i'm guessing the TSS score of yesterday's workout was close to 200. This seems right, as it fits in with the general guide on the page Bronzie posted.
    150-300 - medium (some residual fatigue may be present the next day, but gone by 2nd day)
    I was fatigued a bit in the morning, but felt fine by the time I got going (around 5pm).

    Again, it's all oversimplified estimations, but the power/speed relationship of my rollers is pretty good as long as I keep on top of tyre pressures...

    This is all pretty interesting to me, and it's giving me motivation to do epic 2 hour roller sessions while I experiment with fatigue/RPE/pacing/etc.


    Dude. Get a Powermeter. Seriously. It'll make ALL our lives easier. Just rent one from cyclepowermeters.com


    You won't regret it. With all the money you're saving on bar tape it should be easy for you to afford it. :lol:
  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    Got half a powermeter! :lol: All the accessories/etc; just waiting to get my hub... Might be a while though as the guy i'm buying it off is not in the country.

    Am I thinking along the right lines though?
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    Pokerface wrote:
    Bhima wrote:
    Right, i'm about to massively over-simplify things:

    I know the maximum average speed I can maintain for an hour on my rollers and I use this as a proxy for FTP. Yesterday, after a warmup, I did exactly 1 hour at 96.5% of this, followed by exactly 58 minutes at 98.4%. Today I did 1 hour at 99.2% and another 20 minutes at 102.5%.

    Am I right in thinking (assuming my proxy for FTP is correct):

    Yesterday's IF values were 0.965 and 0.984 (0.9745 for the 2 hours combined?)
    Today's IF values would be 0.992 and 1.025 (not sure what they are combined...?)

    Is it possible to work out TSS scores for these? Even if it's possible to only get ball-park figures, it would be better than nothing to help me get some kind of structure going until I get my powertap... If 1 hour at FTP is a TSS of 100, i'm guessing the TSS score of yesterday's workout was close to 200. This seems right, as it fits in with the general guide on the page Bronzie posted.
    150-300 - medium (some residual fatigue may be present the next day, but gone by 2nd day)
    I was fatigued a bit in the morning, but felt fine by the time I got going (around 5pm).

    Again, it's all oversimplified estimations, but the power/speed relationship of my rollers is pretty good as long as I keep on top of tyre pressures...

    This is all pretty interesting to me, and it's giving me motivation to do epic 2 hour roller sessions while I experiment with fatigue/RPE/pacing/etc.


    Dude. Enter a freakin' race! Seriously. It'll make ALL our lives easier. Just enter one. Any one.


    You won't regret it. With all the money you're saving on bar tape it should be easy for you to afford it. :lol:

    Fixed
  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    I wish people would stop saying that. It's not very helpful. It's been repeated for months and months but it's obvious that there are no races until March. It's not like I have a choice; I CAN'T enter any races!

    Anyway, how would entering a race help me understand power levels more? :?

    Getting my BC licence sorted this week, so i'll be entering some races very soon....
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 8,640
    Bhima wrote:
    Anyway, how would entering a race help me understand power levels more? :?.


    If you get spit of the back on the first lap - you have no power.



    Simples.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    Pokerface wrote:
    Bhima wrote:
    Anyway, how would entering a race help me understand power levels more? :?.


    If you get spit of the back on the first lap - you have no power.



    Simples.

    Oh. My. God. Why would you want to understand your power levels more when they are completely irrelevant out of context of a race or time trial anyway?

    Just for bragging rights?
  • hopper1hopper1 Posts: 4,708
    +1 for Pokerface :wink:

    +1 for NapoleonD :wink:

    Find a Winter series :shock:

    Half a Powertap :?: ... The hub is everything :shock:
    Bhima wrote:
    Right, i'm about to massively over-simplify things:

    I don't think so! :roll:
    Start with a budget, finish with a mortgage!
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