Following Pace/ Power plan but TSS too high | 80/20 Endurance

Following Pace/ Power plan but TSS too high

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    I am following the Ironman Lvl 2 (Run Pace/ Bike Power) and have noticed my actual TSS score is usually 2x the expected TSS score in Training Peaks.

    I am following my pace/ power zones and in general feel as expected after workouts. Is this caused by my heart rate being higher than the generic zones, or training in really hot and muggy weather? Do I need to adjust workouts to account for HR?

    Maybe its nothing to worry about but found it odd my TSS is so much higher than expected consistently.

    David Warden


    Thanks for posting. This is a complicated subject, I’ll try and summarize.

    TP makes a guess on predicted TSS. If you are using HR, there is a bug in predicted TSS and it will never be right (see section “TrainingPeaks has some bugs” at In fact, read that whole document for an overview of the PMC)

    If you are using Pace or Power, it estimates that you will spend your time at a certain point within that zoned range. For example, with Pace, it assumes you’ll be 75% penetrated. In other words, if your Zone range is 8:00 to 10:00 per mile for a particular segment, it will predict a 9:30 pace (75% between 8:00 and 9:00). If you spend your time at the low end of the zone or the high end of the zone, actual TSS will be way off from predicted.

    So, the bottom line is predicted TSS will never be right.

    In your case, 2x is not explained by the above. What is likely happening is that your threshold is not correctly defined in TP, or you have used a Default zone instead of a specific Pace, Power or HR zone.

    For example, if your pace threshold is defined in TP as 8:00 per mile, but your actual threshold pace if 7:00 per mile, this means you’ll perform a Zone 3 interval at about 7:00 per mile, but TP will predict your TSS based on 8:00 per mile.

    Read the document particularly the part about not using a Default zone. If you still have the issue after that, repost here and I’ll look at your account directly.



    I found the issue – posting in case someone else has a similar problem.

    I upgraded to a Garmin 955 which calculates power and Training Peaks uses Running Power if its available to calculate TSS. I am using a Running Pace plan so I have been training in my pace zones, but without Power Zones set up the TSS was way too high after each run.

    By switching to the rTSS in Training Peaks my actual rTSS was very close to the expected TSS in my plan.

    I will also try to set a power threshold on my next test so the standard TSS better fits expected TSS as well though.

    David Warden

    E, thanks for sharing this. Can you send in some actual numbers after your next test. For example:

    – My run FTP based on the test is X
    – An hour Zone 2 run in TP shows a predicted TSS of Y
    – The predicted TSS for the same workout on the 955 is Z
    – The actual TSS for the completed workout was A on the Garmin and B in TP.

    Or something similar.


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