In the same way that a structured indoor training session can have an Intensity Factor based on the time, and the power that’s been prescribed, the category of workout stress can be defined by the TSS or Training Stress Score. That can also be used to monitor how hard, or not the workout will be or becomes.
You could use PE, Perceived Effort, to determine how hard it feels as well. On a scale of 3-10; 3-5 would be easy, 5-7 moderate and 7-10 would be hard, harder and hardest! That’s fine in the moment, but; how do you calculate in the time/volume aspect?
Lets go back to TSS. Training Peaks calculates the TSS using the Intensity Factor along with duration and assuming that your FTP is more or less accurate.
Just based on numbers; a TSS less than 150 is low and recovery would be overnight. 150-300 is medium and you would expect some residual fatigue the following day that’s gone by 2 days after. Upward of 300-450, well that’s high and even a couple of days may not give your body enough time to fully recover, while over 450, it’s very likely that fatigue is taking place that will last several days.
Where does the perception of ‘hard’ come in? Take a look at your Fitness, the number calculated using your Acute minus Training Stress Balance, gives you Fitness or Chronic Training Load CTL. To create the workout then;
Add 50-100% of Fitness for a Hard workout. eg; current CTL is 100, then a TSS of 150-200 would be Hard. Add 25% for a Moderate and subtract 25% for Easy. A TSS of 125 would be Moderate and it would be an Easy workout at 75TSS.
For someone with less Fitness, say a CTL of 50; Hard would be 75-100 TSS, Moderate 63 TSS and an easy recovery ride would be 38 TSS.
Yearly Training Plans can be built using TSS and there are some folk that have that function turned on when using their computers on the road, as one of the fields available to keep track.
Either way, you will know during or after, take a look at the red dots on your Performance Management graph. It’s a great visual to see at a glance, how many of your rides are Hard, Medium or Easy while you’re building your Fitness!
What’s strong with me day 25