Estimate TSS based on perceived effort

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by Bike4Him, Mar 12, 2011.

  1. Bike4Him

    Bike4Him New Member

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    I don't have a powermeter on my mt. bike.
    I did a ride of 70 miles in what felt like a high L3 as an average and many times high L4 and greater.
    Is there a way to estimate TSS based on perceived effort?
     
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  2. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Sure, it's accuracy won't be great but folks do it all the time for rides or races without power meters.

    - Estimate IF for the ride or percentage of your current FTP. It helps if you try this on your regular rides with a PM equipped bike till you develop a feel for what a 0.7, 0.8 or 0.9 IF ride feels like.

    - If you use WKO+ you can enter a manual workout by opening a calendar day and clicking the option arrow in the upper right hand corner of the screen to bring up the manual workout dialog box where you enter IF and time.

    - You can calculate estimated TSS manually with the following formula: TSS = IF*IF*hours*100

    So a ride with an IF at 70% of FTP for two hours yields roughly 100 TSS (0.7^2*2*100 = 98 TSS)

    -Dave
     
  3. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    I am one of those that use the manual entry into WKO at least a couple times a week. I do have PM's, but on two days a week I do a split workout and use an unmonitored spin bike on the morning session where I later input a perceived effort (IF) and time, which the program estimates the rest and adds it to the PMC so that I can regulate my weekly stress load. Two weekends ago my hub batteries died midway through an eighty mile ride and I had to unfortunately estimate that ride as well.

    As Dave said it is not accurate, but at least better to put something in there so that I regulate my training load.

    Even if I did not have a PM I would still use WKO. I really like the software for keeping track of training.
    However, like Dave mentioned one needs to know what these efforts feel like by using a calibrated PM equipped bike or stationary bike.
     
  4. Bike4Him

    Bike4Him New Member

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    Thanks for the advice. I'll work on developing a feel for what the efforts feel like. That "sense" would be good to have.
    I know at times I think I'm really working when I'm really just worn out from the day.
     
  5. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    I often play the 'guess the TSS' game as I roll home from a training ride. It gets pretty easy with practice. Just remember you 'earn' 100 'base TSS' points for every hour ridden but that gets multiplied by IF^2 for ride TSS. So as I wind down from say a 2 hour ride I know I'm working on 200 'base TSS points' and if I estimate the ride was roughly 80% then I've got 200 * .64 or about 130 TSS for the ride.

    The estimates get better with practice and it's handy if I'm say finishing the week with a longer Tempo ride and have a TSS goal to finish the week. I can do a running estimate mid ride and figure out if I should tack on some distance or just head home.

    -Dave
     
  6. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    That's also a good test of mental alertness after a really hard ride. If I can guess fairly close but feel tired then I'm on the money... but if it's like the end of one very spectacularly bad/hard ride last year I knew with the final 20 mile climb coming up I was done for when I was wondering what ATL was an if I'd need to apply ice for it.
     
  7. bgoetz

    bgoetz Member

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    If you did not want to buy WKO or a similar program and did not care to much about the level of accuracy, could you use the estimated TSS value and plug it into some sort of a spreadsheet and figure CTL (essentially create your own rudimentary program)? If so how would you go about figuring CTL?

    I have always thought about doing this, but figured it would be fairly difficult. Currently I have a spreadsheet and kind of compare week to week to get an idea of what direction my training is heading.
     
  8. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it's actually pretty simple to code one of these up in Excel.

    Here's a forward looking planning spreadsheet I use to plan CTL ramp rates and tapers for peaking. You can use the same formulas and just copy them down and enter your estimated ride data rather than forward looking estimates for future rides. Just enter data, starting seeds and the ATL and CTL time constants (7 and 42 are defaults but many masters athletes get better results from ATL by setting its time constant a bit longer such as 9 or 10 days as they tend to take a bit longer to recover from hard workouts) in the green data cells.

    -Dave
     

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  9. bgoetz

    bgoetz Member

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    Cool thanks Dave!!

    I think I could use my spreadsheet to break down each workout and help me come up with a TSS and then put the TSS into the spreadsheet that you provided. If I did that I could just create a new one for each month under a different tab inserting the starting CTL where I left off on the previous month, correct? Also what would be a good way to estimate my starting CTL?
     
  10. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Yes, you could either extend this 30 day PMC down the columns further to make it longer or use one of these per month and seed the ATL, CTL with last month's final values. And yes you can do a detailed break down of time and intensity estimates to estimate ride TSS, I have another simple spreadsheet that I used several seasons ago to estimate TSS for blocked interval work on gym ergs but with a bit of practice it's hardly worth the effort as it's just as easy and just about as accurate to simply estimate TSS as shown above as IF^2*hours*100. So the trick really becomes estimating an overall ride IF for variable rides which is a bit tougher if you don't ever ride with a PM so you can't check your estimates. Still you've got the same problem even if you use a more complicated spreadsheet to calculate TSS from estimated interval and rest efforts. But yes, the bottom line is that you can feed a TSS planner with TSS estimates (or for that matter kj, calories, hours, miles or whatever load metric you want to track in an impulse response manner) for each ride.

    In terms of starting seeds. Unless you're coming off a break or are really tired I'd start by seeding ATL the same as CTL or IOW starting with a TSB of zero on the day following your seeds which implies a neutral state of not terribly tired or particularly well rested. ATL responds very quickly so it's not as important to seed accurately. For CTL there are various methods offered but a good starting point would be something like 50% of your average daily hours * 100 which implies an average ride IF of ~ 70%. So if you average 7 hours per week or a daily average including rest days of 1 hour per day you'd seed your CTL with 1*100*50% = 50. If you've been doing more focused SST/L4 work for a while and fewer long steady rides then you might bump that up to say 60% of your daily hours times 100 which implies around 78% average ride IF. Some folks use more aggressive seed estimates and it doesn't matter too much since it's easy to adjust later on. If you seed too low then you'll see unusually steep CTL ramp rates from your normal workouts but you won't be really tired. If you seed too high then you'll see a stagnant or even dropping CTL ramp but you'll feel pretty worked and not like you're tapering and dropping load from your long term value. If you see those things then readjust your CTL and ATL seeds accordingly.

    -Dave
     
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