Training Stress Score
This may be the best definition of an athlete’s training load today. Through this parameter, called TSS (Training Stress Score), we can represent, through a single value, the relationship between the athlete and his workload.
It would be the best alternative to quantify the relationship between the 03 main training variables: frequency, duration and intensity.
And for any coach, that means “gold.” Because this way, the coach will have full knowledge about the situation of your athlete, thus achieving the best possible planning.
This is thanks to the studies of Dr. Hunter Allen and Andy Coggan, pioneers of this denomination.
Before explaining why we need stress, we will have to understand about these 03 factors that will shape our decisions when we plan training for a given competition.
Chronical Training Load (CTL) = Fitness
The word fitness can have many definitions in the world of training. But for that matter, and for what our mentor Joe Friel wanted to show, we defined this way:
Fitness is an indication of the accumulated training load of the last 42 days of your training.
As your fitness increases, it means that you are able to absorb more workload in your workout, and consequently make you more fit.
Knowing this, you will probably ask the following question:
“What should my fitness be?”
This will depend on what your sport is. But mostly it will take into account the biological factor of each. How much each person can handle.
And there’s more. So that you have the pretension to own a high Fitness, which will demonstrate high level of conditioning, you will have to understand and handle the next parameters, fatigue and form, which will be explained below!
Acute Training Load (ATL) = Fatigue
The athlete’s fatigue level is measured by the average of the last 7 days of his or her training load. Also called ATL (Acute Training Load).
As an athlete’s fitness increases, his level of fatigue will also increase. Well, we know that training causes stress to the body. So a heavy training today will reflect on your fatigue levels for the next few days.
Training Stress Balance (TSB) = Form
The form would be the result of the subtraction of “today’s” fatigue by the athlete’s “today’s” fitness. The result of this account will be the “tomorrow” form of the athlete. This number can be both positive and negative. When negative, it is probably not the best time for competition, given the athlete’s fatigue. Positive numbers indicate an athlete rested and perhaps already fit to compete.
Applying TSS® on Training
This value of the training stress (TSS) can be applied to triathletes, cyclists, swimmers, runners. Any training session that contains power, pace, average heart rate can have a TSS value.
With this, any athlete can deepen to his training with only a graph that represents all his training and evolution.
Understanding the TSS application system, it is possible to determine a stress value (TSS) for each training session.
This chart is called PMC (Performance Management Chart).
Taking Advantage of Information
The great potential of this information can be availed and analyzed through the TrainingPeaks software, which easily connects your Garmin information to this platform.
These days, I see no other way for a coach to be able to extract as much information as possible for his athlete if he is not using such a tool.
We all know that the conditioning of an athlete is not created from day to night.
Consistency and progression of training are real indicators of long-term success for any athlete.
And this advance of knowledge and scientific application in sport will take the principles of training to a level never seen before.