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Training Peaks scores (TSS) my time swimming much lower than cycling and running. I am a late starting, beginner TI swimmer focused on form and technique more than power. When planning my weekly schedule should I distribute hard workouts equally between swim, bike, and run, or just bike and run? What would make a swim "hard?" Duration?

My recent schedule had me doing a group ride on Tuesday morning that is all about climbing (30 min up, 10 min down, 1,000 ft.) and a group turbo trainer session on Wednesday evening with a variety of efforts. I sometimes felt like these were too close together but I cannot change the time. Lately I replaced the Tuesday climb with a solo pool workout, which I need, but I miss the social aspect of the group ride. So hard to achieve good balance.

Love your new book! I'm 65 and just getting started.

Joe Friel

Garydunn808--A lot of things here to consider about your training, Gary. Unfortunately, since I know nothing about you it's hard for me to offer training suggestions for some of the issues to mention. So let me deal first of all with the initial matter which is swim TSS. What I'd need to know is what device or method are you using to enter swim workout data? How long and intense are your swims? Generally speaking, swim workout TSS will typically be less than either bike or run workout TSS. For example, it's not common to do a 2 hour swim but that's common in cycling and somewhat less but still often done in running. Of course, besides duration, intensity is the other variable that TSS is based on. Group bike workouts, like you mention, can be quite intense. That will raise TSS considerably. If you're doing lots of drills and skills work in the pool the intensity will be quite low for those sets. Bottom line is that I really can't tell you much here but I don't know enough.


Joe - Appreciate your comments. I use a Garmin Swim, almost always in a 25 yard lap pool. Typically get in 40-45 min moving time in a one hour morning session. I've been working my way through Susanne Atkinson's Fast Forward plan on the TI Academy web site. Let me ask another way. As I lay out a week's worth of training I should identify one, at most two, workouts to do at high intensity (breakthrough). I should expect those to be cycling or running, not swimming. At my age (65) and skill level (amateur) I might do just one a week, so I should alternate bike and run. From there, increase it a little at a time until I find myself too tired to maintain that training intensity. Does that sound reasonable for a late starting age grouper?

Joe Friel

Garydunn808--Your plan sounds quite reasonable, Gary.


As always Joe, great post!
I'm always taking care of recovery, especially because I'm doing 40k commutes by bike 2 times a week (sometimes 3). In the mornings I tend to do it easy (at or under Aerobic Treshold), but I never quite know or feel if I'm completely recovered when returning home (8 hours later). Last year, I did one or two short sprints sometimes in the mornings, resulting in a slight better form and lower HR's for the same speed.
Most of the time, I just feel like I've hit a plateau, but I don't want to push too hard during the commutes because I'm scared to have not recovered enough and I don't want to induce overtraining just by riding back home (like the opposite of supercompensation). Do you have any hints or opinions on this?
Thanks in advance.

Joe Friel

Cyclobiro--Being able to gauge how your body (and mind) is responding to training can sometimes be difficult. I hope to write a blog on this topic soon. In the mean time, a good tool to help measure recovery is heart rate variability. High variability is a decent indicator of being on the positive side of recovery. Low variability is just the opposite. The app I have on my iPhone and find to be quite easy to use is HRV4Training. Inexpensive (seems like it was $5 USD). Good luck!

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