TSS – Training Stress Score or Total Stress Score?
There is nothing more demotivating than injuries. When you are down and out and can’t train, I find that nothing really works or feels right as the whole system is out of balance. As always injuries come at the worst possible time – not in the off season when you are taking it easier but right at the time when you are supposed to do your hardest training.
When I look back at what happened it is obvious that my TSS was spot on if I would have had my normal load of stress outside of training – but I didn’t – I had a couple of extreme work weeks where Teresa at Uperform.dk had reduced my training load as I was traveling to and in the US – The program was perfect but rather than backing of a little when I got back I jumped right into the program (and added some extra to make up…) instead of listening to my body and taking a little easier.
I share the story here, not for sympathy but rather in hope that some of you can learn from my mistakes and avoid doing them to yourself.
3-4 weeks ago, I came back from the nightmare USA trip where I flew in to Florida on a Sunday night and over the following week covered many of the large cities on the east coast having meetings morning, noon and in the afternoon/evening flying to the next city.
Felt ok when I came back and went straight into training and did a couple of hard sessions basically same day as I landed back in Sweden. No drama at least not directly…. but after a few days my hip flexor and hip area in general started to hurt. Took it a bit easy with running for a few days but continued. After a week, I started to build back running again but as soon as I tried to do quality – it hurt like hell and I limped home from track.
Last week I could finally build back up to a 15km easy run but them after some Z3 work it got worse again and this Easter Teresa said, “it’s time to take a break”. I took 3 days of complete rest. Not the best situation with Ironman Lanzarote just 5 weeks out….
After IM Lanzarote I just have a few weeks to 70.3 in Helsingör and straight after than in July Ironman Roth. Potentially this season can go straight down the toilet if I can’t start running as normal in the next few days.
But it is what it is and there is little to do about it. I might heal up fast and have great races all season, not heal up and be unable to run in the races. Not much to do about it other than hope and try to get well.
Key take always:
- If you are injured and try to train as normal the results will most likely be that it gets worse rather than better. This is the body’s way to make sure that you ease off and fixed up.
- Think of TSS not only as Training Stress Score but Total Stress Score – if you are pushing harder than normal in training you probably should make sure that you have less of other stress and that your Total Stress Score is manageable. If you are pushing much harder than normal at work – then you probably need to relax back a bit on the training as well.
- Use your downtime wisely – when you are injured make sure to get things done that you normally don’t have time for and don’t sit around feeling sorry for yourself.
- Don’t get stressed out – it will not make any other difference than that you will be a burden for people around you – it will not make you heal quicker and will not give you better results.
- Do the rehab – it is the most boring training in the world but if you have a good physio you better do what he/she tells you or you are wasting both their and your time.
- Most injuries don’t heal better by complete rest – in fact the opposite. But if you have run yourself to the ground it might be good to take a few days off.
Good luck with your training and racing and I hope that you stay injury free!