Over reaching weekly TSS

Discussed over on the FB site.

Whenever my weekly TSS exceeds 500, I get a cold. Buddy of mine has the same issue, but at around 600.

So to back off the TSS, I have three options:
Reduce intensity
Reduce frequency
Reduce miles

My thoughts are to maintain the miles and intensity, and take an extra day off each week. Don’t really want to do this, but what choice do I have?


A couple of things that come to mind before we associate > 500 TSS = sick are:

  1. How’s your nutrition, do you eat a healthy nutritious diet with plenty of vegetables a la winning in the kitchen?

  2. How old are you?

  3. Do you have you kids or work in an environment with the potential for exposure to a lot of germs? This could include airport travel or any form of public transportation.

  4. How many hours of sleep do you get each night on average?

  5. What are you training for/ what training plan on you on?


Hi Frank. To answer your questions:
I’m 54 y/o and eat a decent diet. Green beans and grapes daily, along with the normal assortment of foods (e.g., sausage, eggs, protein drink).
I’ve been riding for about 5 years but not training consistently until this year.
Recently (about a month ago) moved from mostly aerobic rides into power intervals. This coincides with my cold symptoms.

I have a stable work environment without much physical interaction - no travel.

I don’t sleep much more than about 6 hours per night. I have the time, But my body wakes up. On occasion I will sleep a full 8 hours, but that’s only maybe once per month. I’m just not a sleeper.

Interestingly, this weekend I stopped short of 500 tss (480) and no cold symptoms. So you can see why I made the connection, right or wrong.

Training for the famous annual TUCSON century in November: El Tour de TUCSON.

This week I have some extra training time and plugged about 3 extra hours of aerobic rides in, but it runs the tss up over 600.

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.


Hi Tom -

Good info thanks, I still don’t see a correlation between your training load and ‘getting sick’ - how ever it may still exist. What do you mean “getting a cold”? Could it be allergies?

There’s a saying, ‘there’s no such thing as overtraining, just under-recovery’ . With a healthy lifestyle and proper sleep (you should work on trying to get more) I think 500 TSS is manageable.

Not discounting what you are experiencing just caution against being so quick to judge the training load before ruling out lifestyle and environmental conditions.

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Thanks Frank. I will try to figure out how to recover better.


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Sounds like a plan - here’s our A #1 Recovery Tip with Sleep being the #1 recovery tool:

Good luck !