Ha. Maybe I should just have coffee breaks during the swim too. Maybe in the summer. At the beach.
My watch records workout and recovery separately, which appears accurately reflected in my direct fit file uploads. But I do swim mostly in 25m pools, so there’s a lot of flipping and turning that is then not counted as work. TP also states that recovery and flip turns are not reflected in their calculations. I am neither a sports or data scientist, but would argue that excluding flip turns is not reflective of the actual effort. Even though I’m not moving horizontally, I’m still ‘working’ and thus flips should count as part of the interval pace IMHO. Only when I hit my watch button does my interval end (even though flips come with other variables like turning and push off speed, which affect interval time too).
With regard to recovery (or a coffee break) affecting overall TSS: in my mind, more recovery = lower overall intensity, whereas less recovery = higher overall intensity, even if my pace will likely be lower with shorter recovery between intervals. Since including recovery time for TSS would artificially inflate TSS, my feeling is that with TSS based on work (including flips) and IF based on work+recovery, TSS x IF could then be used to correct for the difference between for example 10 x 25m with 10" recovery vs 10 x 25m with 40" recovery (as long as recovery is non-moving of course). I realize this is not how IF is officially calculated though.
For now, I’ve set my ICU swim threshold at 1:35 (which normally hovers around 1:40 based on CSS) and that seems to yield TSS and IF that fits my RPE.
Unrelated to exact calculations: an additional problem for me specifically may be that whereas I can out sprint some of my fellow swim mates on 25-50m intervals, I can barely keep up during 400m intervals (worse technique and lactate clearance probably). So maybe the load and IF of my swims will simply always depend more on my work out type than whether its calculations properly reflect sTSS.
Really appreciate the discussion by the way. It’s helping a lot with future interpretation of TSS.