Adjust power targets for outdoor SS/threshold intervals?

In the absence of a good outdoor FTP test, but knowing you typically have lower indoor FTP - does it make sense to increase outdoor power targets to better match HR (or RPE) that you’d expect to see for same power indoors, or just trust that a watt is a watt and hold same power? Much prefer doing long intervals outside when weather allows - I live in the country where it’s easy to find long roads with no stops.

I usually bump up targets ~5% but haven’t really seen anything definitive on this doing a quick search.

one thing is you could retest outside first, just to make sure all your zones are accurate.

but yes you could bump it up a bit, but maybe ride by feel. whatever the longest Sweet Spot you’ve done inside, replicate that by feel outside, and see what value you get. But I’d prefer to just retest outside.

good luck!

Yea, that would be my instinct and it’s what I’ve done before. Problem is I’ve now gotten hooked on indoor ramp test and that would be a tough one to do outside to compare! So then I’d have a possible testing offset too…

The first year on TR I used an 8-min test outdoor FTP on indoor rides and it was pretty brutal - I’m pretty sure I’d get at least 10W difference if I could match the tests perfectly.

I also wasn’t sure what the technical consensus is these days for what is “right” from a TSS/training load perspective.

In my case, a watt is always a watt since I’m using same power meter indoors/out so that uncertainty is gone, but if hypothetical matched FTP test result is still different in that scenario, do we scale the outdoor ride to higher watts, or keep the same target and accept that it just feels easier because the environment is different, and that’s why we see differences in HR, RPE at same wattage?

I lean towards raise the outdoor targets to match HR and RPE - but that also seems to go against the mindset that power is the most unbiased metric and should be trusted over HR/RPE.

It’s a circular rabbit hole… maybe I should just go ride my bike :joy:

I bump it 5% outdoors also. That seems to line up w my PE and HR indoors. Otherwise I would feel I took it too easy that day

Your last sentence nailed it. Don’t get stuck in the trees when the forest is more important. Use indoor meter for indoor and start riding outdoors. Much more realistic and what you are probably training for anyways, unless an e-sports guy.

Let me know if I can help you in any other way. Enjoy the ride!

Brendan John Housler


Tiger House Media Group
Brendan Housler