Duration Different From Indoor to Outdoor Workout

I agree with you if you are riding non-stop on a flat road like the trainer, but the reason these are longer is to account for the very high possibility that you will have to stop sometimes, and that you will be on a downhill that you can’t pedal on. The reason that they are +1 hour is to account for this time coasting or stopped that would not need to be accounted for inside.

The reason that the tempo, SS, and threshold workouts are less affected by this is because really the only important part of the workout is the intervals, these are the parts of the workouts that are inspiring adaptation. They expect a rider to take the downhills in these recovery valleys so that they can always be on the uphill for the intervals. Because the downhill is done in these recovery valleys, very little/no time needs to be made up because these valleys are (most of the time) accomplishing the same goal/purpose at 0% FTP as they would at 40% FTP. So, the reason that the endurance rides are especially long outside is because the entire thing is important so in order to make up that lost time on the descents, it needs to be much longer.


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So people who live in a flat area or rolling roads, where pressure on the pedals can be maintained, get an extra hour of TSS compared to those who live in the mountains? Why not keep it at the inside duration and have a note for those who live in mountainous areas or places where there are lots of traffic stops, to add a little extra at the end?

I mean most people probably won’t even bother loading a zone 2 workout anyway so it’s sort of a moot point in my eyes.


I agree, if it is flat and you constantly have pressure on the pedals, than you are correct. But, i think that most people probably have to coast at least sometimes on their rides.

The reality is that there will be a range from total efficiency to lots of coasting/stopping.

  • TR started with 1:1 match, people complained.
  • They swung the other direction with longer Z2 rides, different people complained.

As usual, it’s impossible to please everyone. I think the “right” answer is 1:1 for simple planning and more direct comparison between the time estimated in a simple sense. However, there should be notes and information indicating that people should feel free to (or even be encouraged to) increase the time of their Z2 rides if they include notable amounts of coasting and such (greater than 5-10%?). Leave it to the rider to determine and adjust as needed. It’s a mistake to hit the 50% adder as a rule because I think that is quite on the far end, but I have not done lengthy analysis (and don’t know what if any TR did in setting that multiplier?).


For me personally running outdoor workouts on Garmin 820 is a bit complicated so I print workout (in my short way) and put it on the stem :slight_smile:

And adding Z2 rides to calendar is easy. Just add it and duplicate it until specific week (e.q. last week of the training plan)


I noticed this the other day with Andrews. Inside was 1:30, outside 2:15. Went back and forth a couple times and thought it was a mistake.

It makes sense a little bit that continuous inside work is a bit harder than outside work due to stoplights, traffic and that constant resistance you get from a trainer that you don’t get from the road…but where I live I don’t have a problem going for 3hrs while maybe hitting 3 stop lights that are usually green. Seems silly to automatically add a bunch of time assuming I’m going to coast through 30-45mins of a workout. Usually I don’t start a workout until I’m clear of the local stop lights and stuff anyways…and I’ll end the workout before getting back into town. If I did that here, I’d all of the sudden have a 3hr ride instead of a 1.5hr ride. That’s a pretty big time commitment difference, and TSS difference.

I think the easiest answer is use your own judgment. If you have a perfect road out your front door that let’s you pedal for an hour and a half without one coast…load the long outside workout and only pedal 90 minutes of it. If you live with lots of traffic and lights and whatnot and it’s hard to go continuously z2, then maybe you need more time on the bike than even the longer outside version.

edit: looks like they added this note, or I didn’t see it before…
Workouts completed outside are less efficient than indoor workouts, meaning you may need to ride longer than prescribed to hit the training stress target.

Not including real outliers, if you are coasting or stopped for even close to 50% of the duration of your endurance ride then you are doing something wrong. Either your route choice sucks or you just need to develop the discipline to keep pushing the pedals. I could maybe understand 25% longer but 50% is extremely excessive.


This is what I currently do actually.


Hi all!

Looking at the TR workouts and doing them outdoors occasionally, I have noticed that for most of the rides with intensity that I know of (such as Sweet Spot, VO2 max, etc) the intervals and overall duration are the same indoors vs outdoors. However, when looking at the “endurance” category, there are some marked discrepancies. For instance, Koip outdoors is 50% longer than Koip indoors, same thing for Longfellow, but then for Vogelsang the time is the same.

Can someone explain this? I would intuitively agree that a workout indoors is more time efficient than a workout outdoors, but that would just be my intuition. Are these discrepancies data-backed or science-backed?

It’s their guess-timate of your efficiency, however it’s highly individual based on terrain and your discipline to keep continuous pressure on the pedals.

Figure out what it takes for you to get the correct amount of time on zones and go from there.

@HMG, I moved your post under an existing one with the same discussion, that also contains links to prior threads.

Thank you!

Using Train Now (great feature) I decided to look for a 1:15 endurance workout, and decided on Whorl. When I set it to outside, it showed as 1:52, just a hair under 50% more time. Hs anyone else experienced this big a change in taking a workout from inside to outside?

I moved your post under an existing one on the same topic.

Your post also got merged to another topic and I answered there but I’ll copy it here also.

Yeah this is a thing that happens on most of the endurance workouts when you switch to outside. It’s based off the idea that outside workouts aren’t as efficient or steady as indoors with coasting, stop signs, etc. I tend to not agree with this so I will go for the original power target until I hit the prescribed tss when going outside. It’s usually very close to the original workout duration.

IMO if it takes twice the time to get the same tss in on an endurance ride outside vs inside then you are doing something seriously wrong. 10% (maybe as high as 20%) longer I could understand but 100% is wild.

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curious if it’s something to do with the effect of rest during that 10 - 20% period of coasting / stopped etc? Indoors it’s one long z2 ‘interval’ but outside it’s more likely to be a series of z2 intervals with rest periods so the training effect / physiological impact is different?

It’s an adjustment for coasting and/or stops you may encounter outside as opposed to inside where you’re non stop pedaling.
I usually ignore the time if it’s an endurance ride and look at the power zone or RPE number and stay within that. I live in Florida I can get away with non-stop pedaling in some areas but if I only have an hour to ride I’m only going to ride an hour outside. I’m not gonna stress over the extra 30 minutes, any riding is better than no riding at all. To me at least…


I’ve sent the workouts to Edge unit just to get my training load information to Garmin Connect. I like to have one place to track all of my training stress since I do run and other stuff as well.

I don’t get the training load information if the workout is synced trough API, the workout has to be started on Garmin unit. I still do the workouts inside with the same trainer and cooling, so the differences in training time is just another PITA to me if I want to get a brief TSS filler in.

Since most of the integration code could probably be reused the easiest solution would seem to be to add third option to send the workout as is without the TR recommended time adjustment.