FTP affecting Outdoor Speed

Hi there
i am a 49 year old women.And have been riding for 2-3 years.My FTP increased with 32 in the past 6 months. I have been doing mostly indoors since January. But my speed on the out door have decreased. I do feel my FTP is accurate,because i can handle the TrainerRoad work outs on my FTP.
My husband who is also 49,have the same problem.He is a very athletic person and do only 1-2 indoor sessions a week.And ride a lot outside.He also complains that is is slower on the outdoors and even on the climbs he usually did faster.
Any suggestions what the cause can be?

What metric are you using to measure your speed indoors vs outdoors?

We both have wahoo kickr indoor,with wahoo candence sensor.
My husband have a wahoo bolt with wahoo cadence for outdoor
and i have a garmin edge 520 with a garmin candence sensor.

He have a power meter on his road bike,i do not know which one.On his MTB he do not have one
I do not have a power meter on my MTB.

FTP is just one descriptor of fitness and doesn’t tell you much about how you’ll be able to perform outdoors. For example, if your usual rides involve lots of 3-5 minute climbs then your average speed will be more strongly influenced by repeatable power at that duration. Your training might not necessarily have targeted the most relevant aspects of fitness.

Another thing might be skill related. Fitness gets you uphill fast, skill gets you downhill fast and safely, so you could just be losing time during those moments where your legs aren’t doing the work.

Maybe it’s been windy where you live.

Indoor speed is irrelevant with outdoor especially when you are on ERG mode.

Yes it is very windy. But my husband compared previous times he have ridden a certain segment,which was also windy.And now it is slower.

If I’m reading your post right, I experienced something similar with the really steep stuff on my regular MTB trails.
My initial switch to TR had me getting slower on those sort of efforts.

Fast forward a year (or so) and I put it down to a couple of things. My personal opinion here and nothing more.

  1. During SSB I never trained for those efforts and if I wasn’t riding outside there was no maintenance of that system.
  2. During the build phase my legs were totally cooked when I went riding outdoors. I often had to get off and walk up the long steep bits.

When it came time to race I was able to average 75% of my FTP for 5.5 hrs.
If I rest for a few days and hit my regular trails Strava showers me with PR’s. Often when I feel slow.

Have you followed the plans all the way through to a specialty block?

1 Like

There are too many variables

Your fitness going into the effort.

Speed on the trainer is not a direct reflection on how you will perform on the road. But fitness/ fatigue sure is

@jandanel comparing average watts for a segment (all things equal) outside is where you want to look. FTP for all intensive purposes is irrelevant.

@Rosscopeco We did not do the training blocks,but my husband is with a coach,which tells him which workout to do and at what persentage.It is at week 13 now.
How did you fix the problem?

I worked my way through the training blocks. By the time I was doing the XCM specialty block everything was in order and I was faster all round.
My compliance with the plans wasn’t perfect so I’m sure I could’ve done better if life didn’t get in the way.

I’m back doing SSB now and try to get in at least one trail ride a week. I feel the trail ride is enough to keep my legs accustomed to the short bursts that I’m not doing inside.
When I ride outside I’m not chasing Strava PR’s and trying to take it easy so I’m able to complete all my indoor rides. It’s working so far and I’m still getting some PR’s without trying.

When I start the build block/plan in 6 weeks I won’t be expecting much on my weekly trail rides. I’m happy to trust the scheduled workouts and focus on my technique this time.
I know I will be fatigued a lot of the time during the build phase.

Your husband needs to talk to his coach if he feels he’s getting slower. I’d expect to be feeling pretty fatigued 13 weeks into training.

PS. I re-read your original post. 1 or 2 trainer rides a week isn’t in line with the plans. Low volume plans are a good starting point.
Also, a better title might be something like Why am I getting slower after 13 weeks of training?