How do you compare an outside ride with an inside ride?

Hi there,

I am doing High Volume Traditional Base. Just did an outside ride instead of doing my planned workout (Mount Bond). Interested to know if I met the intent of my planned workout, and how you all handle changes like this.

Mount Bond is a 3 hour / 162 TSS / .73 IF and 2006 kJ ride.
Outside I did 4:15 hours / 248 TSS / .76 IF and 2368 kJ ride.

Mount Bond has 3 long’ish endurance intervals and 4 long’ish Tempo intervals. Intervals are separated by short time in active recovery.

During my outside ride, I just attempted to keep it fairly steady, avoid dropping into active recovery and not go too hard on the hills. My ride had about 5500 feet elevation so it is fairly hilly and tough not to coast and not be in the active recovery zone (although I need to work on that).

Comparing time in Zones between my actual outside ride and what I should have done inside…

Coast: 20 minutes outside / 0 minutes inside
Act Rec: 1:40 minutes outside / 27 minutes inside
Endurance: 1:02 minutes outside / 1:07 minutes inside
Tempo: 30 minutes outside / 1:21 inside
SS: 13 minutes outside / 0 inside
Thresh: 13 minutes outside / 0 inside
VO2max: 9 minutes outside / 0 inside
Anaerobic: 12 minutes outside / 0 inside

So even though my outside ride had higher TSS, IF, kJ expenditure…did I miss the mark by spending too much time below endurance zone too little time at Tempo?

Gotta love the trainer and the very well thought out training plans…but it was too nice outside to spend it on the KIKR.

I would tend to not consider this outside ride to have met the objectives for Mount Bond, so I would push out the Mount Bond until tomorrow. This happens a lot and my high volume plan ends up taking a week or 2 longer to complete and I ride a lot more than the weekly prescribed workouts (which is fine, but I accumulate a lot more TSS per week than what is outlined).

thanks for your help

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You’re comparing the rides in pretty much the same way I would. I’m not sure I’d rush to do the indoor workout though, depends how the legs are feeling. You rode both longer and harder than prescribed so may need more recovery than is on the plan.

I think the analysis is more useful in terms of how you approach your next outdoor ride. I’d guess from the amount of time spent above Tempo that you failed your objective of not going too hard on the hills! If you want to more closely emulate the planned workout you need to pace better, maybe get yourself a cassette with some easier gearing if you’re running out of gears/cadence on steeper sections.

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@MSC Thanks for the chuckle. I laugh, not at you, but at the analytic, critical, mind of I cyclist. We can be an odd lot.

Anyway, consistency is king…right? What I hear from you is a huge amount of consistent hours. Couple that with the occasional outdoor vs. indoor ride replacement, you are fine. Especially when you are conscious of the effort you are trying to maintain out on the road in relation to the prescribed indoor training.

It’s absolutely crucial to enjoy the bike and good outside rides are mandatory for me and my sanity. I have to be careful not to kill myself on the bike at the expense of enjoyment.

I take training very seriously, and if I want to continue to do so, I have to mix it up outdoors. Just my 2 cents…cheers


It is the anaerobic and vo2max part which “kills” the workout. You need more recovery from that but i can imagine that the outside ride was more fun :wink:


Thanks for the feedback. I guess I will just call it “close enough” and move on with the next scheduled workout (and hopefully ride outside instead)! It is amazing how my Anal Retentive Syndrome can come across in a post though (especially when I try so hard to conceal it)!!