How do you maintain a steady pace outside?

I am 173cm and weigh 71-72kgs. I checked out my rides and yes I do average around 27.5 to 30km/h when I ride between 200-220W. Given that I live in a hilly area, my NP for endurance rides is around 220 to 225W. I usually ride at tempo or on the lower range of sweetspot on the climbs. I am not entirely sure if I maintain a steady 200+W on the flats as when I check my normalized power, it is often more than 210W for the most part.

FYI to get out of town, I have a steep 8% average gradient climb for 1.5kms followed by some rollers and ~2.5 km at an average 4% gradient climb before I get to flat roads. By the time I get out of town, my normalized power is around 235W, which is quite high for endurance rides given that my FTP is 288W.

I do not ride aero and I mostly ride on the hoods. I always calibrate my powermeter before doing a ride indoors or outdoors and my heartrate matches accordingly with my effort. On a recent ride with headwind for around 10 kms and couple of short climbs, I averaged 25.8km/h with an average power of 218W and a normalized power of 224W.

@ArHu74 what powermeter are you using?

edit: here is the data for the latest group ride where I was riding quite unsteadily which led to premature burnout. I joined an intermediate group ride and had a hard time keeping up due to my efforts being spiky in nature. This ride left my fatigued for 2 days!

One thing I haven’t seen people mention yet: Have you done a three hour endurance ride indoors? I have a similar FTP (281) and if I were to set my ERG mode power at 210 and pedal for 3 hours I would probably be feel pretty beat by the end of it.

Looking at the rides you posted, in the second TR workout you averaged 219 with np of 236. In both endurance rides you averaged around 210 with np of around 220. If you want to compare apples to apples you’d have to do the second TR workout 2 more times (and slightly reduce power). Do you think you would feel tired at the end of that?

Also, if I do a steady Z2 ride outside I do not average 75% of FTP. Stops lights, stop signs, food stops, turns, hills, etc. all mean my average power on a z2 ride will be closer to 180 with np between 190 and 200.

In fact, when I average 75% of FTP on a ride outside, I am generally pedaling between 230 and 250. It looks like you did the same. You are spending over 50% of your ride in tempo, sweet spot, and threshold.

Here is an article about Alex wild’s 2021 Leadville. His AP is 224 and NP at 262. These are 65% and 77% of his FTP at elevation (340). He also mentions ‘bonking’ at 4 hours in.

Point being: Averaging 75% of FTP for a ride that includes a fair amount of coasting and light pedaling down hills is going to require a lot of time above your endurance zone.

Are the roads actually flat? Flat like a pancake, where a bridge is the only time the road turns up enough to notice its no longer flat?

There aren’t pancake flat roads where I live. Even on easy rides, I have a couple of hills. The flattest road has a couple of kickers ranging from 5% to 8% steep. Hills combined with headwind and stop signs/traffic lights make it nearly impossible for me to stay towards the low end of zone 2. I am forced to do tempo or sweet spot to climb these hills so that is why I spend a significant time on endurance rides riding outside zone 2. However recently, I try my best on endurance rides to ensure that I stay in zone 2 for at least 50% of the time.

FWIW your latest group ride looks like what I do on Wed night rides where its pancake flat, windy, and I’m trying to hang on at 270 ftp with a bunch of much faster guys with ftps at 300-380.

Dual sided assiomas, same as you…

No short pancake flat stretches of something 2km even where you can go back and forth a couple of times?

-Small ring

Choice of route definitely helps. Flatter the better (although obviously not always possible).

One thing that can be useful is to learn what certain efforts feel like. If you’re staring at your head unit trying to keep to a certain number, invariably you’ll go too hard / too easy. But if you tap into what an effort feels like, you’ll know when to change gear.

As for average speeds, there are so many variables. Haven’t seen anybody mention road surface yet. Roads in the UK are generally crap and slow. Riding on smooth tarmac feels like you’ve pressed a power up button.

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