Indoor Vs Outdoor FTP

Ok, sure, if your intent is to not shower at the end, and you’re able to achieve that, then you’re more disciplined than I, so kudos! It would indeed seem like overkill to compute TSS for something like that.

And, I must admit, I don’t even have a power meter on the beater MTB I use on the rare occasions I need to commute.

I was thinking of longer commutes with a mixture of automobiles, bike commuters and weather that may not lend itself to recovery-level ease.

Before this season, I would say indoor/outdoor was very close, using same PM. However, this year I am experiencing what looks like a 10-20% increase outside when trying to replicate indoor workouts - mostly SS or Threshold but some less on/off Vo2 max. I am attributing it some to temperature (been cooler outside) and a stiffer/more efficient bike outside. Add in the fact that indoors I use ERG which limits overshooting and I think it makes sense. It does make we wish the PR analysis tools could allow us to toggle to exclude outside rides.



I think it’s based on individuals. But, all of my 1/2 and most cat 3 friends do not train inside. Sometimes in the winter when it’s bad, but they are outside logging miles, doing the work outside.
On the contrary, I’ve done 95% of my training inside on my kickr with TrainerRoad and I feel stronger and am fit, but there are times when I feel so slow outside. My ftp is improving on the trainer and in TR workouts, but I just feel flat this spring. I didn’t do a lot of 3-5 hour z2 rides this winter/spring because I put the trust in the TR workouts, but I’m going to change that this week and do one or two long z2 rides in addition to my short power build which I just started.
Maybe my FTP in TR is not right. But, tough to say really.

I’m sorry you’re feeling that way - it sucks when we all put in work and get little return. I mix it up a lot and do longer outdoor rides throughout the offseason, and I’m lucky to be in a climate (Germany) that allows me to do this. I used to live in Canada and the trainer was pretty much my only option. That said, I’m feeling the positive effects of having those long Z2 rides and definitely in my own tests outdoors, I’m faster this year. But I also feel like i’ve been focused on more consistency than anything else. My volume compared to last offseason is lower, but i’ve been more consistent. Seems to be working.

I hope you find the trick soon. Keep at it!

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Thank you for the encouraging words. I keep going back to last year and seeing what I was doing. There was literally no structure. Just riding. I didn’t do jack for a base. And by mid April I was in the selection for a really tough hilly road race on the last climb before the finish. This year I was off the back on the climb first lap! Maybe my head isn’t in it. But, it’s kind of depressing. And I’ve been doing sustained power. Which I just finished and I’m doing a modified short power build before crit.
So, we’ll see what happens. Early season is ‘training races’ for me, but I still want to do somewhat well. And by that I mean not dropped with four laps to go in a crit that matches up with my power profile.

I’m going to stick with TR. Maybe put the chain ring in the small ring instead for a few workouts and see how that feels. I have a crit this weekend on a course I have done very well in the past. So, we’ll see how I stack up

Installed and used it shortly after it was launched. You need to feed to max efforts, and it did a good job of estimating FTP for me provided I really went out and did some hard efforts. But don’t expect good estimates if your outside riding is group rides with few max efforts, or if you are doing a lot of sweet spot training outside.

Same here. 3:15 h moving outdoors, 300 TSS.
What’s happening?

You can edit the FTP for an outdoor ride quickly by clicking the little pencil icon in the calendar.
Or in Elevate for strava you can use dated athlete settings.

It just takes a second while reviewing your ride and will keep your PMC useful.


195mins, 300 TSS. That’s a really hard commute…essentially it’s 100 TSS for every 1:05. I don’t know the exact math, but I’m guessing you’re doing an IF of 0.90+ for 3:15?? Something isn’t right here.

I did a ride last week - 3:48 and 289 TSS. It was 105km and 1700m of climbing. I was shattered and took 3 days of recovery.

What kind of commuting are you guys doing :scream:. I think there’s an FTP snafu at work here…

I’m kinda still searching for the answer to this…

Simply: is the training effect and consequent fitness adaptation equal for indoor training, despite the fact that it occurs at a lower power output? Anyone? @mcneese.chad, @Nate_Pearson?

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I am guessing that you meant to tag Coach Chad Timmerman?

If so, he is @ chad (without the space). I did that to keep from tagging him in my reply, but you can edit your post to tag him if that was your intention.

Yep - sorry other Chad! Nevertheless, you probably have something knowledgable/interesting to say on the subject :joy:


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im still convinced the only difference is due to cooling. Used to be an issue for me, got 2 massive fans now indoor=outdoor

I’m interested in exploring this a little more - mainly because I’m a poor climber but can turn over big gears on the flat well - the latter linked article applies to me.

So, I can definitely feel the flywheel inertia effects Big ring vs Small ring on my Elite Direto even with ERG mode on. With more inertia then (Big ring) is this moving some portion of the workout from anerobic to aerobic? E.G. if all the things being equal person A spent all their time in a high er inertia state performing the same workouts as person B, what would the difference be in their adaption / development?

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ERG gearing discussion (lengthy).

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Thanks for that. In fact I was thinking about this whilst out on the bike. Being an XCM MTB racer with climbing as my weakness and that “TT type effort” as my strength for me personally it makes sense to drop to the small chain ring to get some muscle force training from the lack of inertia.

Yes it is very common that your outdoor FTP is higher than your indoor one. I believe the primary reason most people mention about this is the cooling effect of riding outside, but I’m sure there are plenty of other factors.

Just want to re-iterate the initial question, which is not so much debating whether there is a difference (there usually is, and it seems that the cause is usually cooling). Instead, the question is:

Given there is a difference in power output, is the training effect and subsequent fitness adaptation the same?

I think physiologically you’re working harder indoors, but also you are working much more consistently. For example it’d be very hard to get a 20 min SS session as accurate outdoors as it would be indoors.