Indoor workouts are not relevant for the performance of outdoor rides

I’m using TR for 8 months now. When I started , my FTP was 224w and now it’s 281w indoors.
Outdoors 8 months back I was able to ride 100km at a 28kmp avg speed while training, and 32kmp avg speed in local competitions. My watts per kg have slightly increased since, from 3 to 3.4.
After 8 months of training with TR indoors, over the winter, using the same bike and same setup (power meter) indoors and outdoors, I have now reached outdoors the same speed as before .

Which is odd, as it seems that all the hours spent on the trainer and all the strength training in the gym haven’t made me a faster rider.

I used a high volume, polarized, medium volume and now high volume, again, TR plans.
However, on the positive side, I’m now able to ride 3 100km rides in 3 consecutive days, without being completely exhausted.

But the power I’m able to put outdoors is way lower than indoors. The rolling hills are killing me. :slight_smile:
When riding outdoors, I try to use a low traffic route with good roads.

Some numbers from my outdoor 100km ride:

duration: 4h 10 min
NP: 218
power avg: 186w max:567w
HR: 132 max 156
cadence: 74 max: 118
speed: 28.5 kph max: 52kph
distance: 119.8km
elv. gain: 810m

Not sure what the goal of the ride was, but 4 hours suggest a long endurance ride. 186/218W over four hours seems pretty much what you’d expect with an 281W FTP.

So not sure what the goal of your post exactly is, but small tip from me. Forget about speed. Watts = watts.


The goal of these outdoor rides is to see how I’d perform in competition for rides about 95km in length. It’s obvious to me that I have to increase my power output to be able to hold avg speeds anywhere around 35kmh for this distance, which is my goal.
@PhydomiR , how did you figure that 218w for 4h is in line with a 281w ftp ?
Personally I was expecting a much higher avg power output for this FTP.

218/281 = 78% of your FTP over 4 hrs. Pretty reasonable effort, assuming you weren’t trying to turn yourself inside out.


For me, on my non-aero endurance racer i have to to about 280/300W to ride around 35kph. I think your should adjust your goals a bit. Anything over around 30kph on a flat loop (for a 4h ride) would already put you well above the average rider.

My ftp is just over 300 and trying to do 35kph for a 100km ride would destroy me.

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Thank you, @Helvellyn . I didn’t think of looking at the % of the FTP. It makes sense when you look at it this way.


@PhydomiR, based on the 78% rule, it seems that I’ll need an FTP of 385w to hold 300w for a few hours.

The only way I know of to push that out is to add volume. You’re already on a HV plan, but are you doing long, hard rides frequently? Other people may have other ideas, but for me, holding .8 IF for 4-5 hours is a hard effort. Not impossible, but I’m going to feel it. If, for example, I wanted to push that from 4 hours to 6 hours, I feel like that’s something that will require more long rides.

Alternatively, you can push your FTP up so that lower IF is equivalent to higher IF at lower FTP.

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I suspect then with the right motivation you could have been faster but hey ho sometimes just being more sustainable is more fun. I’m terrible myself for having too much left in the tank at the end of a TT but the day after it can be more fun that way anyway.


You’re right @Pbase . Based on how I felt after these 1st 3 long rides of the year, I think I need to supplement the HV plan with weekly long rides. The headwinds, the crosswinds, the rolling hills, are destroying my legs. An indoor trainer cannot properly simulate a 3-4h outdoor ride.


Just be careful you don’t add too much volume to to the overall plan! Cut or lower a ride or two if you need to. Better to be a little slower than to burn out.


Perhaps I also have to learn how to save more energy during these long rides, @HLaB ,
Not attacking those hills at 4-500w and use that energy on the flats, instead.

Do you have two rides a few months apart that you can compare?

I did an event in August and then again in May and my time was only a few minutes faster, but it was because i spent a lot of the 2nd half alone/in the wind. When i compared the power curves and other metrics i can see that I was able to put out a lot more power across the whole curve and my IF was 1.01 over three and a half hours even though it didn’t feel like a very hard effort. On the day it felt like i slacked off towards the end when i was solo.

I looked at your training history and I think you need to as well. I don’t see where at any point you really followed a TR plan. I do see a few things worth mentioning to you

  1. within 3 weeks of your 231 FTP you were doing 8.8 level sweet spot workouts. Your FTP was most likely set way too low, so you probably didn’t make the big gains like you think you did.
  2. I counted 13 VO2 max workouts in a three week period in early Jan and the other 4 were again sweet spot with levels as high as 10.5. Again, your FTP was way too low. If your FTP was correct you would not have been able to do this amount of work, period.
  3. Your training is very inconsistent. This sport is a long game not a what can I achieve over the winter sport. Even the very best spend years getting to their potential and they ride north of 10,000 miles a year under supervision of the very best coaches.
  4. Lastly, I can’t see where you’ve ever followed a “polarized” plan let alone any plan. Polarized plans don’t include SS work or multiple days in a row of VO2 work. They are basically two HARD workouts a week and the rest is endurance work. The hard should be so hard you have to mentally prepare for it and the endurance should be so boring you have to mentally prepare for that as well (so you don’t go too hard)

Hopefully I am not coming off too harsh, you seem to have potential in this sport but you just from what I see in your training history need to calm down a bit and train more consistently and smarter. It took me many years to figure this out for myself


Yip, Attacking hills is faster for a bit IME but then suddenly you go bang and its right drag and you can end up slower overall.


Unless it was a group ride with some disciplined riding, in which case it’s certainly possible to do that - my FTP has never been that high and I’ve done long hilly rides at that kind of pace with good groups on many occasions.

Chasing speed on solo rides is so wind/weather/traffic (depending on location) dependent as to be almost pointless.

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I do plan to do this set of 3-100km rides every weekend this summer, @jiffylush . It’s absolutely wonderful to ride in the open.
I did compare my recent outdoor rides with the ones I had last year and I was surprised to see that I’m not getting any faster. It might be that 8 mo of , inconsistent perhaps, TR training might not be enough.

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Totally agree. My ftp is almost identical, and for 3-4 hrs 210+ is a pretty hard endurance pace. Sustainable…but that 4th hour is real work.

170-190 is comfortable the whole time.


Thank you, @shiner79 for taking the time and looking at my TR training history. No worries, you’re not too harsh :slight_smile:
I cancelled the polarized plan as I didn’t feel that I was achieving anything more than before. It seems that for me a sweetspot training plan works better.


And you’re unhappy the power you put out but happy you did 3 long rides back to back without being thrashed. Sounds like everything is good to me.
Maybe you slept bad, didnt eat enough, went to hard on some climbs but I mean you did well in my opinion.

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