Is it OK if I go too hard?


I’m a medium trained athlete who comes from Zwift. I did a ramp-test and started training with TR to test the outside workouts. My FTP outside seems to be a lot higher than inside (20 - 30 watts). So I rode my intervals yesterday at a much hihger avg power than TR suggested. Is this OK, or is it bad for my performance in the long run?

How precise do you need to follow the avg power suggestion. I would say, too slow is not good, as you’re not creating enough adaptation, but can too hard be wrong?

I’m not talking about doing hard intervals in recovery rides and burning yourself out instead of recovering. I’m talking about doing 90% intervals on 95%. Or doing 250 watt intervals on 270 watt.

Thanks in advance!

This seems to be pretty common:

The difference usually comes down to differences in the environment: better cooling outside than inside, different power meters, etc.

The TR coaches like to talk about setting yourself up with the “minimum effective dose” in your workouts. It’s all about energy systems and tradeoffs: Are you working hard enough to stimulate growth in the target energy system, without adding unnecessary fatigue that won’t help that growth and might hurt you later? If you’re working harder than you need to in training, it’s wasted effort. For example, plenty of people could do something like the Sweet Spot Base plan as a threshold plan by bumping up all the sweet spot work a few percentage points, but they’d a) miss the energy system SSB is targeting, and b) dig themselves into a fatigue hole.

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If your intervals were outside and based on your “outside FTP” then thats fine.

Probably best to avoid doing indoor intervals with your “outside FTP”

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Thanks @ellotheth! So you are saying, if it says 250-260 watts. There will be a reason to ride in that range.

But if my FTP inside is 250 and outside 280 (which is normal but 12% higher), riding between 250-260 watt (inside) must be riding 270 - 291 watt (outside)?


Yep. If the difference is that dramatic I might even try to do a 20-minute test (or similar) outside to have some confidence in the number, but if you’ve already got it dialed just go with it.

Quoting T.S. Eliot: Only those who risk going to far can possibly find out how far one can go.

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I’ve started doing the 8 min test outside… you can’t push it to your head unit but you can just use the lap button to time out the intervals. Obviously you need the correct type of terrain though. I’m lucky with some long straight relatively flat roads near my house, though a slow steady climb would be better :smiley: I do all of my workouts outside weather permitting, and adjust indoor workouts down a couple of percent if needed so that the RPE matches the workout intention. I’ve been using TR for a few years so the adjustment is pretty easy at this point. I’m lucky in that there is only a small difference between my indoor and outdoor FTP.