Outdoor Training and Sticking to the Power Numbers

Hi all,

I’m blessed to live in an area where 95-99% of the time the weather is great and I can ride outdoors. With that said, I don’t own an indoor trainer and I use trainerroad to plan out my training. I sync my workouts to my Garmin and follow the routine to the best of my ability.

Anyhow, my last workout was Striped +3 (anaerobic, 8x20 seconds, 3 times), and I was overshooting the power target on the interval to ensure that the average power was within target, however, when I reviewed my data, I noticed that, even though my average power was above target, the last few seconds of the interval my power dipped below target, sometimes substantially.

My question: am I causing myself a disservice by doing this by not training the appropriate energy system? For these anaerobic intervals, and even 30-30s, I find it hard to stare at the computer and watch where I’m going at the same time…

You don’t need to look at your computer - the focus should be generating a really high power output and holding on as best you can! Sometimes the goal is max effort and let the power fade, and sometimes the goal is to try and sustain a max power for the full interval.

I believe Striped +3 is 20 seconds followed by 2 minute recovery, and repeated 8 times for a single set. Right?

That sort of looks like anaerobic capacity workout, but the recovery is way too short for myself. When doing anaerobic capacity workouts, I’ve always been told to give 100% max effort no matter if power falls. And then let that system fully recharge before doing another. Total of 4-8 intervals for the workout. The goal for a true anaerobic capacity workout is to stress the fast glycolytic energy system and ultimately increase your max ~20-90 second power.

The shorter recoveries make Striped a little more aerobic. So it looks somewhat like a tweener workout, not full on anaerobic capacity, and getting into repeatability. And 3 sets.

What does the Striped +3 workout goals and description say?

Thanks for the reply! You’re right, the workout is 20 second intervals with 2 minutes of rest between each, 3 sets with 6 minutes of rest between sets. Here’s the description of the workout:


The goal here is pretty straightforward: raise your anaerobic work capacity.

By improving your ability to recruit ample amounts of muscle fiber for brief but extremely high-power durations, you can realize increases in power production capabilities at numerous levels effort.

And while your brain furthers its ability to recruit additional working fibers and your muscles adjust to processing high levels of fuel, your mind will learn to cope with the crazy-high levels of discomfort that accompany extreme effort levels like these.

Utilize a very high cadence, upwards of 110rpm, during the work intervals while keeping things above 90rpm during the recovery valleys.

Thanks again!

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I’m sixty going on sixteen (in my mind lol), and have somewhat limited recovery. So I would reduce the number of intervals. And do them as close to all-out as possible - full send without a huge power spike to start, then grit my teeth and hold on.

Here is a recent workout, outside, with 30-sec jobbers with 2 minutes rest, but only 3 sets of 3x:

I avoided spiking over 1000W when the Garmin countdown timer stopped, and was a little conservative on the first set. You can see I’m learning how it feels on each one. Those hurt, and the following week I did 45 second version. Needed a couple weeks to fully recover. And then a month or two later hit a personal best 1-min power PR :+1:

The ‘target’ my coach in that screenshot was not an actual target - just something to give me the audio cues to start and stop.

The actual workout notes were seated sprint, big gear / low rpm, full gas pushes. So not the same as Striped +3 instructions, but otherwise a similar workout. IMHO the one thing you don’t want to do is treat it like an erg workout where you artificially limit the power output. One goals of workouts like this is to raise your very short power.