Outdoor workouts - power

Just a quick one. When doing the workouts outdoors, should I be using average power or normalised power for the interval?!

If you’re riding the target power for the interval steadily then AP and NP should be very close, within a few watts, so doesn’t really matter which you use.

If there’s a big discrepancy between the 2 then that means you’re surging and not riding steadily, in which case you should look to address that.

Yeah i get that, but when doing a workout outside being smooth isn’t always possible as there are changes in terrain etc so you’re always going to have to address that.


I just use the lap function for each interval on my elemnt bolt and use lap avg power to check if I’m hitting my wattage targets. So I have the whole interval power to check if I’m low/high and my normal 3s smoothed power to check my current output.

1 Like

That’s what i usually do but when i checked the ride report on the TR website the numbers were lower and then i noticed the target seems to be NP

Best to use average power and start a new lap for each interval

AP for sure between those options.

It may not work as well outside, but “live” power with appropriate smoothing (5-10 sec) seems a better choice to me.

1 Like

Bit of both for me. Average power at the start of the interval which basically tells me “Hey! too hard” or “Hey! More than this”.

Then when it settles down, I hold the effort and periodically check 5sec power to see I’m not dropping.

Yep 10-30 sec avg. Assess overall interval quality after the ride but don’t try to bring AP or NP up or down for the entire interval if it’s off just try to ride the prescribed power for the remainder otherwise you may end up working the wrong energy system being emphasized

1 Like

same here, but from experience in windy conditions I prefer to use 10 second average power on my lap and non-lap pages.

I’ve also got a separate page with NP, TSS, IF, etc, but normally only check that when doing long aerobic rides and targeting a certain TSS. That page allows me to confirm TSS is matching my guesstimate, for example last time I did hard ride on that route and not sure if I have to add some more time at end of route.

i use lap average power as others have mentioned.

Use AVG power for anything less than an hour. NP is used to quantify workload over a longer duration, it’s meaningless for short intervals.

So for example, last night I did my VO2 max workout outdoors, so for my 3 min intervals, I had 3 sec power displayed so I could see what as was doing at that moment, and I had lap avg displayed so I could make sure I was hitting the correct power intended for the interval duration.

The difference between AVG and NP power was discussed in a much better fashion on one of the recent podcasts.

1 Like