Outside Endurance - Keeping to Power

Hi Everyone,

looking for some advice from the forum.

I like to do my endurance rides outdoors. Problem is that I live in area that is quite lumpy. Hard to get into any real rhythm as there is always another short climb coming up.

Looking at my data for the past few rides I can see that I am not keeping to my endurance watts window even tho I have been trying to - via PM and RPE - unsuccessfully.

MY NP after rides is just slightly over endurance, however, when I dig deeper into the numbers I am spending way too much time above endurance watts.

So my request for help is the following:

How do you manage or how have you taught yourself to keep your NP and AVG watt as as close to each other as possible if you deal with small climbs and small descents throughout your ride. And no there are no other options for me riding anywhere that is flatter.

thanks in advance


use the CTS definition of endurance miles with a target of 63-87% ftp

“For an Endurance Miles ride the simple instruction is “go ride your bike”. Endurance Miles rides are moderate intensity aerobic training and span both Endurance and Tempo zones. The intensity range is so wide to accommodate changes in effort level resulting from uphill’s, downhill’s, headwinds, tailwinds, stop signs and stop lights. You should spend 90% of the ride should occur within the target intensity range, and expect the intensity factor (IF) to fall somewhere in the middle of the power range.”

Source: The Key CTS Cycling Workouts - CTS

So your IF (based on normalized power) should end up around .72 to .78

Think ranges and NP / IF.


ah… thanks for that. Looking at my last ride my IF was just outside that. Def something to pay attention to moving forward. Thanks for chiming in

where you live it is pretty hard to make avg and np close together, just have some control on the climbs. It’s flat here, so our “climbs” are long segments into the wind. I’ve got 60-88% on my Garmin, and just try and keep those 88-92% efforts under 5 minutes.

1 Like

Is the gradient forcing you to go above z2? if so you need a larger range of gears.

1 Like

No, that’s not it. Merely me not paying attention. I don’t live in a place where my ‘climbs’ require that much intervention. Thanks for chiming in though

Then I guess its just a case of getting a better feel for it. I’m sure it will improve with time? That or just stare at the head unit Froome style but I probably wouldn’t recommend that on open roads :sweat_smile:


Lol - that’s probably my problem. Not riding enough like Froome and stem watching. lol that made me laugh

Lumpy terrain sucks for constant-exertion work. I feel your pain. Constant undulations are annoying as hell, especially the ones with sharp transitions at crests & dips.

I had to suck it up that I was going to be slow up hills. Like under 10kph slow, in my lowest gear, which is lower than 1:1. This was a big thing for me, because I used to think as a teenager who never touched the 1:1 gear on a 90s “mountain” bike, that if I needed 1:1 or lower I was better off carrying the bike.

I needed to stop chasing average speed!! Average speed & distance covered are vanity metrics! :laughing: If some hipster stomps past me on a fixie, that’s his bag, I’m doing my thing, let him brag to his mates that he flew past a MAMIL, whatever, live n let live. :sunglasses: On these rides I don’t get out of the saddle or push hard until I’m actually in my lowest gear. When I do get out of the saddle on these rides I pedal at about 50-60 rpm. Actually feels strangely recuperative, a bit like being on a stairclimber in a gym. Likely different muscle fibre recruitment though, but it keeps power down. And of course freewheeling as little as possible because freewheeling counts as rest.

Other advice: Anticipate gear changes rather than doing it reactively. Sharp gradient changes may justify a chainring change instead of just dumping a load of gears on the cassette. Learn the cassette: how many gears do you have to change in a double shuffle to maintain cadence but prepare for a gradual gradient change?

As far as actually doing the work & “holding power”, endurance zone is pretty lenient, much moreso than threshold or sweetspot. I’ve heard that the “talk test” is useful: You can talk in full sentences but breathing is labored enough for someone to be able to tell that you’re exercising.

If you want to be more precise, a short workout like Selside will have you at the top & bottom of what TR uses for endurance zone. Might be useful to get a better feel for where you want to be operating without having to do a Froome when out on the road. :face_with_hand_over_mouth: And you could tack it onto the end of other workouts if time permits & if you’re wanting more volume. (Disclaimer… I haven’t done this; if I want to be precise I can take rides to a fairly flat closed circuit.)


There is also this. Intended for interval workouts but the principles apply. Not sure why the video was changed from public to unlisted, it was one of my favorite shorts! I just remembered it because of the scene nicked from a Chevy Chase movie.

1 Like