Outside Pacing Tips

I have some issue with my pacing. I am not able to hold steady power during outside rides. When I hit to road, what I see is my power constantly goes up and then my HR blows up.

I would like to hear and learn what the good pace strategy and tips are?.

I can push 250Watts inside 10-15 min. no issues but when it comes to outside, I suck :slight_smile: Okey I understand that there are external factors affecting outside but I am still not happy with it.
I have my Garmin set to 10second Power.

You thoughts are really appreciated


For me it has been a practice, practice, practice thing. I used to do the same and sometimes still do but am now able to sit in my desired zone. I practiced by finding a flat loop and sticking in a single gear so that I got used to the pacing required… easier on the downhills and just upped cadence and slowed cadence on the ups. Obviously power fluctuations occur due to wind, road conditions etc. but I found I could keep a pretty smooth profile after a few efforts in a single gear.

I have my garmin set to the same. Using normalised power helped as well.

Hope this helps.

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If your breathing starts to get laboured, back off. Treat power as a result, not an objective when you are starting out. For a steady paced ride, you might be better off watching your HR and keeping it under control.

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What is your equipment setup? Are you using a PM that is power-matched to your trainer?

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My issue is not on trainer but outside. And yes Powermatch is enabled during indoor trainings

I understand the issue is outside, but you commented that you could do it inside, but not replicate it outside. There have been a number of people comment that their inside and outside performances don’t line up and then you find out that their equipment is different. So, just looking to eliminate that as a factor, since you do get variation with different equipment.

What is the terrain like that you are riding on outdoors? That obviously will also affect things a lot.

I used to have difficulty holding a constant power outdoors on pan flat terrain, regardless of zone. I found that I when I was looking at the PM, I’d be over and then ease off and then I’d be under. The yo-yo effect really zapped my legs after a while. Indoors I didn’t have to think about it, the trainer just holds me in the right place in erg. So, I changed by computer to not smooth, just show the current power. I figured the smoothing was contributing to the yo-yo. Then I rode to about where it needed to be (10-20 secs of power monitoring), paying attention to how it felt. Then just tried to hold on to that feeling for as long as I could. I found that after a while, my power was much more consistent with this approach. I may not have been right on the power number that I was aiming for, but it was close enough. So, maybe your 10 sec smoothing is adversely affecting things for you?

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Thank you for the response.

It really makes sense. I also have power smoothing on trainer. I ride on a fully flat terrain.

My take from her e is it is practicing. I need to spend more time outside for my pacing. Probably move out from erg mode and try with resistance mode.


A few seconds of smoothing is usually good, I usually have 3 or 5 seconds average displayed depending on the computer. It’s going to be a little jumpy though, with practice it’ll get better. But it’s not going to be like the erg. Most of the time don’t worry too much about it. When doing intervals I like to also be able to see my average power at the same time.

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Yeah, I agree - 3-5 seconds smoothing is good. Long enough to eliminate variation from individual pedal strokes. But short enough that you can see the result of any extra effort fairly quickly and avoid overshooting.

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I have set my Garmin to show 3 sec and 30 sec smoothing. When riding outdoors I find the road surface plays a big factor so by setting up the two you know that the longer average is roughly where you want it and then you can dial it in with the 3 sec smoothing. It’s the small changes in surface, corners and riding downhill that will make the 30 second average drop. I wouldn’t worry too much when this happens, as long as you get back on it with the 3 sec average and then the 30 sec will soon catch back up. You could also try adding a lap average which is also handy.