Outside riding makes you weak!

Mostly just complaining. Into my second year with TR. I have been doing well following my plan, but I have been 95% outside for the last 6 months. Getting back to normal inside SSB last week and holy crap have I gotten soft. Last year was my first year of structure so everything was hard all the time so I guess I didnt notice. When inside, quitting is easy. Staring at a screen is hard. Unless the altitude difference from my driveway to my basement is having a 20 watt impact on my PM I think just maybe the issue is the rider. Short intervals seem the same level of hard as always, but steady state stuff is just so brutal. Some of it has to be adaptive training making the first part of ssb1 WAY harder than it would have been but that is not what I mean. 5x10min@95% outside, no problem. Same workout inside, death march. I need to htfu.


Haha, I know the feeling!
Couple of weeks in and RPE is down again…

Pro tip: music. really. loud. music.

Put whatever you like in your earbuds, and turn it up to 11. The RPE feels different when you have something amazing in your ear.

For me, it’s stuff like Ava Max, Alice Merton, Lady Gaga, Ke$ha… #judgementfreezone


Outside riding is easier to hit higher power targets. You’re not weaker, you’re just feeling the effects of mindlessly going nowhere.

I did my first indoor session today in months, so why not a VO2 Max workout? Oh, yeah…

It gets easier. I think?


As someone with Tinnitus, please don’t do this.


Yeah I know what you’re talking about.

Weather was a blast for weeks on end, not a single inside ride. The odd outside workout. Lots of unstructured (highly enjoyed) riding.

That was a serious hit on my ftp though.

So good luck with getting back on it! the nice thing is it comes back quickly

What’s your inside air conditioning/ fan/s like? It’s hard to replicate the natural air cooling of outside though which can make rides feel easier. Outside rides also have the benefit of decent momentum new DD trainers have it to a degree but its not the same.


This describes my situation exactly. Literally every detail lol So, you are not alone! I’ve been thinking of all these different excuses, (my trainer isn’t direct drive, maybe I need an extra fan… etc. etc) but I think you nailed it, It’s just too easy to get off. Once I stop pedaling and remind my brain I can just quit anytime I am totally done for. Hoping I can figure this out, otherwise It’s going to be a long, brutal winter!

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I tell my brain I can push harder/ longer without having to worry about falling off :+1:

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And to think my first TR plan was SSB-1 High Volume! Survived 5 weeks of absolutely hellish boredom on the trainer, and should have decided right then that if outside riding is wrong, I don’t wanna be right!


If you’re using erg mode, maybe ditch that and try just targeting the watts. That’s what I do. Might make it mentally (easier?) different bc you must maintain and keep producing power rather than solely focusing on cadence.

But yes the pain cave is a different beast. Had my first sesh Monday since the beginning of summer. Great suffering!

20w difference is totally normal and there are lots of well documented reasons for the difference indoors vs outdoors - cooling etc. You can close the gap over time but I think its a good idea to make sure you test indoors and base your sessions on numbers generated indoors rather than higher numbers from outdoor tests.

No doubt its ‘mentally’ tougher indoors for most people though and there’s something of a mental adaption phase once you retreat back indoors again. For me though the worst part is saddle comfort when I get started indoors again. 6-7hrs outside not an issue but after 1 hour indoors it quickly starts to get a’all abiut the saddle’ and I use rollers and move around much more than most people do on a fixed trainer. I’ll push that to 2hrs by end of winter but wouldn’t ever even entertain rides longer than that indoors. Thats also when choice, and volume, of music starts to get critical :wink:

I’ve been there a few weeks ago: Almost every hard workout that little escape option was popping up in my brain, that I just can get off the trainer and do something more „enjoyable“. Ultimately this was the reason why I was failing more and more workouts. Once I figured out that it was just about my mindset, not my legs, my ego switched on. What really helped me was visualizing me nailing a workout. And I just completely eliminate the thought of bailing out of a workout before I even get one the trainer. Since then I’m going strong again, and the workouts I can’t complete I do at least know that I’ve given all I got :man_shrugging:t4::sweat_smile:


Are both inside and outside rides using the same power meter? If you are using the trainer as your indoor power meter reading, that can be quite different from a crank-based or pedal-based power meter.

The other reasons that folks have given are legit I’m sure. Just wondering if you are being pushed harder indoors, by a trainer’s power meter that reads low.

Naa, I rode inside all last year. I have a PM on both bikes and have ridden with the crank and pedal one both on the same bike to make sure they match. They do. I already get and mostly control for all the physical reasons inside is harder, was just complaining about how much harder it is mentally totally aside from those. You cant quit when you are 25 miles from home. You cant pedal easy into a 20mph headwind. Inside you just have to suck it up, and that is a thing you can train and lose like anything else and i have lost it. I know it comes back.

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