Outside workout questions. Been off the platform for a while and interested in coming back


It has been quite a few months since I used trainer road. I found myself getting away from structured training and following pretty much an unstructured polarized training model that was simply driven by how much time I could ride at zone 2 on a weekly basis with a day or two of “structured” VO2 intervals thrown in.

I am interested in taking on a few months of structured training blocks and want to use trainer road again for guidance. With it being summer I wanted to post a quick thread to get updates on some questions:

What is the current best way to have outside workouts impact progression levels? Do we still have to load up a workout (or create my own) and “associate” the outdoor ride with a specific trainer road workout to show the system the workout was completed?

How does progression levels work with heart rate only rides? My gravel bike does not have power and I mostly train by heart rate on endurance rides. Trainer road will generate an estimated TSS based on heart rate, but, how am I sure that my estimated TSS correlates with a trainer road workout? How can I “associate” the two and have proper progression levels updated? Do I just guess what workout seems like the endurance ride I completed is? If I had power with a generated IF, picking a workout with a similar IF and length of time completed appears to be easier to “associate” it and have progression levels updated vs just TSS from heart rate. I feel like I am guessing a lot with only using heart rate to try and associate it with estimated power/tss.

Finally, will my FTP update with outside workouts using AI FTP? I am assuming again I have to have my outside workouts linked up with a pretty close trainer road workout equivalent to get the software to crunch any of this data, but, if all of this was done automatically now this would be huge for me. Thanks!

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At the moment outside work outs are just done or not done and AT relies on your after ride survey response to influence PLs and select future workouts. So it won’t matter just now if rides are done on HR or RPE in the absence of power.

I think AI FTP will still work with HR only too as it’ll look too and compare them to inside rides with power but I couldn’t say 100% or what margin of error there’ll be.

I think you are saying how does Outside rides work with AT, not Outside workouts. As HLaB says, if you did a formal outside workout, AT would work as normal. However, if you are just free riding Z2 outside and not following a pre-planned workout, you could then “associate” the ride with a workout that “matches” what you did, if you can find one close. It will then update your progression levels based on that workout and your response.

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Thank you, yes that what I thought. I can confirm AI FTP is working because I dropped a ramp test in and it calculated an estimated FTP based on recent rides. Every ride has been importing from Garmin in the background (even though I didn’t have an active TR subscription) and they all populated my calendar with estimated TSS scores based on HR data. The workouts AI FTP used have no trainer road workouts associated with them. None in the last 6 months. My progression levels though, are definitely all out of wack and are basically 1.0 all across the board. From now on, I’ll add in a workout that matches my endurance rides and that should start to update progression levels it sounds. I in theory could do this with the VO2 workouts in the past and endurance rides but that would be a slow and painful process going back the last couple months and associating rides with those imported workouts.