Outside workout - staying on target interval

I have done 2 outside workouts and I love it, but I think it is quite hard to hit the target interval power and a lot of the time I find myself either over or under that interval.

Do you have any advice on how to help me stay in that desired interval? Maybe a higher rolling average, cadence target or something else?

Thanks, Álvaro

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What is the reason you are not maintaining the power angle? Is it e.g. because of not having ERG mode or because of traffic?

It helps if you can find a loop where you don’t need to slow down for traffic.

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Assuming you’ve found a road/trail that allows you to keep riding without too many hills, worrying about traffic etc, then I’ve found that a lot of it is just practice. I often do long sweet spot intervals outside, and I found that I needed to get the ‘feel’ of the work intervals and then force myself not to stare at my power figures all the time… constantly checking your power will make you more likely to oscillate above and below target.


I did find the perfect 10km flat road to do the intervals outside.
I will try to get the feel next time.

ERG mode outside?

I think @mrpedro was meaning that keeping power on target when you’re riding without Erg can take some getting used to.

Hitting target power does take some getting used to, but isn’t too difficult. I’d like to see what your screen on your cycling computer looks like. Are you using 3 second power? It’s going to fluctuate but if all fields are setup correctly, you should also see your average power output for that given interval. I find it pretty easy to get that average within the target power range.

Holding say 300watts exactly just isn’t going to happen. You may see 280 or 320 when you look down sometimes, but I just focus on my average power to know if I’m hitting the target.

This is how I have my screen setup, per trainerroad instructions. As you can see over shot this 20 minute interval (purposely), but you can get the point.


I only started doing TR workouts this last summer, and I found the first few weeks (months) of training were spent finding the right road. It’s not just finding a 10-20 minute stretch where there are no downhills, but also avoiding sharp turns, towns etc.

Also, I think it’s been mentioned in the podcasts, but look at what your power smoothing setting is. I’ve set mine to be longer so that I don’t end up trying to chase a 5s average.

Oh, and one other thing, gearing. I’d never shifted so much when riding until I started doing outdoor workouts


Yes, without ERG you need to get used to keeping the power flat yourself, you can also train it inside by using speed dependent resistance mode.

If you have a flat road outside, you can also focus on keeping the cadence steady, which won’t fluctuate as much as power. Are you looking by the way at average 3s power? Because the 1s power is always going to be a bit spiky.

This is actually a great idea! I don’t have a picture of my screen now, but I have only been using 3s power. I will add the interval power and try with that.

I am only using 3s power.
It is a good idea to try with resistance mode inside, so I become more used to it

There is a blog post from TR on setting up a screen they recomend, actually two…

Also search the podcast and blog, they have quite a few tips


I’ve not used power for outdoor workouts, just RPE. Could you learn the appropriate RPE for each interval?

I note from the screen shot that the outdoor workouts have a target “range” rather than exact values. I know I can set range alerts for various metrics on my Garmin 520 so you could do that for power but the problem then is that you’d get the out of range alarm during the recovery intervals. It would also only work for specific power levels so something like Mary Austin could only be one range.

I’m not sure if Garmin’s (or Wahoo’s) API lets the workout control Range Alerts. Also Garmin’s ranges are based purely on the 7-zone model so there’d need to be a custom/dynamic range that the workout could control.

With Garmin you have a lot more control over the interval power range displayed on bike computer if you build workout in TrainingPeaks or Garmin Connect.

For example if I build a workout in TrainingPeaks and set the target to 200W, then my Garmin shows a target +/- 10% which is 190-210W (or it’s 180-220W). If I set the target to 201-211W, that is exactly what I see on my bike computer.

Thank you all for you helpful answers!

+1 on the shifting note. Even on the flattest roads in my area (which are not that flat) it feels like I am shifting every 15 seconds or so to compensate for tiny changes in gradient, changes in wind direction/strength etc.