At the moment, we do not have a way to deal with indoor/outdoor power discrepancies. We do, however, have an open feature request that you can support here:
As a workaround, you can set your TR FTP as the FTP you use outdoors, and then turn the intensity down on the indoor workouts as @timon suggested. Once you complete the workout, you can manually change the FTP for that specific workout to your “indoor FTP.” This will correct your TSS for your indoor workouts. To change your FTP for once specific workout, select the completed workout and click the Edit button. Then, change your FTP to the FTP you use indoors, and click “Save”.
With regards to the extra FTP test outside: Super good question, I am also interested in learning more about this.
In addition to that question I came to a new question that has been nagging me:
IF my worksouts feel easier outside compared to inside. What limiter am I encounting? Heat could be a good guess…? But this is not really my question.
My question is: If my “FTP” is lower inside compared to outside… will all my inside training then be limitited by heat (or other factors?), instead of my real capabilities. So am I training to be better in the heat or am I training my “real” outside race capabilities?
Compare it to live in high altitude, train low with more oxygen. Now I train limited (inside) and live and race outside…
I would love to hear the Trainerroad answer to this
I did outside lactate test and got FTP 295w, few days before I did ramp on my indoor setup (different bike with the same fitting but without PM + Tacx Bushido ) and got 243w and few days after I did ramp test with my outdoor bike and got FTP of 273w
I set TR FTP to 295 and when I do indoor TR workout I simply set workout to 82%.
I cannot use TR to analyze my workouts and form becouse of two different FTPs but In trainingpeaks I can setup two diffrent FTPs for bike and MTB and when I do indoor training just change workout to MTB and everything is fine.
My thought is that if your plan includes a block of outdoor training, you should test outside prior. This is one reason why I like the 8 minute test. I’m really leaning into doing more and more outdoor workouts, perhaps even more complex variations. Train on the bike you race on too.
They will say to improve your indoor cooling as that indoor and outdoor FTP shouldn’t be different. Or, to take advantage of outdoor workout function with a slightly higher FTP. (Follow Brices advice above) I’m of the opinion that if you can maintain more work outdoors, you should work outdoors. It’s more complex though as certain workouts are difficult if not impossible to do outside.
As an example - I’m fortunate to live near a public cycling track, the perfect place for a workout with almost no distractions or traffic. But, the track isn’t perfectly flat (it’s not a true banked track) so it requires a mental energy to stay in zone, more than required in the trainer. So, I can ride indoors with no distractions at all, at a lower wattage, or ride outdoors with some distractions at a higher wattage. From an adaption standpoint outdoors is better but only if you’re able to successfully complete them. Look at time in zone afterwards.
As far as heat adaption, this has been covered before. The method that was previously recommended on the podcast was to do your workouts and then follow them with time in a sauna. You hit your higher power with proper indoor cooling, or do it outside, then get the heat acclamation with the sauna. I’m sure you all have a sauna?
Maybe I missed it, if it was mentioned already. But there could be a big discrepancy between your trainer power meter and your bikes power meter.
What are the makes and models of the different devices?
Is everything updated and calibrated?
If there is a huge discrepancy between indoor and outdoor FTPs I really think you should look into your devices first. Sure, cooling, motivation, positions on the bike and the utilization of supporting muscles allow you to make more power outside, in my experience it has not resulted in a huge power difference between my indoor and outdoor rides.
To test I’d put the bike with the power meter on the trainer to see how the trainer and bike power meters compare.
I’m btw 20 and 30 ftp difference (indoor reads lower) Same bike (literally wheel on trainer), same power meter, etc. I do think that heat plays a part, but maybe not that much as I keep my bike in the garage and during the winter when it’s 40f (and sometimes using a fan), I still have a descrepency.
I’m not an engineer, but I wonder if it has more to do with the fixed position of a trainer and the angles created while fixed, versus on the road where you have some slight side/side motion.
No, it is no longer our recommendation to update your FTP between indoor and outdoor workouts.
We are working on a solution for this in an upcoming product release, but in the meantime, I think we can help you out with this!
Considering you’re using the same power meter for indoor and outdoor workouts, and without a smart trainer, in your case we should be looking instead at ways to help you express your FTP for indoor workouts the way you feel you can outside.
Primary areas to focus on to improve the outcome of your indoor training is to focus on cooling, hydration and nutrition, and entertainment. Overheating on indoor workouts is not uncommon, so fans and air circulation along with proper hydration and fueling will help these workouts feel more achievable. That goes for entertainment too, where not having the stimulus of outside rides can lead you to focus more on how much those efforts hurt when you’re indoors. A good balance of leaning into/focusing on the effort with a little distraction of music, a podcast, or TV helps tremendously.
Secondary to those things though is a cadence and trainer resistance check.
I did notice that when you’re outside, you tend to hover around 80-85rpm, and inside, you’re consistently doing 95-105 for your intervals.
You may want to try to align your cadence inside with what feels natural to you outside, otherwise it can for sure feel taxing in a different way. Building up to and trying to work on your overall cadence trends is great, but acknowledging that pattern may help you understand why indoor stuff can feel ‘tougher’.
Let me know if you have questions on that or once you get a chance to try out some of these tips.