Outside workouts (matching TSS and coffee breaks)

Hi. I have a bit of a silly question regarding outside workouts. More specifically, I’m in TBHV3 and would like to do some of the workouts outside (I wouldn’t classify a 4hr on the trainer as fun). So while its not that difficult to find segments of road for shorter intervals, there is no way to do a 160min interval without going out the specified power range.

  1. Should I try to match the TSS of the ride to the workout TSS or is falling short/going over by a couple % fine?
  2. It seems to me that these endurance rides are perfect for coffee rides, but that means coffee breaks. How do these breaks affect the workouts?


When I was doing my TB I was mostly monitoring time in zones.
Zone 2 is a big range of percent of FTP so working at the top of the zone will produce more TSS than the bottom of the zone.
If you don’t have good zone discipline, you may find yourself drifting into Z1 or Z3 making TSS harder to compare to an indoor workout. You can almost ignore time in Z1 but time in Z3 can really add up.

I do like the idea of matching tss to coffee breaks. How much tss is one coffee? Does cake count double?


So I should match the time in zone with prescribed interval and not go into higher zones. If the time in zone is too short should I extend the ride?

On a ride by ride basis I would just focus on keeping your power in Z2 at all costs, don’t worry about matching an indoor workout exactly for time in zone. Then on a weekly basis look at your total time in zones and make sure you are hitting your marks for time in Z2. No matter what, trainer work will hit the zones more precisely, for example on a 12hr all indoor week I got almost 10hrs in Z2 compared to some 12-13 hour outdoor weeks I would have only 6-7hrs in Z2.

Outdoor Weeks:

Indoor week:

In general, long rides that require constant unrelenting pressure on the pedals fatigue slow twitch fibers so that the fast twitch are forced to engage more and more. So, depending on the rider the longer the better. Obviously for a seasoned rider the length of time will be much longer than a beginner.

How long to keep constant pressure? I go as long as I have food and water so, 1 bottle/hour for z2-ish. After 2 hours (2 bottles) I stop and refill. That would be the coffee stop if I was wanting to stop that long. I think the hardest part about long rides is mental. So if the coffee stop helps keep you out another 2 hours the time stopped for us amateurs is time well spent. I’m sure 4 hours straight compared to 2 two hour blocks is better but, you get the idea.