Power meter and outside workouts or stay in

I use TR to get fitter and faster to keep up on club rides and MTB rides with my friends.
As the weather in the UK gets warmer I’ll be tempted to ride outside more than now.

I’m also looking at having a bit more time on my hands in summer so. Should I get a power meter and do the TR workouts outside and then add volume by pootling around, or
Keep on the trainer and keep my outside rides separate

I have no doubts a power meter would be useful as I also have a set of rollers. currently using a Garmin Edge 820.

Any thoughts on possible pitfalls?

I’m not sure there’s a wrong answer to this one as volume will always help as long as I fuel and am not too cooked after a workout.

I like the structure that I get with indoor workouts and like the idea that I’m doing them “properly” and not compromising their quality by doing them outside. So I’ll do low volume indoors and then do commuting and social rides outside.

If it’s a long road ride though, I’ll take the bike that has the power meter so I can keep an eye on my overall stress for the week and maybe tone down a few efforts so that I can still complete my training.

EDIT

So, in other words, if I were you, I would get a power meter but also continue training indoors

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Compared to inside only, I’ve always gotten faster in training blocks that incorporate outside rides. After joining TR my initial thinking was that higher quality inside would deliver better results, but the last 2 years has not shown that to be true. I definitely respond to more varied intensity and volume. For me, volume is easier to do outside.

For the last month I’ve been doing all my structured work outside and it feels great both physically and mentally :+1:t3: Its really easy to use TR outside workout feature, or just simplify workouts by telling myself “I’m going outside and doing two 20-minute efforts around FTP and 3-5 minutes between intervals.” These days I actually prefer doing simple intervals from memory, and just pressing the lap button to keep track.

Given all that, I don’t prescribe to the idea that quality work can’t be done outside. The first thing you need to do is let go of any ideas that the goal is hitting precise targets.

As they say, your mileage may vary. Have fun and ride on! :biking_man:

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Get the favero assioma Uno or duo pedals and swap them around your Bikes easily. I got them and I love it. Have done some TR outdoor rides and its awesome. Structured training when its best and be a able to do it outside is a win win situation.

I like this concept and plan on doing just that once I get into my build phase. 3 focused efforts a week, most of the time indoors and that leaves me with some flexibility to ride outdoors.

I agree with this. Also, I can just hit higher numbers outside, try as I might to get the indoor set up dialed, I can go quite a bit deeper when I’m outside, so that’s something to consider as well. Pushing the workouts to the Garmin is great. I find that the more simpler workout, the better and I’m lucky in that I have sustained climbs, a long flat road, and even a track that’s open year round to the public. No excuses from me!

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It really does depend on where you live as to whether attempting TR workouts outdoors is suitable or effective. There’s a TR blog post about finding suitable roads for particular styles of workout that might be worth reading.

I live in a hilly area of the UK. UK readers will know that our hills are rarely a single steady grade plus they are usually less than a couple of km long. Attempting an interval style work on such hills would be frustrating in the extreme, just as you get to the end of a VO2 max interval your “rest” matches up with a 300m long 20% grade! So I find that it’s better to do the precise power work indoors. Obviously you could get close by finding a hill of suitable duration that you could do laps on it or rather than exact one minute on, one minute off type intervals go for an improvised “fartlek” type workout - put the hammer down to that bend, steady to the junction, now push to the top of this rise, etc.

I’ve been doing mountain bike rides at the weekends, which get logged on Strava. TR will pull outdoor rides in from Strava if you use that and you can then assign a stress level if you aren’t using a power meter on that bike. Heading out and doing a four or five hour zone 2 ride is going to add to your base fitness without unduly stressing your body.

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This is totally me. I hit a lot higher wattage outside as measured by the same power meter on both indoor/outdoor (Assioma pedals). In fact, it worries me that if I do TR workouts outdoors I won’t be able to get the intended workout benefit without adjusting the intensity.

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I have found that I can stay on the upper ranges on the displayed power targets for most outdoor intervals. I supposed doing at least one full week of outside work would be beneficial at seeing if the “extra” intensity lends itself to recovering as well. Like you, I’ve wondered the very thing.

i’d love to use pedal power meters but ride SPD shoes - i have seen the thread and GPLama youtube vide but they’re a bit out of my price range.

Thanks for all the awesome replies and ideas. I think i’m going to continue with the indoor structured rides per the low volume plan as family life restricts time and then continue with additional outside volume in the way of club rides and MTB-ing in the Peaks which is what i need to do more off in preparation for a weekend of MTB-ing.
I just wish there was a way to get a power meter that fitted road bike (with SPDs) and MTB with flats just so that if i wanted to i could do an outside workout - but not sure if that would kill the fun.
We’re all trying to maximize our time on the bike and improve and i sometimes forget that riding should be about having fun and not constantly burying myself.

You can convert favero assioma to spd… To flats, thats another story. But you can do gravel workouts on the mtb with spd, if youre not use to ride spd on mtb

https://youtu.be/ybAFIhKahnM

If you are using Shimano cranks then surely something like Stages or 4iiii power meters would be transferable. Might not colour match and depending on your MTB the q-factor might be out.

Personally I don’t bother with metrics when on the MTB, I prefer to ride by feel/RPE.

This is so true! I can nail 20 minute intervals right out my door, but I have friends who would have trouble doing a 1 minute interval without getting stopped at a traffic light.

If I had to ride 30 minutes to get to an appropriate stretch of road to do intervals I would certainly train indoors all year, however, if you can hit the intervals right out the door it’s pretty effective to train outside.

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Ride outside! Especially because that’s what you’re training for anyways! Use the trainer for poor weather riding.

I’m biased because I dislike riding inside, but dont let intervals get in the way of riding outside; you can accomplish them outdoors just as you would indoors, and you’ll gain technique in controlling the gears and efforts on the bike where you want to perform well.

Enjoy the ride!

Brendan

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Just bought 4iiii for this purpose. Been training inside since October 2019, want to start training outside. I decided to do more endurance/tempo trainings (I did Boarstone today) OUTSIDE, but I will keep Threshold and VO2Max interval INSIDE, especially since it is important to keep you in a particular BPM zone, which just works better on a trainer with ERG.

So, in my case, I am in Mid Volume Build with 5 rides. Tuesday = typically VO2Max, Thursday = Threshold, Saturday = Threshold. I will do that inside.

Wednesday is recovery, and Sunday I swap out whatever is on schedule for the outdoor variant or a longer endurance ride (2 hours).

Once Build ends in about 4 weeks, I intend to pick up my endurance rides again (4-5h, 120-150km), and see what I need to train extra (VO2Max, Sprint), and to that inside.