Progression levels indoor vs outdoor

Hi all. I’m lucky enough to be stationed in San Diego where 99 percent of my rides are outdoors. Because of this, I didn’t feel the need to shell out the $ for a smart trainer. I have a Feedback Sports Omnium roller and it seems to do the job the few times I actually need it due to “bad” weather.

I have noticed that doing workouts on my indoor trainer is incredibly more difficult than outdoors. Holding a 12 minute sweet spot interval outdoors is a piece of cake whereas doing the same interval on my trainer makes me want to die.

I am using the same power meter on my bike so it’s not like a disparity of 2 different power readings. Is not having the flywheel effect of being outdoors or on a more expensive smart trainer the main reason for this?

I am curious/worried that doing a training session indoors alters the adaptive training on my plan because what should be an “moderate” workout ends up being “hard” or “very hard”.

Any input? Thanks!

  • Not sure about being the main reason, but it is likely a big factor. The Omnium in particular has almost no flywheel effect. When you coast, it rolls to a stop very quickly. Compare that to something like a Wahoo Kickr that rolls for 15-30 seconds or more depending on wheel speed, and the impact on the legs is notably different IMO.

  • In addition to that, issues like Cooling, Motivation, and such all contribute to reasons that inside riding can feel harder for the same power when compared to outside. There’s another topic that covers a lot of this, and I will track it down to share for reference.

  • TR can answer a common cyclist argument...Outdoor FTP different than Indoor FTP?

  • To a degree, this is less about Progression Levels and Survey Ratings and more about the potential differences in what I am choosing to call “Effective FTP” that we see as sometimes different when comparing inside to outside.

  • Again, the topic above hits on this a bit and there are other topics around that cover this basic in/out issue as well. It is a common theme where some people have notably different “FTP” between these spots.

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