Yesterday I wanted to do an outside workout to get in some structured training while enjoying my local mountain biking trails. I was aiming for 45 minutes of sweet spot with three 15-minute interals. While I was doing the workout I was aiming for time in zone staying as close to 200 watts as I could, monitoring my 3-second power and my lap average power, but if my average power was dipping, I did not try to drag it up, just tried to stay around 200 watts or maybe 210. This was uneven mountain biking terrain, but I chose climbs where I could try to sustain an effort for 15 minutes. I hit my average and normalized power targets–for example on the second climb my average power was 200 watts and my normalized power was 204 watts, but my power was bouncing all the way from tempo to VO2 max (~150-250 watts) because of the uneven terrain and despite my efforts to keep it steady:
I don’t plan to do this very often–but I’m hoping this could still “count” as a sweet-spot workout in my trainerRoad plan. I really want to hit my 3 structured workouts per week in my low-volume plan and don’t feel like I could recover from 3 structured workouts plus an outdoor ride like this. Also, from time to time I really like to get outside and enjoy the nice weather and my local trails. I appreciate your thoughts of whether an occasional ride like this can be substituted for a structured workout in my plan.
Also, for context, I am new to structured training and outside structured rides so I hope to improve my ability to maintain constant power with additional practice.