Suitable Threshold Workouts for Outdoors?

What’s your favourite TR threshold workouts to do outdoors?

I have a 20 min climb nearby but most of the workouts don’t allow enough recovery to make it down far enough before the start of the next interval.

For example I have picket guard -1 tomorrow with 4 min recovery.

I would say, don’t worry to much about the recovery intervals. Let’s say you do this workout and you do 10 or 15 min rest intervals, you’re still doing a ton of work around FTP and its still a very productive workout.

I’m lucky that i have a stretch of road where i can do a threshold interval up to about 30 minutes so i can do any workout outdoor. But it’s pan flat which seems a bit harder (mentally) then go up for 30 minutes.

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I agree with @PhydomiR regarding the rest intervals. If you’re lucky enough to have a climb where you can do sustained threshold work, just count your blessings and get on with it. Personally, I literally cannot do sustained threshold work outside because the longest climb within 300km of my home is about 5 mins (Swedish problems). Thus, all my outside work around FTP is just done as unintentional over-unders while trying to keep the average around FTP. While this isn’t optimal in every way, I find that just trying to ride a stretch of road for 20 minutes while averaging FTP is quite the workout. Naturally, I’ll drop some power on the downhills and spike on the uphills, but it actually recreates a race effort much more than a 20 min set at exactly FTP. Maybe some different adaptations are the result, but we all work with what we got!


I don’t know about Picket Guard but a lot of outdoor versions of work outs after the recovery have ‘press lap to continue’. I dislike starting an ‘on’ interval downhill and won’t press until I’m on the flat or uphill.


Depends on your local terrain, I think. I’m a big believer in structuring outdoor intensity around what’s actually available to you rather than trying to get the surroundings to conform to an arbitrary workout and adding a bunch of stress/frustration to an already demanding effort. (probably better from a safety standpoint as well)

Back when I lived in Canada I had a ton of climbs close by, so pretty easy to find one of a suitable length/grade and either do a few reps or stitch together 1-2 longer blocks as part of a route. Nowadays I’m in coastal Aus, which is perfect for cranking out some over-unders into the headwind or marking out a flat/quiet loop for some 10-20 min reps.

If you’re looking to follow a specific plan to a T that doesn’t take that kind of thing into account, there might be some circumstances where alternates might be helpful, or just doing the less ‘agreeable’ ones indoors if that’s an option. (pretty individual of course, but pick the best tool for the job IMO)

I too agree with @PhydomiR and @HLaB Just wait until you’re down far enough to go again and then press the lap button. Don’t try to descend faster than you‘re comfortable. After doing 3x20min threshold intervals it is likely that you’re a bit gassed up and maybe not as sharp as on the first descent. So be save out there.

I used to have a 20min climb until I got faster. Now it’s only a 16min climb. Cries in fitnessgains