After more than six months on the trainer where I became stronger on the bike, I was looking forward to getting on my new bike and hit the outdoors. I was expecting to have power that reflected the work that I had done on the trainer, but I found that it was a bit of a struggle to have consistent power like I was used to. Is this normal, or should I be patient and let the power increase as I get more rides outdoors?
Just curious what you use to measure power inside v. out?
If you are not used to power outside you will probably end up chasing a number. Set your computer to take a 3 or 5 second average. That will help smooth the power. Get used to feeling your legs at 200W, 300W, 400 etc…for 1 minute, 5 minutes, 20 etc…When outside learn to look past the power and ride/settle in. Look at the power occasionally. Don’t fixate.
I find that there is an adjustment period for me at least. This year I kept an outside ride on my schedule once a week and found that my body stayed accustomed to the outdoor rides. But yes, I had that sensation last year when i only hit the trainer for a solid 3 months. I came around.
Thanks, I guess I shouldn’t overthink it and give myself time to adjust to things like road bumps, the wind, etc.
If you are riding on the road, other factors become much more important. For example, because you have to navigate traffic, make turns at intersections and temper your downhills because the roads haven’t been closed, you should expect to get much lower long-time power numbers as well. So when I do intervals outside, I have to pay attention to other factors that rob me of my focus — for good reason. Even on the indoor trainer, my power drops a little when I reach for a drink.
You should be particularly careful when comparing long-time power numbers. In my case 20-minute power is quite comparable and acurate, but then there is a sharp fall-off after that. Especially my 1-hour power is much lower than you would initially expect — unless you remember that there are few places on the road where you can ride uninterrupted for thirty minutes or more.