Training outside vs indoor

I can complete 1X60 SST interval inside with (zwift pace partner) and 1X100M in Z3 but when I try 2X20 SST outside I cannot even come ballpark close. Given that it’s start/ stop on lights etc but after first 12-14 minutes my watts start declining. By second interval I fell like giving up. ( No motivation to complete but I do complete).

Moreover I fell I should do intervals outside instead of trainer but as soon as I complete first I start believing I should have done indoor.

What gives? How can I improve my outdoor long intervals?

Some worthwhile info here, specifically considering your route options in contrast yo workout types that are better for what you have access to use.

And some forum topics with tips.

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Is it warmer outside?

Is your power meter reporting the same as your smart trainer?

What terrain are you doing work outs on? It very slightly undulating here so if I can help it I’ll save intervals for slight inclines or flats and not too many bends. Avoiding downhills and twisty roads. In theory I should be able to deliver more power outside due to good aircooling, momentum etc but there is still mental block for me though, pushing to the extreme outdoors has a bit more consequences when it goes wrong :rofl:

be careful to your power meter.

Inside, where the power meter in included in my home trainer, I have about 200W for my ftp.
For outside, myleft pedal has a power meter. And when i make a ramp test with my home trainer using both the power meter of my home trainer and of my pedal, I habe about 50W of difference. i.e. ftp 200W with the power meter of my home trainer, and ftp 150W with my left pedal power meter.

Look at your power graphs and likely your indoor power is smoother than outdoor and all those little micro accelerations are taking a toll. Even if your not in erg mode, it’s easier to hold a steady power indoors vs outdoors. Work on being smoother.

Also worth checking cadence difference. For me, indoor 95rpm feels natural but outside it is around 70rpm. With lower cadence, effort shifts from cardiovascular system to muscles that can fry you quicker.

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I like training outside. The only thing that sometimes disturb me is the heat.

I like training outside, especially when it is warm (early summer morning is a perfect time for me). But if it is hot or cold, I’d better stay at home and train there.

I Trend to do better outside especially with above threshold intervals and sweet spot. Both with same power meter.

In addition to the comments about the potential differences between the trainer PM and your ike PM, I’d also perhaps suggest trying to take the trainer out of ERG mode, so that you learn how to manage your power indoors, in the same way you do outdoors.

Yes it’s hot and windy.

I don’t live in terrain that is conducive to training anything other than V02s on short power climbs, or on weekends when a main road is closed to traffic (But clogged with runners, walkers, cyclists, etc…) so I just do all my sustained intervals indoors (SST, threshold, most of the VO2 stuff). Honestly, I don’t even mind anymore - even on nice days. I have family stuff to contend with so any training is part of the process, and watching netflix is fine for me for long SST intervals.

I like to ride outdoors with friends and you can’t really do intervals with people of different FTPs than you. I either say “chill” pace meaning I’m trying to keep it zone 2, or it’s whatever goes. You don’t have to stuff outdoors if it doesn’t work for you.

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Heat can definitely affect performance (inside or out).

I raced sailboats for a bit and have many many hours of experience closely watching wind. Wind is never consistent. Even a “steady” breeze is constantly shifting in direction a few degrees back and forth and changing speed slightly, more than enough to have a subtle effect on a bike rider. And a gusty wind can be shifting direction and speed a lot. So even if you don’t realize it, riding in windy conditions is like riding on a road with constantly changing slope and can lead to you making a lot of power adjustments if you are not super attentive. Those swings in power, even if fairly small, can add up and really sap you over time.

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As mentioned heat… but other things slow you down besides the pesky stoplights: wind, hills, turns, terrain, humidity, condition of the roads, etc.

I thought training outside will be far better. When I am not training (doing group rides) usually I produce more power outdoors but at that time, I am with many riders.

For indoor training, I do not use ERG mode. (mostly I ride with Zwift bots as they have bots for most w/kg)
My power meter (favero) tracks relatively close to Wahoo
The wind here is around 15 to 19 miles per hour these days.
And yes my cadence drops outside. Indoor with SST I can mention 85-90, outdoor yesterday, it was 68.

Sometimes I feel like lack of motivation is solo riding (that zwift bot, I can do SST 1 full hour)

Sounds like a combo of mental and physical things, probably compounding each other.

FYI: operating at a lower cadence in windy conditions means that with gusts there will be moments of very high pedal force and wasted energy under slow contraction.

Shift down a gear and spin faster. Maybe 2.

Your cadence alone is enough explain the variability in results.

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That’s more than enough wind to make an outdoor workout pretty tough!

And, the difference between 85-90 and 68 rpm cadence is quite a bit. Assuming that 68 is not just a data averaging anomaly and you’re actually pedaling that much slower outside, you’re putting a different load on your body indoors and out. Random internet quote:

Lower cadences shift emphasis to increased force production; skeletal muscles work harder and fatigue faster. In contrast, higher cadences shift stress to the cardiovascular system. At the same power output, pedaling faster reduces the average force during the pedal stroke but increases oxygen consumption to contract skeletal muscles more frequently. Cycling Cadence: Economy, Efficiency and How to Train Low and High Cadence to Ride Faster - CTS

Edit to add - not saying either cadence is right or wrong as done intentionally cadence variation is fine. But a sweet spot workout at 85-90 rpm and one at 68 are not the same type of training load so you may not be comparing apples to apples between your workouts.

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I would try shifting to reduce the load and increase the cadence. You should be able to get the same output (watts) by doing this.

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How does that work relative to low cadence for other scenarios? Unpredictable changes in resistance?