Following a workout outdoors

Hi there,

I have been using an indoor smart trainer to complete all of my Fascat training workouts so far. I have recently acquired a new bike with power meter so thought that it might also be possible to perform some of my workouts outside now that the weather is getting warmer. However on my first couple of attempts, I seem to fail miserably to hold the required power when there is any incline or decline (and I live in a pretty flat area). My power varies dramatically, especially when compared to indoors.

Is it just a matter of skill to hold those watts outside or should I just stick to training indoors?

Any tips for me?


Hey Aoife,
What you describe is pretty normal for riders who are new to training with power outside. Here is a very similar thread that you will probably relate to very closely:

Basically, your power outside will not be as constant as it will be inside on the trainer. It is helpful to put your head unit to where is displays your rolling power average for 3 seconds. Also, use normalized power when analyzing your intervals.


Hi Lacey,

Thanks for such a speedy response! I have NP and averaged over 3 seconds on my display (can’t imagine what chaos would be displayed for instant!) Will take a look at the other thread - Thanks.

Is it fair to say that despite the larger variations that there is still (equal) value to the workout done outside?


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Hi @aoifereid - in addition to what Lacey was saying (power bounces all over the place outside), choosing suitable terrain is clutch for setting yourself to maximize power based workouts outside.

Avoid variable terrain with lots of ups and downs. Ideally choose steady flat terrain or up a steady grade hill that is at least the length of your interval.

Not sure of your terrain in Australia but strategically choosing where to ride is important. Hope that makes sense!


Is it better to stay indoor if terrain is an issue?

Depends on the type of workout you have @mephisto.waltz !
For a very specific workout like over unders, it is important to choose a route that isnt going to be sending you downhill during the “over” portion of the interval. Same goes for a 2x20 min climbing workout. You dont want to choose a route where you can only climb steadily for 5 minutes.

So ideally, you would take the time to look at strava segments near you, your previous rides, etc to determine a route that will work… as it is always good to get out and practice your handling skills when the weather allows. However if you are rushed and do not have the time to stress about doing that, completing the ride indoors is just fine. The main thing is that you FtFP :slight_smile:

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Thanks for the reply as always @Lacey_Rivette

I’m from Singapore, blessed with year round summer but also roads full of traffic lights and cars. :joy: