Intervals on a smart trainer

I typically like doing intervals on my smart trainer since I can’t find good roads around here to do sustained workouts on. That being said, with the way the workouts are setup in TP, they have exact wattages on them and I’m wondering if it’s better to just stay in the appropriate zones or to hit the exact wattage for the duration of the interval (in other words, should I use ERG mode or just ride and stay in the bounds of the zone I’m supposed to hit, i.e., zone 5 for VO2 max).


Hi highly recommend that you don’t use erg and you just in the ‘zone’ Some of our older plans jus t have a target as when the workout builder was first introduced you could only put in a target and not a range.

Intervals at threshold or above are much better to ride on feel. You want to ride these as hard as you can, as long as they are repeatable. For instance 3 minute Vo2 max you may be able to ride all efforts at 120% of FTP as opposed to 115%. Or visa versa. So best to feel that out for the day, how you feel and where your fitness is at.

As for efforts below FTP it is not as important to ride on feel. More important to not ride over the zone you should ride in. Sweet spot should be sweet spot and tempo should be tempo. These are more advance aerobic and you want to keep aerobic by not going too hard on them.


Ok, thanks Jake! That’s super helpful.

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Hey @whosehair I’ll also add that riders who constantly ride in erg mode end up having a harder time pacing themselves outside and seem to not be as well trained at modulating power over undulating terrain or a surging pack.

That makes a ton of sense and was actually what I was wondering about when I posted my question. Thanks for chiming info!