Long Rides question | 80/20 Endurance

Long Rides question

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    So today hubs and I had the rare opportunity to ride outside together for our long ride.

    His Z1-Z2 is 184-218. Mine is 123-146. Prior to following this program, for HIM training long rides I’d just do my best to hang on to his wheel, and often that meant he’d ride a little slower – but I could keep up. I only recently started training with power, so I never knew those numbers before.

    We we’re hopeful that maybe the draft would be that significant that we’d be close enough to both be in zone. But it was very quickly evident that I’d be riding Z3 even in his wake. I made the decision to just hang on because I really didn’t want to ride solo – was such a beautiful day and wanted to be together.

    We rode out/back and I decided to turnaround and let him add on some miles because I didn’t want to blow up on the return trying to keep up with him. I figured I could settle into the plan Z2 on the way back and chill out. I was actually a little concerned that I has gassed myself and would have a slug fest on the return. But that didn’t happen. I felt good. I just rode and didn’t pay much attention to the watts.

    It was CFF15 so was supposed to be 15min Z3 in the end, which I was basically in the entire ride. Avg 166W/19.9mph.

    Now, there is no telling how a run might have felt after this ride, and I’m pretty whooped here at the end of the day – but I never really PUSHED hard. I really tried to just stay comfortable, and my HR felt good. Avg 143.

    My question is – this past week was a CT31. 23 mins of Z3. Granted our AC is out, and our fans were basically blowing hot air on us – the ride felt like it was going to kill me.

    Should I expect the outdoor riding to feel this much different? Thinking maybe the recommendation for outdoor power zones may be a helpful…

    Was riding like that hurtful to my training? (2hrs+ z3 – is that going to trash me for next week?)


    David Warden


    So glad you got to ride outside again! I think two things are at play here.

    Most athletes will experience about 10 watts difference indoors vs outdoors. I think it is a combination of both the power device itself responding to the imperfections and vibrations of the road, and the motivation outdoors vs indoors. For some athletes and certain power devices, these factors don’t make a dent in the delta between indoor and outdoor. For others, it can be 30 watts. In fact, I had an athlete who did an FTP test inside. He was so disgusted with his number that he immediately went outside and did it again and was 40 watts higher. Therefore, you may have a second set of outdoors zones that is much higher than your indoor. For your next FTP test, try and test outside and I bet it’s much higher for you.

    Second, Zone X always feels great. That’s the problem. That’s why if not given better guidance athletes will just fall into Zone X all the time. You may have felt great after the ride, but you can’t feel the recovery deficit that you built up from the ride. It will only reveal itself in the next interval ride where you will gain less fitness because of fatigue you can’t feel.

    Tell hubs to get on his MTB next time and give him a handicap. Or, have him install some power cranks on a secondary bike which will slow him down, but give him amazing cycling technique.



    hey david – so he is also training for the same race, with the same program, – so im not sure that would be in his best interest? ha!

    so takeaway here then is – do not be tempted to ride zone x long rides no matter how great the ego stroke is. 🙂

    thank you! i think i will do outdoor ftp next time….

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