Trainer vs. Outside | 80/20 Endurance

Trainer vs. Outside

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    Since we all know that riding the trainer is much tougher that riding outside, do you have any thought on shortening the time intervals to account for the greater degree of difficulty. It seems like constantly riding the trainer (still snowing) is mentally draining and if can be shortened in any way it would be welcomed!!!

    David Warden


    I’ve used the position that riding indoors is 20% more difficult than outdoors. I think Chris Carmichael may have told me that. That number seems about right to me.

    But, I would not reduce the duration or intensity of an indoor ride by any amount from the plan. We’re training your muscles, lungs, heart, and brain. Whether your riding low Zone 1 for 2 hours or upper Zone 2 for 2 hours, learning how to neurologically resist fatigue is a critical component of training, and the duration of the rides in our plans reflect that.

    You can reduce the ride duration by 20%, but I think it will reduce your performance. Not by 20%, but a notable difference. The increased difficulty won’t fully make up for the lack of time in the saddle.

    Chin up! The earth is hurling around the sun and warm weather will be in the northern hemisphere before you know it.



    8020 group rides on Zwift will make doing workouts like the CFo series on the weekends much more enjoyable, David… Let’s get us set up and going!

    Hanna Hunstad


    We’re looking into hosting group rides on Zwift! Zwift is also beta testing club programs now that they are hoping to roll out early 2022. Keep an eye out in our newsletter for updates!



    Is riding indoors about the same effort as being on the aerobars outdoor? I did my FTP test on a Peloton. As the weather warms, I’ll do more training rides outdoors on the aerobars. How much, if any, should I adjust my power zones to start?


    I actually think that by switching power source (Peloton –> Bike PM) you need to retest anyways. I also understand that the Peloton PM is only +/- 10 accurate?
    Even it is/was more accurate, I would retest when switching the source and also from indoor to outdoor.

    Just my 2 cents.


    • This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by winoria.
    David Warden


    Indoor and outdoor training is about 5-10 watts different, with outdoors being higher (depends on the device). Also, your peloton may be +/-5% off compared to your outdoor device. The result could be that your outdoor FTP is 280 and your indoor ride is 260, and both would be correct for their respective environment.

    Additionally, upright position is 10+ watts higher than aero position. You just can’t generate the same power in aero. This is more than compensated by the reduced drag, so it’s worth it, but prepare for t a big difference there as well.

    Zones are always environment and device specific. You can’t go from upright/ indoor/peloton to aero/outside/Powertap and use the same zones. You’ll want to test each of those environments and devices separately.

    It’s like having a scale at home and one at the gym. One says you are 70kg, the other says you are 75kg. Which is correct? One of them is, but just choose one or the other to track your progress, not both.


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