API done better on a trainer?

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API done better on a trainer?

Postby Puffy » Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:22 am

I've been doing some API's lately (aerobic power intervals. 6 x 4min with 5min rest (AT) 115-130% FTP) and stuggle a little to keep the power up for the duration riding on the road. I have yet to find a good bit of road to do these on!

I have been wondering if getting a computrainer trainer (power beam pro) which 1, forces me to keep the power in range, and 2 eliminates any interuptions/road inperfections would be better. Part of me says riding them on the road teaches me to keep the effort up (pain/lactate tollerance) so best to stay on the road. The other side of the coin is they are of a higher quality when done on the trainer since the power is always in range for the duration and I still need to keep pushing the pedals so the mental endurance side of things is still there.

Anyway, I'd like to hear your thoughts especially if you have done these sorts of intervals. Stay on the road or get a computrainer?
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by BNA » Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:11 pm

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Re: API done better on a trainer?

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:11 pm

well the road is cheaper!

do them where you can get the work done safely is my priority. it might be a function of finding a good bit of road suitable for 4-5-min of uninterrupted hard riding without too many changes of gradient.

you may also find on a trainer the power you can sustain is lower than outdoors.
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Re: API done better on a trainer?

Postby Puffy » Wed Jul 03, 2013 8:57 am

Thanks for your thoughts Alex.

I fully believe you regarding lower power on a trainer but I can't figure why, must me a mental fatigue thing.
Oh well, I guess I need to add some cement to my morning coffee and keep looking for a good bit of road.
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Re: API done better on a trainer?

Postby filip » Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:50 am

i struggle a bit with the same question i.e. intervals on road or trainer. I used to have a fluid trainer and did workouts on PE, but last year i bought a tacx 2200 which shows the power etc. Before the start of the season i did 1 hour interval work on the trainer in the morning and then in the evening i rode tempo on the road for another 1 hour. It really helped me, i believe, to get the amount of time needed in the desired power range, which was done solely on the trainer. On the road my power goes up and down like a yoyo and i struggle to keep it in the range. During the summer season i stopped riding on the trainer and shifted to the road and i found my intervals sessions lacking, and in the end i seemed to ladida a bit instead of doing a decent interval work out. My racing started suffering and i decided to get on the trainer to do focussed interval sessions : 2x20', unders/overs and 3' vo2 max efforts - with good results. It can be more in the head than anything else but on the trainer i focus, on the road i look at girls.
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Re: API done better on a trainer?

Postby jcjordan » Fri Jul 05, 2013 12:07 pm

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:well the road is cheaper!

do them where you can get the work done safely is my priority. it might be a function of finding a good bit of road suitable for 4-5-min of uninterrupted hard riding without too many changes of gradient.

you may also find on a trainer the power you can sustain is lower than outdoors.


I know form my experience I am always at least 30 watts low on a trainer for the same perceived effort and have never found a reason for this. I have tried on a number of different trainers including a Lemond and always get the same result.

It's quite frustrating when your forced to train inside
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Re: API done better on a trainer?

Postby Puffy » Fri Jul 05, 2013 12:15 pm

:lol: If only.. there are no girls to look at at 5am!

I was talking to an ex (low level) pro and he recons power on a trainers is typically 80% of what is on the road. He doesn't bother with a trainer for that reason. I suggested there is no reason why that would be the case other than mental, ie boredom, lack of motivation etc and he agreed. OTOH, riding in the pitch black a sparrows fart is likely to be close to sitting on a trainer given I can only see 3 meters in front!

I have actually discovered a good road that is a nice surface and consistant 5% grade which is perfect for doing these intervals but it's 45km away. I could drive down there I suppose.

In the mean time I'll check out the Tacx. Thanks
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Re: API done better on a trainer?

Postby nickobec » Fri Jul 05, 2013 6:27 pm

I dislike riding a trainer that I tend to avoid it at all cost.

My commute is my training ride and after a 12 minute warm up, I am rewarded with 17km of safe uninterrupted path to intervals on.

If I didn't have that maybe I would spend more time on the trainer.
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Re: API done better on a trainer?

Postby vander » Fri Jul 05, 2013 10:55 pm

I spent tonnes of time on my trainer and do all more intervals pretty much on it. I also now have higher power outputs on the trainer than on the road (probably because I have spent so much time on it recently) at the start I was like everyone else with a lower power output but you get better at it.

I find its a lot safer for the very hard intervals.
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Re: API done better on a trainer?

Postby Puffy » Sat Jul 06, 2013 4:42 am

Vander, what trainer do you have?
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Re: API done better on a trainer?

Postby vander » Sat Jul 06, 2013 9:46 am

Cycleops fluid one, The model is a few years older however.
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Re: API done better on a trainer?

Postby Strawburger » Sat Jul 06, 2013 10:20 am

The area where you reside contributes to what you can do for outdoor/trainer intervals. Like vander I live in the inner west of sydney. I've found an area where I can get intervals of up to 3mins in safely. Everything else is on the trainer. Like vander states you get used to it and it will become easier to belt out some very good numbers! Just make sure you don't overheat and keep the machine calibrated...
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Re: API done better on a trainer?

Postby filip » Mon Jul 08, 2013 2:35 pm

check DC Rainmakers review on the cycleops powerbeam, tacx genius etc as well. Really depends how much you want to spend, but the trainer market has come a long way. I quietly regret not having spent the money to go the next level and get the virtual reality thing.

If you do your intervals on the road, do you look at the average while you're doing the interval ? I always struggle to get my power in the range, or is close good enough ? Especially on the longer intervals it's almost impossible to achieve.
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Re: API done better on a trainer?

Postby Puffy » Mon Jul 08, 2013 3:04 pm

I use WKO+, which gives me nominal power (NP, different to average power) for the segment and I am happy if that is within the range, but more so if it's close to the center of the range. If I have a nice flat, uninterrupted road, I can keep the power within the 30w range no dramas, it's just finding the road that allows that duration. I aim for the top of the range, and it helps to keep in mind that the power figures you are seeing displayed are actually a half a second or so delayed. I find that by keeping corrections small, things work out better. I've been using power for about three months and keeping the power in range has to be practiced particularly for the harder intervals.

Having said that, after being told to take a tall glass of "V" (Rule #5) and pedal harder on the back of rises I have found it is possible on undullating terrain to keep the power in range. The thing I am doing different is to get into the next gear before the cadence gets too high (usually above 105). I did a set of four at 115-130% FTP over some small hills no worries making sure I started clicking up gears as the gradient flattened out. The other thing is I am now more accustomed to these intervals so naturally they are easier.

For now I am going to forgo the trainer but you can be I'll be considering one again come the wet season.
Last edited by Puffy on Mon Jul 08, 2013 4:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: API done better on a trainer?

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Mon Jul 08, 2013 4:29 pm

Strawburger wrote:I live in the inner west of sydney. I've found an area where I can get intervals of up to 3mins in safely.

where do you do these?
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Re: API done better on a trainer?

Postby Strawburger » Mon Jul 08, 2013 10:12 pm

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:
Strawburger wrote:I live in the inner west of sydney. I've found an area where I can get intervals of up to 3mins in safely.

where do you do these?


With the fear of every inner west interval based rider crowding me, I'll just say it's in the back streets near popular riding circuits. It's by no means perfect terrain, but they are repeatable and consistent conditions.
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Re: API done better on a trainer?

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Tue Jul 09, 2013 12:41 pm

Strawburger wrote:
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:
Strawburger wrote:I live in the inner west of sydney. I've found an area where I can get intervals of up to 3mins in safely.

where do you do these?


With the fear of every inner west interval based rider crowding me, I'll just say it's in the back streets near popular riding circuits. It's by no means perfect terrain, but they are repeatable and consistent conditions.

perhaps PM me. it's just for my own curiosity.
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