Outdoor Cycling Workouts in Wahoo SYSTM (non Wahoo cycling computer instructions)


This support article is for those users who do not have a Wahoo ELEMNT cycling computer, and who wish to complete SYSTM workouts outdoors.  If you have a Wahoo ELEMNT cycling computer - please refer here for instructions on Outdoor Structured Workouts 


You will notice this flag on certain No-Vid workouts that are found in some of the SYSTM training plans.  These workouts include detailed instructions so that they can easily be completed inside or outside, according to your own personal preference.  These workouts are generally easy to follow, with only a few interval changes. 


When selecting your training plan workout on your calendar, you'll see a breakdown of the workout intervals.  This may look something like this:

It's a No-Vid workout.  Hitting the Start Workout button will launch the workout player.  The workout can be completed in the app this way.  


The workout description will have details about the workout purpose and how to complete it inside or outside.  


An interval breakdown will be provided at the end of the description.  



Each workout is broken up into 4 Parts:  

  1. Warm-Up
  2. Main Efforts
  3. Extra Volume
  4. Cool Down


This describes the riding that should be done to get your legs and lungs ready for the efforts ahead. While much of a warm-up should be easier spinning, most warm-ups also include a series of harder efforts.  

Main Efforts

This is the “meat” of the workout. The main effort description will include:

  1. Number of Sets - The number of times you go through a full “set” of intervals.  Not all workouts contain multiple sets, and there will always be recovery between sets.
  2. Rest Between Sets - This describes the riding that should be done between completed Sets.  If a workout has only a single Set, then you will see “N/A” here.
  3. Interval Repeats per Set - The number of times you repeat an interval to complete 1 Set.  Some Sets contain a single Interval, while other Sets can contain more than 6.  
  4. Interval - This describes each segment that makes up an interval.  Sometimes there is a single segment for the interval, sometimes there are multiple segments for an interval.  To complete a single set, you simply repeat the Interval Segments

Here is what a description for Main Efforts might look like:

4 sets 
4 repeats per set 
30 sec @ RPE 8.5 -- 90% of MAP (105-130% of FTP) 
2 minutes 30 seconds @ RPE 7 -- 90% of FTP 

Rest Between Sets 
10 minutes @ RPE 2 -- 45% of FTP

If we translated that into non-coachspeak, that means you would do 30 seconds hard, 2-1/2  minutes just below your FTP, repeat that 3 more times, spin easy for 10 minutes, and repeat that sequence three more times. 


Extra Volume

This describes the riding that should be done after all sets are completed.  If a workout does not contain any Extra Volume, then you will see “N/A” here.


Cool Down

This describes the riding that should be done after all sets and extra volume (if applicable) are completed.  A proper cool-down is a must, especially for some of the harder sessions. Do not neglect this part of the ride! 


Each section of the workout is divided into a number of segments of specific duration and intensity. The description of each workout “segment” will include the following information:

  1. Duration
  2. Target RPE
  3. Target Power (expressed as a % of one of the 4DP metrics)
  4. Target Heart Rate (expressed as a % of your LTHR as determined by Full Frontal).


For example, a 20-minute long effort, with a target RPE of 2, target power at 45% of your FTP, and target Heart Rate that is less than 70% of your LTHR would be written as:

20 minutes @ RPE 2 -- 45% of FTP -- HR <70%