Garmin Training Effect/Training Load - Zwift vs. Outdoors

The Training load Garmin applies to my zwift activities seems significantly lower that rides outdoors. My “perceived effort” seems similar!

Yesterday, I rode approx 35 miles outdoors in 2 hours, most of the ride in zone 2 with one or two hills. Average power was 210w and average HR was 130bpm. Exercise load = 181. (Vector 3 power meter)

Today, on Zwift, I rode 2hr 17mins, mainly zone 2 with some zone 3, average power of 262w, average HR of 137bpm (with a push at the end up to 162). Exercise load, around 130. (Kickr v5 as power meter).

Anybody else experiencing this? Something seems wrong!

Something does seem wrong. I just rode on Zwift for 1 hour averaging 175 watts (Kickr Snap, calibrated before ride) — supposedly zone 2 —with an average heart rate of 130, ending with 10 mins at 215 watts and maximum heart rate of 157). Garmin load = 143. However, load is apparently based on “excess post-exercise oxygen consumption,” so maybe it is particularly affected by intensity at the end of a workout?

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Can’t be the case for me… I came home very slowly from the outdoor ride (bloody cold and wet) but took the intensity right up on the zwift ride!

I wonder if anybody else have noticed similar?

It’s the same with running by the way!

What was the normalized power for the two rides? Typically I find on Zwift my avg and normalized power are a lot closer together but outside the NP can be higher creating a higher training load.

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They’re not overly different… I felt the load would also reflect HR time in zones as well! What would be anerobic outside, shows up as recovery or base via. Zwift!

I don’t suppose there is any insight on this from a zwift employee?

I want to keep zwift as part of my winter plans but it’s causing problems!

If anything the load for the outdoor ride looks out of whack. There is no way a ride with that low of an intensity would generate that much load. The zwift ride looks more realistic to me.

I’d agree but the same happens with running.

If I run Intervals on zwift Run, it always suggests that my training effect is low aerobic…

My thinking is that garmin translates zwift activities based on average HR only.

That might indeed be the case. That might also explain why I am not getting a training status update on my forerunner from Zwift activities.