Using Indoor Training To Up Your Cycling Game

Posted on: 9 April 2021

For many cyclists, winter is a time to coast a little and attempt to maintain fitness until the spring, when they can get outside again. While many of these cyclists will ride indoors during the winter, they don't set a lot of goals for their workouts, and they focus more on logging the miles than on the quality of those miles.

If you're a cyclist who really values this winter break, then log those easy indoor miles. But if you really want to hit it hard and win some races come springtime, you may consider an alternative approach: pushing yourself through the winter. This isn't always easy when you're cycling indoors, but with the tips below and some strong resolve, you can do it.

Find a workout buddy

You have likely noticed how you have an easier time pushing yourself during group training or in a race versus cycling solo. This is even more true with indoor cycling. When you're in your house with the comfortable couch just a few steps away, it's way too tempting to not perform at your peak level. Fortunately, a workout buddy will keep you motivated. You won't want to slack off or slow down with your buddy there to see it. Reach out to your cycling friends and see if any of them are also interested in doing at-home cycling this winter. Once you find someone who is interested, you can schedule workouts together, even if you do them while connected virtually.

Do intervals

Interval workouts are one of the most beneficial types of workouts for increasing your overall endurance and performance. They're also easier to stay motivated with when you're indoors. When you're pedaling hard, it's easier to keep going when you know you only have to keep the pace up for another couple of minutes. Then, you can use the "break" part of the interval to mentally prepare yourself for another hard workout. You can do a traditional 5-minutes-hard, 5-minutes-easy interval workout, or you can do something less structured — like pedaling hard for one song, then taking it easy for one song.

Create time trials or tests for yourself

If you schedule a test or time trial for yourself every 2 weeks in the winter, you will see your progress, and that will help motivate you to keep training hard. The easiest way to do a trial indoors is actually to set a specific time and see how far you can cycle in that time. For instance, set a timer for 20 minutes, and see how many miles you can log in that 20 minutes. Two weeks later, do the same thing — you'll be surprised how much further you get.

While cycling indoors for the winter can be a nice break from harder training, it doesn't have to be. If you want to use the winter to push yourself even further, the tips above will help you do that. For more information about indoor cycling, contact a company like Plan 7 Coaching.