Board Certified Sport Dietitian, Master of Science in Exercise Physiology, 25-year Vegetarian, Writer/Speaker, 11x Ironman finisher including 4x IM Kona finisher, Doggy-mommy, Wife to an amazing Czech cyclist turned Ironman Kona finisher, Triathlon Coach.
I'm not one for excuses but even living in Florida, I have my "it's too cold" days to train outside. But, that doesn't keep me from sticking to my training plan.
All of my athletes, included myself and Karel, have specific workouts and zones when bike riding so that makes for instant motivation when it's time to train. There's no guessing as to what to do when we swim, bike, run, especially if we are forced indoors with only music/TV, a pounding heart, burning legs and a mind telling the body that it's time to stop (over and over).
After Karel and I created our 5-week transition plan (which we also both followed to help us build a stronger foundation for the upcoming year - in other words, put up strong walls for the structure of the house before you start thinking about decorating the inside of the house) we decided that it would be helpful for other athletes and fitness enthusiasts to have effective indoor bike trainer workouts to perform inside, especially on the cold (or rainy) days. Although the workouts are not structured in a way that would match a periodized training plan, every workout (between 90 minutes and 2 hours with your choice of warm-up and cool-down) is has a focus and that focus is described at the beginning of each workout.
Focus: Over/under intervals to work on buffering lactic acid and to improve anaerobic threshold.
Marin set #1:
3 x 30 sec ON/30 sec OFF FPE (fast pedal efforts – description provided in plan)
2 min EZ spin
Main set #2:
2 min @ Z5 4 min @ Z3 2 min @ Z5
5 min EZ spin Repeat main set #2,two more times (3 sets total)
(You may use your previous zones or establish new zones for indoor riding or RPE as suggested in the plan description)
If you are interested in our 20-bike trainer workouts (created by Karel - Cat 1 cyclist turned Ironman triathlete), you can read more (and purchase) HERE.
These workouts are not designed for athletes only. These workouts can also be performed on the elliptical (I LOVE the elliptical!) and outside on a safe road in warmer weather.
To get you started, I have two great one-hour trainer workouts for you, featured in Triathlete Magazine (online): Descending intervals
Just be mindful that spinning bikes are not always equipped to match your body structure. Although you can move the handlebars and seat, the crank arm, seat position and other various parts of the spin bike may not be ideal for your body and overtime may increase risk of injury (and often will rely on primarily the quads working more than other muscle groups). However, I am not a coach who is oppose to spinning (I was a spinning instructor for over 2 years and also incorporated my spin classes with my IMFL training) but just be mindful of a good position while riding (with adequate resistance). A computrainer class works great for introducing athletes to training with power (or if you currently train with power) and this is ideal for athletes who enjoy the group setting for indoor training.
Also, for athletes, remember that muscle memory is your friend. If you can, train indoors on your racing bike as your primary bike if you are starting a training plan for your upcoming race.
And lastly, as prioritized in our 5-week transition plan, if you are riding indoors (or outside) be sure to address any weaknesses or imbalances with your pedal stroke and also consider a professional bike fit before starting your training plan. Not only did I work hard on my dead spot in my pedal stroke on my left leg for the past month in a half but I also had two RETUL fits by Karel (first fit when I received my new Speed Concept and another fit a week ago, when Karel put a new saddle, Bontrager Hilo, on my bike to help my pelvis be in a better position while riding).
If you are interested in learning more about buying a bike trainer, here are some bike trainer suggestions that Karel recommends.
For now, let's all stay motivated and consistent with training this winter with warm and sunny Kona thoughts while riding our bikes.......