3 Indoor Cycling Workouts for the Winter
- Limit the ride time to 60-75 minutes during the week and 90 minutes on the weekend.
- Add structure to the workout.
- Work on Advanced Aerobic Endurance.
- Never “just ride” in zone 2.
In January we like to add advanced aerobic endurance intervals to our athletes’ trainer workouts primarily in the form of Tempo and Sweet Spot workouts. By riding at higher intensities than traditional wintertime “base miles”, the athlete will achieve more physiological adaptations and make better use of his or her time. Here are three indoor cycling workouts that will make the most of your winter trainer time:1. Tempo Intervals
Tempo intervals are a great place to get started. Ride at 76-90% of your threshold (FTP or Functional Threshold Power). One example of a tempo workout for a 1-hour trainer ride:
- Warm up for 10-15 minutes
- 3 x 8 minutes on at 76-90% of FTP
- 4-minute recoveries ("off")
- Cool-down/ride easy for remainer
Once you've done a few Tempo workouts, up the ante with Sweet Spot intervals which are slightly harder at 83-97% of one's FTP. Again, do intervals in the 5 - 20 minute length repeating 2-5 times as appropriate. For example:
- Warm-up 10-15 minutes
- 3 x 10 minutes on at 83-97% of FTP
- 5 minutes off (recoveries) in between each interval
- Cool-down/ride easy for remainder
The 2:1 work-to-rest ratio (for example, 10 minutes on, 5 minutes off) is more productive when training indoors.
Tempo and Sweet Spot intervals are as hard as we have athletes go on the trainer in the winter. To continue the progression and to help the time pass quicker, we add bursts to the tempo and sweet spot intervals. For example, during workout #1 above we'd add a 5-second burst greater than 450 watts every 2 minutes during the 8 minute tempo interval. Not only is this specific to races that many of our athletes compete in, by having a burst to do every 2 minutes it actually helps the time pass by quicker! An example Tempo Burst workout:
- Warm-up 10-15 minutes
- 3 x 8 minutes on at 76-90% of FTP, with a 5-second burst every 2 minutes that is > 450 watts
- 4 minute recoveries in between intervals
- Cool down
Overall the number of intervals and their length can be widely varied. Most athletes should start with a total of 20-30 minutes of tempo work during the workout, and increase the total load as they go along the season. Lastly, even though you are indoors don't forgot to use a fan and drink plenty.
Enjoy!To nerd out with FasCat coaches and athletes about your FTP, race data, power based training, or anything related to going fast on the bike, join our *FREE* athlete forum!
Foundation : 3 Weeks
- Perfect for the road or mountain biker during the Fall
- Raise your CTL and the all-important muscle tension intervals
Phil Gaimon's FONDO
- Complete similar workouts to what Phil does to prepare for all his KOM's
- Sweet Spot training, threshold intervals, and some anaerobic work