What is the most effective way of reaching your peak fitness? Is it training indoors Or outdoors? We thought we’d discuss the facts: ( smooth jazz music ) Well. Firstly, one of the biggest advantages of indoor training is the quality
And by that I mean that every second you spend riding on an indoor trainer, you can press on the pedals and make it count. So no waiting at traffic lights, no stopping at road junctions and no getting stuck in traffic, And we have our own indoor training success story right here in the GCN offices, Because Matt used indoor training to great effect through the last part of his racing career. He took all the quality from multi-hour road rides and condensed it into super-hard indoor training sessions.
And he got screaming fit Alright fair point:
Can’T argue with that, I must admit I do hate it when I have to freewheel in the middle of an interval and watch my average power plummet, But as for long rides, they can be really enjoyable.
Great fun, in fact, Long rides with intervals, are fantastic. Well, yes, But working hard. Reaching milestones is incredibly good. Fun too, and very motivating
So if you take something like this TrainerRoad, for example, it is a training app that provides carefully thought-out training plans that comprise of individual workouts that are set specifically with a goal in mind.
And also taking into account how much time you have available to train And not only that but they’re, also individually, tailored to your ability level set by your Functional Threshold Power And you keep track of that with regular FTP tests.
Again, you have one here. So if you are the kind of person that likes setting goals working hard ticking off milestones, then indoor training is definitely for you.
And not only that, but you will know categorically that each workout is done to the absolute best of your ability And not only that. But each interval as well that because it’s holding me at my target power Now. Admittedly, if you’re not lucky enough to have a smart trainer, then it won’t do that, but the consistent resistance of an indoor trainer will allow you woo glad that 300 is over. It will allow you to ride very evenly at that set effort level, And if you are lucky enough to have a smart trainer, then if you tick the ERG mode box, then it will literally keep you at that specified wattage. Well, no, I suppose a road is not going to give you a set level of resistance.
However, you can still ride to a set power. You’Ve just got to find the right roads to do it on And when you’re riding on those roads. You’Re also going to be developing your riding skills, which can be just as important when it comes to riding fast. After all, there’s no corners to go around on an indoor trainer. No indoor training is not gon na work on your bike-handling skills.
But what if you don’t actually live near any decent roads to train on See we’re quite lucky here where we’re based? But one thing we don’t have are long steady climbs for doing consistent intervals on
But that doesn’t matter if you’re indoor training, You can simulate the longest climbs that you fancy
With having said that, there is nothing to say that just riding up long climbs hard is the most effective way to train .’Cause. One of the other advantages of indoor training is you can actually dial up the complexity of your training sessions to make them more specific? So if you take this one from TrainerRoad again, it’s called the Wolf Jaw Plus Five, and what I’m looking at here are seven sets lasting about four and half minutes and each one comprising a 20 seconds on 15 seconds off at 125 % and then 88 % Of my FTP Try doing that on the road. Huh Uh, that’s a fair point, but outside you can just smash it up. Climbs
And what can be more specific and some ways more enjoyable than doing that? Oh and if you’ve got a good group to ride with that interval session, that you’re looking at Si is effectively just like riding in a pace line.
And again, that’s super enjoyable and a very important skill to learn. Well, yeah, no arguments here with that, except for the fact that we’re talking about ultimate performance And group riding is inconsistent.
And if you were looking at building to a physical peak, you need consistency, And that is indoor training through and through. All you need is an allotted period of time, and then you know categorically you’ll be able to get your work done, Consistent, quality work And again, if we turn back to our example of TrainerRoad here, if you follow one of their plans, then you could religiously tick Off session after session, as you get it done,
And yes, fair enough, you could do that outside but indoors. You guarantee that consistency regardless of available daylight, regardless of the weather, And yet that does bring me to another plus point of indoor training. Is that you know exactly what weather you are going to get. So. No sacrificing training sessions to adverse conditions Yeah, but what about being in the great outdoors and enjoying the sunshine Dan we live in the UK,
That is true, but we do get one or two nice days.
In August, Sometimes – And actually even when the weather is not quite that nice, it’s still enjoyable We’re bike riders We like being outside
And indoors you get all sweaty I mean. I know you Si get sweaty wherever you are, but it’s gon na be particularly bad on an indoor trainer Yeah fair enough. I do get a little bit of a sweat on, But a fan helps a lot, and it’s also not that far from my bike to the shower Alright Si. I can see that there is an argument that, from a pure quality and interval perspective, indoor training might just take the edge
But you’re not going to get the endurance you need indoors, After all, even with the best wheel in the world, you’re unlikely to spend more than 90 minutes at a time on an indoor trainer. Although I guess there are some dedicated hard-core people out there who might be able to do more. Joking aside, though, in trying to decide for which one is better, we might be slightly missing the point. Yes, indoor training may well be slightly more effective, but for almost everybody, indoor training is all about making us faster. When we’re outdoors, Oh here, he is
Finally joined us Si I’m absolutely filthy already, And you don’t have to clean your bike training indoors Now, while training indoors may make you screaming fit, it’s not necessarily gon na make you a great bike rider And then also, if you only train outdoors, you may not Get as fit as, if you supplemented with indoor training as well,
Now, if you are yet to subscribe to the Global Cycling Network, please make sure you do so by clicking on the globe which, somewhere on your screen right now,
After you’ve done that, you might want to check out this next video, which describes exactly how to do an FTP test on an indoor trainer Yep Or for another video, particularly useful. If you do ride a lot outdoors, how to clean a filthy, bike..