Reinventing your Cycling Fitness with Indoor Trainer Workouts By Lee Zohlman USA Triathlon Elite Level 3 Coach

 

You wake up groggy and your feet are itchy from wearing socks to bed. You make your way over to that Sharper Image thermometer your family got you for the holidays. You know the one. It tells you the temperature outside and inside. Inside it is cozy and warm at 74 degrees but outside it is in the teens and below your self dictated temperature borderline for going riding. But wait, there are only six more weeks until the first race of the year and you have to get in some bike interval work so that you can shred the competition from the git go of the new season. Get on the shorts, HRM and you are good to go. The bike is on the trainer and soon you have had a good cup or three of Peets coffee and spinning to the new mix on Spotify.

Indoor workouts are great as they offer constant riding without worrying about traffic, squirrels, red lights or the COLD. You can get in and get out and get fit. You never have to stop and it is a great way to do some structured intervals. Wouldn’t your coach be so proud? What if you don’t have a coach and that last training article you read in the magazine made as much sense as 1972 British dramatic movie.

You need to get on the bike and now. After a few weeks of good disciplined aerobic riding you are ready to pump up the volume on your cycling. Watch out roadies, you are going to be dropping them like flies. So where do you begin your intervals. Here are some result oriented, kick butt, get fast or die trying workouts. Here we go.

Some notes first:

  • It is good to do intervals 2-3 days per week and you can do 2 days in a row but make sure to follow with an easy aerobic day
  • Make sure you warm up well in the small ring with some light spinning for 10-15 minutes. Then click into the big ring and get ready to begin the intervals.
  • 0= one hour thus 1.5= one and half hours
  • :30- thirty seconds
  • ri- rest interval or how much to rest between intervals at an easy effort or at 60-65% of max heart rate

Workouts weeks 1-3:

  • 1.5 incl. 4 x :30 at a hard effort at 95-105 rpm’s; 2:00 ri then 10:00 easy spinning then 4 sets of the following*: click down to your smallest cog in the back, start from a coast with your strong foot at the top of the pedal cycle, stay in the saddle for this one and pedal at 90-100 effort for :10; ri 8:00 in an easy gear at 90-100 rpm’s
  • Repeat the same above except make get out of the saddle for the intervals and go for :15; same ri
  • Incl 4 x :30 at a hard effort at 95-105 rpm’s; 2:00 ri then 5:00 easy spinning then 6 x 2:30 @ 80-85% or in Power Zone 4; 5:00 ri
  • 1.0-1.25- incl. 4 x :30 at a hard effort at 95-105 rpm’s; 2:00 ri then 10:00 easy spinning then 6 x 3:30 @ 80-85% or in Power Zone 4; 6:00 ri

Workouts for weeks 4-6

  • 1.5-1.75 incl. 5 x 1:00 @ hard effort; 3:00 ri then 15:00 easy spinning then 6 x 5:00 @ 80-85% effort or in Power Zone 4; 2:30 ri
  • 1.5-1.75 incl. 5 x 1:00 @ hard effort; 3:00 ri then 15:00 easy spinning then 6 x 7:00 @ 80-85% effort or in Power Zone 4; 3:30 ri
  • 1.5-2.0 incl. 4 x :30 @ hard effort; 2:00 ri then 15:00 easy then 4 x 8:00 alternating every 2:00 between 90-100 rpms and then in high gear at 55-65 rpm; 4:00 ri
  • 1.5-1.75 incl. 3 x 10:00 @ 75-80% effort or in Power Zone 3-4 and getting out of the saddle for a :10 surge every 2:00; 5:00 ri
  • Long Hard Workout: 2.5-3.0 incl. 3 x 15:00 @ 75% effort or in Power Zone 3; 10:00 ri then 10:00 easy then 5 x 2:00 @ 85-90% effort or Power Zone 5; 4:00 ri
  • 2.0 incl. 12 x 2:30 @ 85-90% effort or Power Zone 5; 5:00 ri

After the trainer workout is over you will be warmed up, the sun will be out and you can lace up your kicks and go for a little transition run. Then once spring comes you will be flying. So next time the thermometer is in the single digits there is no excuse not to train. Your competition will be!

*Make sure the bike is firmly in the trainer and be careful.

Lee Zohlman B.S. is a USAT Elite Level 3 Coach and has been coaching Professional and Age Group Triathletes and Cyclists for almost twenty years. Look for great triathlon training camps and coaching at www.bodyzen.com or email leezee@bodyzen.com.

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