Getting Fit: Indoor Bike Training


It's important to keep your flooring protected from sweat damage. The rubberized mats that can be seen here came from a local fitness store and measure 40”x40”. These two laid down end to end provide plenty of room for the bike and I lay down an additional towel between the joint of the two to prevent any sweat dripping through to the floor. This setup has worked very well.

Trainerroad is a program that I started using this past winter which I have found to be a huge benefit to my training. Trainerroad allows the use of virtual power based on the known resistance curve of many bike trainers. The actual power number should however be taken with several grains of salt due to considerations such as temperature, tire tightness and inflation pressure.


Trainerroad was very helpful in providing focus to workouts during the Winter this year. Why do the numbers dip at the tail end of March? That's when I finally got outside! You can see Training Stress Scores (TSS) for each workout in the main screen of the program here for a rolling 10 weeks.
This screen shows personal record power levels recorded during various workouts. I didn't specifically attempt to record PRs in durations shorter than a couple of minutes so those numbers are artificially low and I never performed a workout longer than 90 minutes.
Anatomy of a failed workout: Dade called for three sets of 3×2 minute VO2 max intervals with 2 minutes between intervals and 5 minutes between sets. The first set was at 120%, the second at 140% and the final set at 130%. By the end of the first set it was quite apparent to me that I didn't have what it took to complete the workout and so I adjusted my power target for the remaining intervals (the faint green line). By the time of the cooldown I was feeling a little more energy so I threw in a couple of short efforts to help recover some of the intensity in the workout.
A fairly typical trainerroad ride. This 90 minute workout called Leconte was focused on criss-cross intervals between 95 and 99% of FTP with 30 second surges from 105 to 110%. My heart rate climbs to the mid 160s during each of these sets.

So what has been the outcome of a more focused Winter training regime indoors? My early results outdoors are matching or exceeding speeds that I last managed in 2013 and early 2014. This is significant as 2014 saw me experience a couple of crashes and a broken wrist and 2015 was largely spent off the bike with a busy summer work schedule and a bit of skittishness to be out riding again. Having pushed myself indoors it's now easier to do so outdoors.

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