Doing indoor cycling workouts are one of the most effective ways to unlock your full potential as a cyclist. Whether you’re trying to take your cycling to the next level or simply want to become a better cyclist, indoor cycle training can help you achieve your goals. However, it’s important to ensure you’re doing the right sessions to get the most out of your training. In this article, we’ll look at how to make sure you’re doing the right indoor cycle training sessions to unlock your full potential. We’ll look at the different types of sessions, how to structure them, and how to get the most out of each one. By the end, you’ll have the knowledge you need to start doing the right sessions to ensure maximum results from your training.
Why it’s important to be doing the right workouts
Indoor training sessions are not created equal, and many cyclists frequently misunderstand this concept. They assume that any indoor training session will help them regardless of the session that they’re doing. This is really further from the truth because each indoor training session produces its own unique training adaptation. So, it’s really important that you make sure that you match your indoor training session with the cycling goals that you have. You’ll find hundreds of indoor training sessions to choose from on many of today’s training platforms. And many cyclists who are confronted with so many options usually just choose them at random, believing that any one of them is going to help them. Unfortunately, this results in a very unstructured and very inefficient approach to their training.
So, if you’re serious about getting faster on the bike there’s not an area of your cycling fitness that you can’t improve once you start selecting the right indoor training session.
Benefits of Indoor Cycling
Indoor cycling offers a range of benefits that can help you to maximize your cycling performance. The most obvious benefit is that it can help you improve your fitness and prepare for your up-and-coming cycling events. Indoor cycling allows you to workout in a controlled environment and build your strength and endurance at your own pace. It also provides an effective way to incorporate interval training into your workouts, which can help you push past your limits and reach your peak performance.
Another benefit of indoor cycling is that you can customize your workouts to meet your specific needs and goals. With indoor cycling, you can adjust the intensity, duration, and cadence and focus on specific skills like seated and standing hill climbing, riding in the time trial position or developing a smooth and efficient pedalling technique. This allows you to tailor your indoor training workouts to your individual needs and get the most out of each session.
Finally, indoor cycling is a great way to stay motivated and track your progress. With an indoor cycle, you can monitor your performance and track your progress over time by benchmarking your efforts and then comparing them with your current sessions. You can also set goals and challenge yourself to push past your limits.
Types of Indoor Cycling Workouts
There are several different types of indoor training sessions you can do to improve your cycling performance. These include aerobic base building workouts, strength building workouts and speed building workouts. The type of session you choose should depend on your goals, fitness level, and the specific performance improvements you’re looking for, as well as ensuring that they are correctly preparing you for any events you plan on doing.
For an indoor training session to be effective, it needs to be created to address a specific training outcome. And to do this, it’s built up using three key variables. The three key variables are: that it needs to be done in the correct training zone so that you target the correct energy system and muscle fibres, the interval lengths are done for the correct duration, and the session is done at the correct cadences. These three variables – the correct zones, the correct interval lengths and the correct cadences, make up the fundamental building blocks of indoor training sessions.
Our online training centre has split our interval training sessions into three key performance areas: aerobic base building, strength building and speed building. And we’ve carefully designed and selected them for each of our training programs to help you work on your strengths and address any weaknesses. We have developed them to specifically address real-life cycling scenarios like holding seated power on longer climbs, developing short, punchy power while standing on shorter climbs, or managing the demands of repeated bunch surges or rolling powerful turns.
Aerobic Base Building Indoor Training Workouts
So, let’s cover aerobic basic building sessions first. Aerobic base building is vital in building your overall cardiovascular fitness, which is essential for any cyclist. Aerobic basic building sessions come in two forms. The first type is recovery sessions. They are done between harder sessions in your training program to provide active recovery. The second type is harder sessions that target your type IIa muscle fibres. Type IIa muscle fibres develop better enduring power than type IIb muscle fibres because they have good fatigue resilience while developing good power either aerobically or anaerobically. Type IIa muscle fibres are therefore used to increase your average speed for your recreational rides and endurance events. And they’re also important if you are a racing cyclist to ensure that you can finish the race with the main bunch without incurring too much fatigue. Aerobic base building sessions are done at higher cadences to improve your pedalling efficiency and cardiovascular fitness. Here are some examples of our base building sessions: 110 – REC E1 for recovery, 003 – Fruit Bowl Ergo, 081 – Aerobic Base Builder and 093 – The 6×5 rpm spin-ups.
Example of an aerobic base building indoor training session – 003 – Fruit Bowl ergo session
Another one of our favourite indoor training workouts. This session will guide you through a series of Time Trial efforts that will help you build strength and improve your average speed on longer rides. It’s ideal for recreational riders and racing cyclists that want a great training session in under 1hr. This workout will help you in all aspects of your cycling. Ideal for building good aerobic capacity, improving plasma volume, increasing mitochondrial enzymes, increasing V02MAX and converting type IIb muscle fibres to type IIa. This workout is a very efficient use of your training time.
Strength Building Indoor Training Workouts
The second type of interval training session is designed to build strength. And these are also done in the correct zone to target the type IIa muscle fibres but are done at a lower cadence than the aerobic base building sessions. These sessions are essential to developing the power required to climb hills or time trial or ride in fast moving bunches. In fact, strength sessions are the fundamental building block of your fitness that you’ll be using anytime you need to produce high power on the bike. So here are some examples of strength building sessions that we have: 010 – Hill Climber Cadence Steps, 082 – Hill Climber Seated and Standing with Arm Swaps and 083 Hill Climber 2 x 5 and 2 x 10 Seated and Standing. You’ll notice that these are all hill climbing sessions to develop really good power at low cadences.
An example of a strength building indoor training session – 083 Hill Climber 2 x 5 and 2 x 10 Seated and Standing
This session is designed to build extended hill climbing strength at low cadences as well as aerobic capacity and core strength while maintaining good form. It has a small component of over-threshold intervals at the end to develop good power for shorter climbs.
Speed Building Indoor Training Workouts
And finally, speed indoor training workouts. These intervals are done at over threshold. They are designed to develop your ability to manage and recover quickly from bunch surges, punch over steep short climbs, ride over undulating roads at speed, and be able to hold your position or pull powerful short turns on the front of fast-moving bunches. This is quite a unique thing to cycling which is developing the ability to cycle between threshold and over-threshold and then to be able to repeat it over and over again. That’s critical to your success as a racing cyclist and will govern whether you get into the defining break of the day or not. And it’s also essential to your success as a recreational cyclist if you want to be able to jump onto and sit in a faster bunch over the course.
Many athletes that come into cycling from other sports that are used to steady-state threshold efforts, really struggle with going over-threshold and recovering quickly. So, these sessions can be really super helpful to help you manage that as well. Here are some of the examples of over-threshold intervals that we have: 001 – Crit LAT Ergo, 005 – Sandown Ergo, 087 – Break Jumpers and Mini Break Jumpers, and for over-threshold hill climbing, we have 091 – 6×5 Over Threshold Hill Climbers.
An example of a speed building indoor training session – 087 – Break Jumpers and Mini Break Jumpers
This is a high-intensity session designed to build speed and good LAT tolerance. It is ideal for racing cyclists wanting to improve their ability to jump across to breaks and be there for the decisive moments in races. It is also ideal for the recreation rider that wants to improve their ability to manage short surges in bunches, smash over short hills and improve their overall speed.
Our online training centre has over 60 prebuilt training programs that have carefully selected interval training sessions incorporated into them. This ensures that you always be doing the right interval training session at the right time and maximizing the limited amount of time to train. And they all compatible with many of the training platforms out there, including Trainer Road, Zwift, FulGaz and Rouvy and a whole lot of others.
Structuring a Workout
When structuring an indoor cycling workout, there are a few key factors to consider. First, you must ensure you are working in the right training zones. To do this, you should use a heart rate monitor or power meter to track your heart rate or power during your workout to ensure that you work within your target zones. Next, you need to decide how long your workout should be. A typical indoor cycling workout should last between 30 minutes and an hour. However, if you are starting out, you may want to start with a shorter workout and gradually increase the duration of your workouts over time.
Finally, you need to decide what type of area you’ll be focusing on during your workout. As mentioned above, you can select from aerobic base building, strength building or speeding building indoor training workouts. You should also include warm-up and cool-down periods at the beginning and end of your indoor training session to limit the chance of injury.
How to Maximize Your Performance with Indoor Cycling
To maximize your performance with indoor training workouts, it is essential to focus on the quality of your training sessions. This means riding in the correct zones for the workout while still maintaining good form and technique. You should also focus on building your strength and endurance over time. This can be done by gradually increasing the intensity and duration of your indoor training workouts as you become stronger and your Functional Threshold Power increases (FTP). Additionally, it is important to ensure you are getting enough rest. Your body needs time to recover after intense indoor training sessions, so it is important to ensure you get enough rest between sessions. I recommend that you do no more than two high-intensity indoor training sessions a week while adding one or two recovery indoor training sessions in between them. Finally, ensure you are eating a well-balanced diet and staying hydrated to ensure that your body gets the nutrients it needs to perform at its best.
Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Indoor Training
To get the most out of your indoor cycling workouts, there are a few key tips to keep in mind. First, make sure you are using the right equipment. Invest in a good-quality indoor trainer that’s comfortable. Next, be sure to warm up before each indoor training session to get your muscles ready for exercise. Finally, ensure you set realistic goals and challenge yourself to reach them. It is also important to focus on form and technique. Ensure you use the proper posture and engage the correct muscles during your indoor training sessions. It would help if you also maintained a consistent and relevant cadence to the workout and use smooth, even pedal strokes. Finally, make sure you are monitoring your progress. Keep track of your performance over time to see how far you have come and set new goals using tools like Strava and Training Peaks.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
When it comes to indoor training, it is important to avoid making common mistakes that can reduce the effectiveness of your indoor training sessions. First, make sure you are not overtraining. Your body needs time to rest and recover between indoor training sessions, so ensure you are not pushing yourself too hard. Next, make sure you are not neglecting your warm-up and cool-down. This can help you to prepare your body for exercise and reduce your risk of injury. Finally, make sure you are not relying on indoor cycling alone. Incorporate other forms of exercise, such as strength training and stretching, and rides out on the road into your routine to ensure that you are getting a balance with your training.
Indoor cycling can effectively maximize your performance and take your cycling to the next level. With the right indoor training workouts, you can push past your limits, build strength and endurance, and take your cycling performance to the next level. By incorporating aerobic base building, strength building and speed building indoor training workouts into your training, you can customize your training to meet your individual needs and get the most out of each session. With these tips, you can unlock your full potential as a cyclist and reach your goals. We cover this all off in our online training centre.
Where To From Here
I hope you have enjoyed reading this article, and I also hope that it has provided you with some useful information that will help you with your training.
For further help with your training, you can choose from over 60+ of our very best training programs, and get access to our exclusive off-the-bike strength training videos, our regular zoom calls that will keep you informed on what training is actually working right now, unlimited email access to me as your cycling coach and a whole lot of really cool bonuses that will help you with your cycling. Check it out here.
And if you want a customised training program that’s created exclusively for you to help you build, taper and peak for your events and fit around your family and work commitments, then check out our custom training program service here.
Check out the results we have been getting for our clients here.
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The Best Interval Training To Help Your Individual Cycling Time Trial
How to work with Cycling-Inform Trainer Files for Zwift, Trainer Road and Garmin