Ride Inside: A Cycling Plan to Get You Through the Winter


Winter makes road cycling risky, which means you will probably be spending a lot of time on your bike trainer, or a stationary bike, over the next couple of months. Cycling indoors can be very boring, but it helps to remember successful winter training always means more successful summer riding.

The key to keeping things interesting inside: intervals! Cycling at the same speed will only get you so far. If you want to improve your physical performance and prevent yourself from mindlessly pedaling the time away, you need to “train high and recover low,” which means ride at a heart rate of 165 to 180 for a few minutes and then have at least twice the time for active recovery at a heart rate of around 110 to 120 beats per minute. The change of rhythm is the important thing—it gives your body the opportunity to perform better and work more efficiently.

Here’s an interval workout you can do to make the indoor trainer a little more interesting. Crank up the Metallica and get ready to suffer!

Bike Trainer Intervals Workout

Warm Up by riding steady for 15 minutes to wake up your legs.

40/20 Intervals—Repeat 5 times
Perform these intervals with almost maximum load (basically, close-but-not-quite the maximum level of power that you can put out for 40 seconds), and close to your anaerobic threshold, the point just before your lactate production and lactate breakdown are no longer in balance.

  • 40 seconds with 80 cadence
  • 20 seconds with 100 cadence—no resistance

Easy Spinning for 10 minutes

Extra time on your hands? Repeat the 40/20 intervals one more time, and then finish the workout with a 5-minute cool down.

If you’re honest, and do this workout right, you will barely be able to manage the same power output on your last interval that you pushed out on your first one. And if you are completely out of power in the last second of your last interval, you did everything right. Remember: when your quads are complaining, bring out the secret weapon and shout, “Shut Up, Legs!”


How are you staying fit this season? Join the conversation!

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