Indoor Cycling in the Winter
Spin classes at the gym are great physical fitness workout. They will help you build endurance or maintain it through the colder months, or while dealing with injury. However, spending time with your personally fitted bike on a trainer can be much more beneficial in terms of improving your riding ability as well. Changing hand positions, correctly altering cadence and gearing to match real road situations are a couple things that spin classes don’t cover.
Q: How often do cyclists alternate standing and sitting for 10 seconds at a time out on the road?
Q: How often does a route match up perfectly with a series of songs on an iPod?
Here is a solid general workout to try inside on your trainer:
5:00 – 10:00 Warm Up – easy pedaling (remember this gear as it should act as your recovery throughout the workout)
5:00 Tempo – 1 gear greater than recovery and increase cadence to ~ 85 rpm
6:00 – 8:00 Hill Climb
- Start in big chain ring (front) and 3rd from the largest gear on the cassette (back)
- Add a gear every 30 seconds to a minute
- Hand placement moves from the hooks / aero position to the hoods and then eventually to the straight bar in the back to allow more pressure to the pedals as well as to allow lungs to expand
- When the 2nd smallest to smallest gear in the cassette is reached rider should be standing for a duration of no less than 30 seconds before sitting and recovering
5:00 – 7:00 High cadence Intervals
- Use recovery gear to start
- 30 second to 1 minute sets with equal recovery between each.
- Cadence should be between 95 and 105 RPM (ex 0:30 ~ 50, 0:45 ~ 75, 1:00 ~ 100)
- Add or drop gears as necessary to hit the cadence
4:00 – 8:00 Single Leg Workout – 1 gear easier than recovery gear – un-clip from one pedal at a time and make the other leg do all the work – 30 seconds – 1 minute per side. This workout is not something that is done on the road, but it does help teach a rider to make the leg work the entire pedal stroke rather than just on the push.
Repeat one or more of the previous segments to add time.
5:00 – 10:00 Cool Down - stretch calves and hip flexors on the bike (great practice for triathletes as this should be part of your last mile or so to prepare for the run)
Feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or post a comment if you have a question about the workout. If you don’t have a trainer at home and live in the Harford County area, consider joining the Harford Multisport Club for indoor cycling classes at the Bicycle Connection Express!