Indoors v Outdoors
All rides in your plan can be done indoors or out on the road. In an ideal world, the midweek shorter rides with harder efforts work well on an indoor trainer, and the long weekend aerobic endurance rides are better performed on the road.
Ride Long Indoors
However we know, it is not always an ideal world and circumstances can mean you might end up on an indoor trainer with a long ride ahead. When this happens, here are three things to consider:
1. If you use www.Zwift.com (or similar virtual real-world cycling, indoors), you might find it easier to complete the longer indoor workouts. Pro riders use this training tool - it can be an essential tool for riding during winter.
2. Riding indoors is a little harder than riding outside because there is no momentum, freewheeling or stops. For this reason, you can reduce the session by 10-15%, and you'll get almost the same benefit as riding the full duration outside.
3. Crucial to cycling performance your Functional Threshold Power (FTP) which can be improved by doing speed work and not just long rides. For example, increase your FTP by 10% over three months, and this will improve endurance as you can now ride at the same power output as previously, at a lower heart rate and less energy expenditure.
So it's good to ride long, but don't panic if you have to shorten a workout from time to time. At the same time, you do need to include long workouts consistently if you want to maximise your chances of success over longer distances.
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