Wednesday Wisdom: Gareth Winter - The benefits of indoor cycling on the road

12.05.2021

Now that Spring is in full bloom (here in the UK), I have been enjoying my newfound indoor training power on the road. For us road cyclists, that's what it's about,  isn't it? Train hard indoors and you'll be faster on the road.

Over the last few months, I have been spending more time training at VO2 max (Zone 5), and it has paid off. I have new-found muscle in my legs that has converted into speed on the road, especially on the hills.

After a cold winter, restrictions and busy life, indoor training has been a godsend. You don’t even need to be a 'road cyclist' to enjoy the health benefits of indoor cycling. With the Ciclozone app, indoor training is so much fun that I'd almost forgotten how much I love cycling outdoors.

Now that we can ride in groups again (UK), my indoor training has a purpose. It's always nice to feel like the hammer not the nail, and be the first one to the top of a climb. It makes all of those tough, sweaty indoor sessions worthwhile.

"Sometimes you're the hammer. Sometimes you're the nail. I was a cheapy little Ikea one today. It was terrible."

Geraint Thomas.

When you're riding in the sunshine with your friends, the thought of getting on a turbo trainer becomes less appealing. However, I still think it's crucial to train indoors.

I have a power meter on my road bike and wear a heart rate monitor, which gives me tons of data and insight to analyse. Since hitting the road and getting carried away with freedom and adventure, I am losing fitness/de-training.

Why is that?

Because my training isn't structured and getting carried away can lead to overtraining. I'm now ensuring I do two high-intensity indoor sessions a week to keep improving, so I stay in top form for those long weekend rides with my friends.

Reconnecting with my road companions has been super positive for my wellbeing, as is the feeling of progression gained from indoor training. I realise that I need both in my life to be my best, which I always aspire to be.

Life is about balance and moving forwards. Cycling is a way for me to channel positivity into my mornings, which sets the tone for the rest of my day. Every aspect of your life benefits from a bike ride.

Gareth

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