Most sun-loving cyclists treat indoor training like a necessary trip through purgatory to reach the promised land come spring. But indoor cycling training can become more productive and entertaining if you infuse it with speed drills (like these 3 surprisingly simple but effective ones) and the elements that make real rides enjoyable—friends, variety and plenty of stimulation, says elite-level coach Andy Applegate. "Done right, indoor training can not only deliver benefits that reach beyond outdoor riding, but it can also be fun," he says.
Here's how to transform your ride from bland to grand.
Spin at 70 rpm (revolutions per minute) in a low gear, increasing by 5 rpm each minute until you bounce in the saddle. Then back off to being stable again and hold for one minute. Drop your cadence 5 rpm each minute until you're back to 70 rpm.
Teaches you how to spin a small gear at a fast cadence, which spares your leg muscles so they stay fresher longer. Offseason is the perfect time to practice this, because you can convert the strength you build in the weight room to speed on the bike.
Pump It Up
Slide a copy of The Collective ($25, thecollectivefilm.com) into the DVD player and spin like mad while DH prodigies perform jaw-dropping stunts. The lightning-fast footage and raging soundtrack will amp up any speed session.