Beat the Indoor Training Doldrums with These Killer Workouts

Surge and Purge

Do this set three times through: Five minutes in a hard gear in your normal riding position on the flats, then three minutes in your seated climbing position in an easier gear, but at a high cadence so that your speed stays nearly the same.

Try to use the high cadence session to allow the lactic acid to slowly dissipate from your muscles. Then go back to your standard riding position and the hard gear for three minutes. Spin easy for three minutes to recover before the next set.

This exercise is good practice for recovering during a race when you have to surge to drop someone, or if you have gone too hard and have to let your legs recover. Change your hand positions during these sets to break up the monotony.

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Anaerobic Threshold

Often referred to as maximal steady-state pace, this workout will help you build your sustainable pace, which will pay off during long races and climbs.

Complete 20 minutes (or 10 sets) of the following:

  • One minute in a 42 x 15 gear ratio, cadence at about 110 and heart rate at 65 to 80 percent of maximum.
  • One minute in a 53 x 15 gear ratio, cadence about 90, and heart rate at 75 to 90 percent of maximum.

Build up to two twenty-minute sets or one thirty minute set (1:30 intervals).

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This workout will build your sustainable pace. The gearing changes give you the opportunity to push up your heart rate without fatiguing your muscles. You should not feel a "burn" in your muscles if you are doing these intervals correctly.

Do these continuously for a full 20 minutes. This is a low-intensity, long-duration interval set. Simply make your gear changes and concentrate on your cadence.

As you improve, you can choose to increase the duration of the set or increase the resistance, or both.

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Climbing

Use the trainer to simulate climbing on steep roads. Select a gear that increases the load sufficiently to require a 15 to 20 rpm drop from your normal cadence.

Slide back in the saddle and picture yourself on a long climb. Maintain this workload until hyperventilation or leg fatigue bring your rpm's significantly lower. Shift to a lower gear and recover completely before attempting another bout at the high resistances.

This develops leg strength and technique to push those bigger gears when the hill steepens. It is also as good idea to put a two to 4-inch lift under the front wheel to simulate the angle.

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