In the winter, indoor cycling can be a welcome escape from cold, wet and dark climates. In the heat of summer, riding inside can provide a refreshing reprieve from high temperatures and heavy traffic. Spin classes are also convenient in the spring and fall, when unpredictable weather can affect training plans.
Morning classes are a great way to start a day. With a little planning, riders can get to the gym, workout for 45 minutes, shower and make it to work on time—and filled with energy. Those who ride after work often find that each drop of sweat helps relieve built-up stress. Riders might also discover that new ideas and solutions to problems come to mind as muscles work to help the lungs provide fresh oxygen to the brain.
With so many benefits from indoor classes, some cyclists rarely ride outdoors. This doesn't mean they can't increase their mileage, though. Below is a basic eight- or 11-week training plan, done primarily indoors, to work up to a 50-mile or 100K ride.
The Overall Plan
In this plan, Mondays and Wednesdays are for 45-minute indoor spin sessions. Alternatively, these can be done on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Each week, you need just one outdoor ride, on Saturday or Sunday, to build your endurance.
If your goal is a 50-mile ride, this is an eight-week plan (at 14 mph, a 50-mile ride will take about 3 hours and 30 minutes). If you want to work up to a metric century (100K or 62 miles), the program is 11 weeks (at 14 mph, a 62-mile ride will take about 4 hours and 30 minutes).
For the long ride, you can join a mass-participation event, invite others from spin class or design your own workout. If you create your own route, consider inviting family members to be a part of the process. For example, if you want to ride one-way to a destination, have a friend or family member pick you up and treat them to lunch.