If you’re usually out tapping out the miles at this time of year, having to take your riding inside might be a bit of a shock and will probably require a bit of a mindset shift. Check out this article about getting started indoors but here are some more tips for adapting your cycling to the indoor or virtual world.
If you usually ride outside through the spring and summer, although you may do some structured sessions, you’ll probably just be out enjoying the road or trail beneath your tyres. This is brilliant and, if you listen to your body, you’re very unlikely to overdo it. However, with indoor riding, especially on Zwift, it’s very easy to get sucked into beating yourself up every day.
Why it’s important: With the current situation, maintaining good immune function is vital and doing daily high intensity sessions on the turbo isn’t going to help with that. It’s vital to balance and plan your workouts and to avoid running yourself down.
It’s important with indoor training to get out of the more is more or mile munching mindset. You’ll get far better returns from your indoor riding and stay healthier if you opt for quality rather than quantity.
There isn’t an issue with doing hard workouts but they have to be balanced with appropriate recovery.
Workouts should either be hard and short (30-60 minutes) or, if you are wanting to do some longer rides, very easy.
Very easy particularly applies to any “recovery rides”. These should be strict Zone 1, imagining that your cranks are made out of glass. If you don’t stick to this the ride won’t fulfil its recovery goal, you’ll simply build unnecessary fatigue, log virtual junk miles and limit gains from previous or subsequent workouts. If you don’t think you’ll be able to resist jumping on the wheels of other avatars, consider some yoga, Pilates or other off the bike restorative activity.
It’s also essential on longer indoor rides (90 mins+) to fuel and hydrate well. Not doing so and depleting yourself can lower immune function.
A good rule of thumb is that a hard workout day or a longer ride day should always be followed by an easy day. This can be a recovery ride as long as the criteria above are stuck to but why not take the opportunity to do some off the bike work?
The vast majority of riders will see significant progress by consistently doing just three indoor sessions per week.
Ideally these sessions should be:
Along with the hard day and easy day rule, the other golden rule of weekly training structure is to have at least one full day off per week.
So, bearing all this in mind, an example week might look like.
Monday: Sprint workout eg. HotChillee Serrano
Tuesday: VirtChillee Tuesday social ride @ recovery pace
Wednesday: VirtChillee Wednesday ride Jalapeño (3X10 mins Sweet-Spot)
Saturday: Endurance 90-180mins Zone 2 eg. UKZwifters 2-hour Sportive
If you can shake the more is more mindset and embrace the brave new world of quality balanced by recovery, we’d predict, by following this sort of structure for the next 12 weeks or so, that you’ll be very pleasantly surprised by the improvement in your cycling performance when we are all released onto the roads and trails again. Try it, what have you got to lose?
Keep an eye on our blog for more tips and advice on getting the most out of your indoor riding and why not tweet us @HotChilleeCC a pic of your pain cave.
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Glen is usually behind the scenes making sure that the Hotchillee Ride Captains and event participants have fully functioning bicycles to ride but he occasionally makes an appearance in front of the camera to share his wisdom. If he’s not fixing or building bikes he’ll be out riding in #SweetSussex. If you want to know anything about Cyclocross, Glen is the man to ask.
Consultant with British Cycling and author of the Road Cycling Performance Manual. Lover of cobbles, gravel and Siberian Pine – not so keen on climbs! Nik is the author of all of the Hotchillee Training Plans, Zwift workout files and regularly posts tips and advice on the Hotchillee app. He’s also the evil genius behind the now infamous Hotchillee Gain Train.
Adele has worked within the health and fitness industry for over 25 years starting with a ballet and dance background herself, she has progressed to training and teaching all styles of fitness and offers Pilates, barre & yoga. As a keen runner, Adele appreciates the need for a strong healthy body and mind and incorporates many elements of Pilates, yoga and barre into her own training to ensure her strength and stamina remain.