Indoor trainer sessions - how long?

I’m sure this has been discussed, but I can’t find it searching…

When the plan calls for a 2+ hours training session and the weather won’t allow it outdoors, are people riding that long on indoor trainers? Or are y’all modifying the session for that day?

I’m not sure I can handle trainers sessions longer than 90+ minutes.


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Almost all my rides year round are on the trainer for a variety of reasons. I don’t know if I’ll be able to do the 4 hr ride inside but I’m going to try because it’s my only option. So 2 hr sessions I’m definitely doing inside typically. I just bought something similar to a rocker plate for my Kickr, so I’m hoping that helps too.


I’ve done 3 hour rides on the trainer and a 4.5 hour ride a week ago. Just pause to pee a time or two. I have a rocker plate that helps but it’s still a long time and gotta be careful with sores. Also, I stand up to pedal for a bit every so often.

In all honesty, it sucks. I see why Frank is against it if avoidable. Netflix helps me out a lot.

Yeah we try to keep indoor training rides shorter especially this early in season and winter. Most likely are looking at having to do multiple training rides over the next 4 - 5 months! It is easy to get burnt out on the trainer so these longer rides indoors become more important come February / March then they are November and December.

Typically no more than 90 minutes in November and December. Come February and March 2 - 3 hours.

Now endurance rides also aren’t TSS rides so you shouldn’t just go out there and hammer 90 minutes at threshold and more to get higher TSS, al la Zwift race as well, but you can to some tempo to help.

Most should be in the resistance training phase right now so building CTL is critical! Focus on strength and don’t worry about the TSS too much. CTL will come up once you can get those longer outdoor rides come March and April. Also with weekly sweet spot training which comes in the base phase after the resistance training.


Thanks @Jake, back to @rburtoncpa question of modifying the workout.

How do we take a prescribed 3 hour workout and change it to an indoor ride?

The idea of no more than 90 minutes in Novemeber and Decemeber isn’t reflected in the descriptions of some of the workouts, in particular the Muscle Tesnion Interval 3 X 12 which is 3 hours and is recommended to be done on an indoor trainer!

I have read that an hour of indoor training is similar to 1:20 to 1:30 of outdoor training. Today I had a 3 hour Muscle Tension 3 X 12 planned. I shortened the first 70 minute Z2 portion to 45 minutes, did the 3 X 12 and reduced the last Z2 to 10 minutes - 2 hours total. I will make up the TSS on today’s prescribed 2 hour Z2 outdoor ride. I think this is acceptable, but I don’t think that modification will always be that obvious.

Did I apply the correct tactic?

How do we modify long, more complicated workouts into 90 - 120 minutes?

Again we recommend not doing a 3 hour trainer ride in November. You cut it down to 2 hours which is still long, but more acceptable. Adding TS on Sundays ride is good. One option would have been to cut the zone 2 at the start of Saturdays muscle tension workout and after completing the efforts doing some tempo in the zone 2 to get the TSS up.

Most interval rides won’t be overly long. So should be able to easily condense into a 1.5 - 2 hour training ride. Of course if you believe you can get out one day of the weekend save the longer workout fo the day you can get outdoors!

Some times with coach athletes we take advantage of nicer weekends and add time then as well.

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Thanks @Jake. The description in the workout seems to contradict your position vis-a-vis 3 hour indoor workouts.
See attached. Perhaps an edit might be useful.

I’m glad i made the correct decisions, I did a 140 TSS Z2 today, so my weekly TSS is correct.


Thanks for pointing that typo out. I will correct that.



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