Rollers or Track for Training Variety?

I’m training for some of the longer gravel races this season. Hoping to get into DK200, already signed up for Barry Roubaix 100, but a total newbie when it comes to using a training plan. I’m one of those athletes stuck in Michigan and am curious how I can mix up my indoor training time on the bike. I’m doing the 32 week Offseason w/Weights.

Question, I’ve never used rollers. Is there any training gains or at least variety to using those than just Zwifting away on my smart trainer? Or, I’m also fortunate enough to leave near a new(ish), world-class velodrome in Detroit. I’ve never been on the track either but wondering if track work in the winter would help setup a successful gravel season. I’ve heard “track camps” referenced on the podcast but it seemed to be for TTing.

Wisconsin here. Winter riding can be tough for those of us this far north. Ride weekends outside whenever the weather permits. My threshold is about 35°. Today is was 45° & sunny & a break from the trainer was great. Ice free roads are best. Be willing to hose down your bike after to wash off the salt dust.

Clip on fenders help keep you dry. Layers of winter riding gear really works. Be willing to experiment to figure out how much layering you need. Be willing to loop back to the house to add or subtract layers. Castelli makes some great winter bib tights & jackets. The Castelli site gives a pretty accurate temp range for each piece they sell.

Ride on!

Hi Sean,

First of all at the base of your questions watts are watts. So regardless if indoors, outdoors, rollers or track as long as you can following the plan you are doing exactly what you should be doing. Being in Detroit is tough with the winter weather, but hopefully it’s not a long winter and you can get some time outside. You’ll want to prepare for some tougher conditions that may occur come Barry Roubaix in April by riding outdoors.

As far as the track goes you can absolutely incorporate that into your training. That actually has been discussed on the forum over here:

Personally I only use rollers. I have TruTrainer Rollers. They do have a fly wheel so you get more resistance than a typical old school roller. I just find it to be more like riding a bike as opposed to fixed position. A enjoy the little movement. As long as you can hit your target power or heart rate it is all good. Is there a benefit, probably not, but it does help with balance and focus.