What to do if your Training Plan says 4 hours and you have to ride inside

Welcome to late fall and an early winter for many of us! I know athletes out in Colorado and Utah have been dealing with plenty of early season snow this season. Here in the Midwest, where I sit, we have finally started to join the party no one wants to attend.

We can build a really good training plan and will often quote the Big Cat and just say #FtFP when asked questions about completing a workout. However there is one exception to the rule and that comes to when riding indoors.

We do not want or would expect you to complete a 4 hour indoor training, especially in November! Most of us right now are working on building strength, doing work in the gym and the focus is not on building CTL. Doing long trainer rides now can lead to burn out on the trainer come February / March when it is more critical to your racing goals to be putting in the training time.

So how much and what should you do? Well that depends on the month, training phase and etc. It is one of the benefits of one on one coaching. A coach can go in and give you the best option and workout for a replacement. That is not possible with the prebuilt training plans. However being coaching subscription members we can help you more!

Here is what we suggest.

For November we try to limit the trainer rides to no more than 75 minutes. Again most are working on building strength so CTL isn’t critical. You don’t need to be chasing TSS. Look to do a fun ride whether it be a quick hour session on Zwift or old school by just watching a movie. Don’t get bunt out on intervals or structure as well. Avoid looking at a timer.

December you can start to do a bit more and get up to 90 minute trainer rides. Again keep things fun and look to do a ride on Zwift.

Come January we are starting to finish the resistance training and some will be beginning the base portion of the training. Lots of sweet spot work will be taking place. Can start to get into some 2 hour rides in January. If you are replacing your typical 4 hour 200 TSS ride you may try to shoot for 125 - 135 TSS in 2 hours. Just a bit more effort than zone 2 but not getting carried away.

As February and March start you can look to do 2 to maybe 3 hours on the trainer, for those that can tolerate it. So if you have stuck to these limits early on you shouldn’t be burnt out on the trainer. This is the time when you really want to be focused on building your CTL and building up your weekly TSS.