How to Balance Indoor and Outdoor Riding for Maximum Fitness Gains

How to Balance Indoor and Outdoor Riding for Maximum Fitness Gains

What is the best way to achieve your best fitness for cycling? Your best bet is to combine those great outdoor miles with the quality and efficiency of indoor training. Here’s how to try and reach your peak fitness level with minimal fuss.

For some, nothing beats the feeling of getting on the bike. The fresh air in your hair and the sense of accomplishment as you smash through a gap on local climbs.

But for those of us with busy lives and jobs, there’s a much more efficient way to train. Indoor riding means no traffic lights, no cars, no rain and it’s easily the best quality workout you can do.

Very few of us, however, want to ride exclusively indoors or outdoors. There must be a sweetspot. We’ll talk to a trainer to find out how you can combine the two to maximize your fitness.

And as a bonus, we’re going to tell you about free software from Garmin that you can use to make the process incredibly easy.

How to try to reach your peak fitness

Tacx Neo 2T - Garmin

Before we dive into that little nugget of information, though, let’s get an expert’s perspective on how you can achieve levels of fitness you’ve never seen before. We spoke to Garmin Ambassador Matt Rowe, a very capable cycling trainer and brother of current Ineos pro Luke Rowe about how to maximize your fitness.

Matt has designed a sample workout week that you can use to get through the winter months. It’s designed for a physically fit cyclist looking to ride longer in the spring.

The plan is adaptable to time constraints and sessions can be made more difficult with progressions as you improve. Each session can also be done indoors on a trainer like the Tacx Neo 2T, or outdoors with a central unit like the Garmin Edge 1040 to guide you through the session.

Monday – Day off

If you have equipment to wash or work to do on your bike. Today might be a good day to do them.

Tuesday – 20/40

Jamie Tacx Neo 2T

Purpose: This one is great for helping you get used to reacting to the increases in pace you would encounter on group rides or on hilly roads.

  1. 10 minute warm up
    Z1 to Z2
  2. 15 repetitions of
    20 seconds above threshold
    40 seconds Z2
  3. 5 minutes Z2
  4. 15 repetitions of
    20 seconds above threshold
    40 seconds Z2
  5. 5 minutes Z2 in Z1

Progression: increase the number of repetitions or eliminate the 5 minutes of recovery between sets.

Wednesday – Z2

Objective: Cycling is an endurance sport and even on limited time availability, working in zone 2 is useful. It is best to do this session indoors to maximize the quality of the session. Turn on the TV or music for entertainment and remember that tomorrow’s session is tough, so keep the intensity low.

  1. 1 hour of Z2

Progression: Increase this duration up to 1.5 hours if you have the time.

Thursday – Sweetspot

Objective: On a reduced number of hours, sweetspot offers the best value for money in terms of training effect. Mix up the interval times according to your needs, starting with several shorter periods and lengthening the intervals as you improve. They are perfect when mounted indoors or outdoors.

  1. 10 minute warm up
    Z1 to Z2
  2. 10 minutes up the Z3
  3. 5 mins Z3
  4. 10 minutes up the Z3
  5. 5 minutes Z2
  6. 10 minutes up the Z3
  7. 10 minutes Z2 in Z1

Progression: Throw these intervals into a longer outdoor run.

Friday – Day off

Nothing on the cards today. Go for a drink after work. It’s low season, after all!

Saturday & Sunday – Free Rides

Garmin Edge 1040 Lifestyle

Depending on your goal, you can choose how much you do on weekends, but ideally you should get the number of hours of your target event. If it’s a sporting activity that takes you around 6 hours, then a total of 6 hours of weekend riding will do.

Saturday could be a 2 hour ride, while Sunday could be around 4 hours on the club run.

As you get closer to your event, it’s wise to go through these hours all at once, to prepare for the event. So that could only mean a quick lap on Saturday, before a big 6 hour ride on Sunday.

Make it easy for you

Garmin Connect on iPhone

Hope Matt’s workout plan doesn’t seem too daunting, but we’re about to make it even easier now with free software from Garmin for you to use.

Garmin Connect is something you may already be using. This is what you download when you want to connect your phone to your Edge head unit. But it’s often underused and has a range of brilliant free stuff you can use to get going faster. It’s like having Matt Rowe’s advice with you every day, for free!

Garmin Connect is a hub for all your data, whether indoors or outdoors and even your weight, power PBs and sleep. You feed into your activities, and Edge 1040 then gives you a suggested daily workout. This is where it helps you to be fitter than ever. You don’t need to have a set goal and just create a week or two of data for the suggested daily workouts to start showing up. In fact, if you already have activities on Garmin Connect, you’ll be ready to go right away.

Garmin Edge 1040 3

It works by giving you a Load Focus which is the impact of your activity on your body. That means the Edge 1040 can tell you what to focus on, and then what workout to do to get there. It even takes into consideration runs if you like to mix things up and even the quality of your sleep if you’re using one of Garmin’s compatible wearables.

That makes it a bit better than TSS alone as a sole metric to determine workout, because you could be completely exhausted from a terrible night’s sleep. The Edge 1040 will see that and know not to push you too hard that day, prompting a recovery run or even a full day off.

You can choose to do this ride on the road, but if you don’t like the weather you can do the workout on the Tacx Neo 2T. It will even activate ERG mode to keep you perfectly in the zone. All you have to do is pedal.

Tacx Neo 2T

Tacx Neo 2T Smart trainer

The Neo 2T is an excellent choice for indoor training. With +/- 1% power accuracy, 2200 watts max resistance, and the ability to replicate up to a 25% incline, you can perform some seriously tough sessions on this thing.

One of the downsides of indoor driving can be that you sit stationary, but the Neo 2 can be mounted on these motion plates to enhance and give true road feel with multi-directional movement.

And the 2T is also a super quiet trainer. It’s actually one of the quietest on the market because Tacx designed it with no internal transmission and therefore no fast moving parts. Which is good, because it doesn’t drown out your tracks.

Garmin Edge 1040

Garmin Edge 1040 Solar

Speaking of music, Garmin has just rolled out a new control screen on the Edge 1040. Just swipe down and you can change the volume, pause and skip tracks. However, Garmin suggests this should only be used when riding indoors.

You can also control a workout from here, which comes in handy when you’re sweating, as the Edge 1040 was designed to work in the sweat zone.

So, maximizing your fitness just got a whole lot easier. Using a kit like the Tacx Neo 2T and the Garmin Edge 1040 will allow you to train very effectively whether you are indoors or outdoors.

Then, Garmin Connect ties it all together and lets you follow a workout plan in minutes or just get in shape with suggested daily workouts without having to think about it.

The icing on the cake is that once you have your Edge 1040, the training plans and all the smart stuff is all free, with no subscription required.

#Balance #Indoor #Outdoor #Riding #Maximum #Fitness #Gains

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *