I am at the start of week 5 of a 6 week Sweet Spot base - Low Volume training programme. I was planning on doing the next 6 week phase of the plan, but I have lost the will to live on the Indoor trainer when it’s nice and sunny outside.
My goals and reasons for doing the training plan was to improve my fitness, speed and stamina.
My question is if I stop after the first building phase and don’t complete the second (and go outside instead where I cycle for longer and climb - But look much LESS knackered) what are the chances that I will already have improved with this 6 week plan?
#1 rule : Never lose the enjoyment of riding your bike.
#2 rule : See #1
In other words, go outside and have some fun. When the weather turns lousy again, get back on the trainer. You’ll be fine. And happier.
I do want to improve my cycling - I am signed up for a couple of sportives this year for the first time ever and I DON’T want to come last! Also I’m doing a charity ride from Madrid to Valencia in 2 days.
I so want to improve and get faster, but the indoor trainer (low volume 3x a week) is a killer when it’s sunny outside and I enjoy that so much more than sitting indoors. I guess there’s no easy fix
Cycling isn’t easy if you’re doing it right.
I don’t find my outdoor cycling easy! I do try to challenge myself.
Bottom line is if you can follow a structured workout whether it is outdoors or indoors, then by all means do those workouts! If its motivating you to train outdoors, then get out there. Remember the indoor trainer is a means to an end when the weather is not cooperating.
Also, I would do a quick ramp/FTP check to gauge your fitness. If it goes up, then you’re on the right track and should continue with a training plan. If it remains the same, no worries either as its still a building block for base fitness which you need to improve.
I did a ramp test a few months ago and my FTP according to the latest ramp test has increased by 20 just going outside. It would be interesting to see if my FTP has increased in the 4 weeks I’ve been following the plan (going into week 5 this week coming)
Why can’t you do the TR outside workouts?
I don’t have a power meter on my bike and I understand that I need that? I will try to get one in 2020 but can’t do it yet.
If you don’t have a power meter it will give you instructions in RPE to follow in the outdoor workouts. Or you could just judge yourself - remember how a certain power felt on the trainer and repeat that outdoors.
You can have the best of both worlds… I suggest you keep going on the TR plan and do the outdoor versions using RPE until you get a PM. Do your longer weekend rides outdoors without much structure of you want a break, just go hard enough to elicit some training response. By sticking to a plan while mixing in some unstructured outdoor rides you’ll strike a good balance IMO.
Is there a possibility that you can ride indoors in a morning (as 2 out of the three low volume plan sessions are generally only one hour) and ride outdoors on an evening?
Alternatively as other have eluded to, why not ride your LV plan and on your free days ride outdoors, effectively turning a LV plan into a MV or HV plan
My motto: never ride indoors when you can ride outside!
Swag, you don’t need a power meter. You can get pretty close with a HR monitor. Long slow distance rides will increase your aerobic fitness. Once or twice a week do an interval set. It doesn’t have to be complicated. 1 minute intervals all out - 5 minute intervals all out - SST or tempo intervals. Pick whichever you like. Look at your Trainer Road plan and adapt the next workout for the road.
I had that… until my workouts started happening at 4:45 am. And I had to be done by 6:15.
I’m in Miami and I’ve been to Madrid, so I very much share your preference for going outside. I suggest you’re overthinking the issue a little, so here’s what I would recommend:
Cycling should always be fun. Ride outside as much as you wish. You can certainly do interval workouts outside just based on feel or HR, and TrainerRoad will give you as many structured outdoor rides as you want… or you can just make the outdoor rides fun.
The indoor trainer is a harder, more demanding, more precise workout and will make you a faster rider more quickly; and indoor workouts are shorter for the same training benefit. So continue with a Low Volume TR training plan and try to do at least one (and then eventually two) of the inside workouts it suggests in addition to the outside riding you do. Ideally, you’d do the hardest TR workout of the week indoors and replace the less-difficult workouts with outside rides.
But whatever else you do, find a way to do it so you can enjoy it enough to STICK WITH IT. Nothing will really benefit you if it can’t become a long-term habit.
How about trying to keep it simple and finding a happy compromise… commit to 1 indoor ride per week.
Choose the same type of workout each week and make it progressive.
Consider choosing the energy system that is hard to replicate outdoors or is specific to your event.
In your case, I would commit to the first workouts in SS Base LV ii, the VO2 sessions. Then enjoy the outdoor rides but mindful of the intent of the other workouts. You can then follow the plan loosely, getting in the intended rest weeks, etc. and progres toward your events.
Thanks guys for your comments and help - Very much appreciated… I have some reading to do now about RPE (whatever that is!) and how I can use the workouts outdoors… I did a quick read the other day, but it really didn’t make much sense to me.
Get outside and enjoy your riding. If your rides are suitable for doing TR workouts outside then try that. If not then you can at least take some of the principles of the plan and apply them. E.g. If the scheduled workout is a 90 minute SS session with 3 x 20’ intervals and you’re doing a 3 hour ride with some climbs, then see if you can accumulate 60+ minutes of SS work during those climbs with the rest of the ride being z1-2.
I’ve never gone 100% indoors, at best I’m about 50:50, maybe 60:40 for a few weeks when the weather is bad. I know I would lose the will to live as well! But even 1-2 structured indoor rides each week can make a big difference and also help you think about how to get the most from your outdoor riding.
RPE is simply a subjective measure of “perceived exertion”. I believe it’s as simple as asking yourself: “from 1 to 10, how hard did that feel?”