Productive Outside Rides During Lockdown

Currently, in the UK we are allowed to leave the house for exercise and I have been going out in the evening on my bike. I am fortunate to live in a beautiful part of the country but completing a TR workout is seriously hard as the roads undulate so regularly, sharp corners, descents etc mean that sticking to a specific power target is tough or impossible.
I know the quality of workout would be better indoors but whilst the weather is good and the ride is the only opportunity to leave the house I am taking advantage of that.
I am in the middle of sweet spot base and I am wondering if I am better going out and rather than trying to do a specific workout and getting frustrated if I am better just trying to collect as much time in sweet spot?
Any thoughts would be much appreciated
Stay safe everyone

I live in the UK and race tt. I would have expected to do 20+open tt this year - here is my take. I finished Base and SPB - was going really well. FTP up from 280W to 298W on trainerroad at 61kg. Although in the one race I did I only managed 270W for 54 mins. Anyhow I can’t see us racing this year, the weather is great and I have more time so last week I did 15 hours z2 in the sun with just a 40mins SS section@ 263W. Today I’m going to do another section @SS - 3 laps of a local circuit but not at full pace and certainly not on my tt bike. I may add a few short 1 hour VO2 sessions through the summer to keep on top of that and especially if the CTC show any signs of starting racing again. But apart from that I’m chilling out and enjoying the weather. Even if you get really fit you may burn to many mental matches to carry it through next winter so I’m just building as big a base as possible with lots of zone 2 solo and adding just a little bit above. Also I have found that zone2 on your own for 4 hours is a lot tougher than riding with your mates in groups so it is probably helping anyway. I can’t see the point of following a strict programme especially with no racing on the horizon - plenty of time for that next winter…get out in the sun, top up your vit D and do your mental health a power of good :grinning:


I’m in the same situation as you. It’s also the first year of structured training for me so working out inside with beautiful landscapes and optimal weather outside with an uncertain race calender this year makes it tough to stick to the plan. Currently I ride as much outdoors as I can. We’re still allowed to meet with 5 people but have to keep a distance. So we’re doing group rides as well to keep our sanity. I still try to stick to 3 high load, high intensity weeks with a rest week in between but I weigh my sanity higher than optimal race form and thus am willing to give up a little structure over enjoying to ride outside or in a group without any specific fitnessgoal.

Hi wapes. The best and safest thing to do is to figure out a local climb that takes over 10 mins and do your efforts up that. Don’t be scared of doing reps and if the climb is one min too short than the efforts on your plan… I wouldn’t worry too much. May be hard to find but there will almost certainly be experienced local riders that mostly a gradual up hill or even flat road that Is good for 20 min tests etc. Maybe it has one or two clear left hand turns but that’s it.

Trying to do a sweetspot workout just on a general route with junctions etc in this current situation with the NHS very stretched is a bit irresponsible in my opinion (risky riding) and probably less productive.

Hopefully that’s helpful. Stuff like finding the right routes for your efforts etc can be a very satisfying part of being a cyclist.

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This. Similar situation here regarding lay of the land — undulating, twisty, shorter steeper climbs, etc. However, last summer when I was doing a lot of Z2 work I had no choice but to search out routes which would allow me to stay on power and with as few interruptions as possible. I found a couple of ‘ring roads’ which have 1 stopping point. Boring as heck by the 18th lap but gets the job done.

@wapes — try some time in a big gear w/ lower cadence when you’re on any flat/straight sections. You’ll go slower but will spend more time in power zone before you hit the next roller etc.

Finally, like @jdman suggests, maybe save the outdoor rides for ‘just riding’. I’m all for chasing intensity and going hardcore but these are whacky times we’re living in and you have to roll with the punches. Plan a couple outside rides a week just to enjoy riding your bike. Your fitness etc isn’t going to melt away if you’re not getting max time in the zone. Quality work on the trainer, fun times outside.


If I was still living alone, I’d probably be sticking to indoor training. For my sanity, I’m doing outdoor workouts now and it’s a challenge staying in the sweet spot and below zones due to the terrain around where I live. Despite that, I would rather train outside in the harder zones than inside nailing the prescribed zones in ERG mode. The bonus is that I’m feeling stronger with all the extra work.