Summer training

It’s summer here in the UK (well it should be), what does everyone else do with thier plans? It is too nice to be inside:

  • do people just do the session that is close to a plan as they feel like it

  • actually follow a plan and skip the sun

  • stop training and just hammer it outside?

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95% of my riding is all indoors regardless of weather. I pretty much only ride outside for races (and v rare commute). Bit sad really but with work and family have v little free time so training benefit is priority and best done on trainer (plus cam do it anytime…often my hour training starts at 9, 9.30 at night).


I believe indoor training is the absolute best way to get performance gains in a time-efficient manner, as opposed to the least worst alternative for riding when the weather is bad. So, my training is year-round based on the indoor trainer and when the weather is nice I do my best to fit it into my training. I think a lot depends on how important building and keeping your fitness is to you. If it’s very important, you have to keep your training up. If it isn’t important, then just do whatever makes you happiest.

But to answer your question directly, yes I keep up indoor training year round. I stick to the plan and switch out the Sunday ride for a group ride. If the weather is bad on the Sunday, I just do the scheduled indoor workout. Here is my training calendar to give you a clearer picture of indoor vs outdoor:


Go by feel unless you’ve got some racing goals. If you’re just trying to get fit the you can sub/mimic/shuffle your training plan around the best sunniest weeks and get the tan lines going while you can. Generally speaking though, there’s a high possibility of failing workouts if you’re not fresh enough because the outdoor stuff added too much TSS or muscle fatigue that you’re not used to.

If you’re happy indoors on the trainer, don’t feel like you have to go outside for a ride in the sun or something. Loads of people now get just as much buzz out of an indoor training session as they would from riding the same little route outside. The traffic, extra preparation and time needed often sullies the enjoyment of an outdoor ride for people too so it’s not surprising you see people doing indoor sessions on beautiful days on Strava feeds.

Personally, if I’ve been riding indoors a lot, I get a craving to ride outdoors, and vice-versa. I’ve only just managed to sort out a way to train indoors last weekend and all my rides this year have been outdoors and random. I couldn’t care less how sunny it gets now, I just want to do some indoor structured work and see how I handle ERG intervals! That’s my current idea of a good time :smiley:

I’m mostly doing outdoors for anything over Z2 - it’s just too hot indoors even with fan on and windows open.

I managed some anaerobic intervals (Wynne +1) this morning but only by leaving the pain cave windows open all night and then getting up early to do it before the sun starts shining in. Not something I want to do regularly.

As for sessions, I think you can still follow the spirit and intention of a plan if you (1) get to know the intention of each workout, and (2) know your local roads well enough to figure out a way of achieving it.

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Where are you located? What kind of temps do get in the summer?

Had my first TR outdoor workout this past sunday w/ power. it went really well, so I’ll be outside as much as possible. We only get about 4 months of nice weather in the midwest US. Gotta take advantage.

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Just out of curiosity, what schedule do you stick to as far as the plans go? Continuous Base/build repeat, the full base/build/speciality, or something else?

I ride primarily for health and fitness, and while it’s nice every now and again to head outdoors and enjoy that fitness, I’m gradually becoming more indoor based and a looking for ideas/feedback from others.

I’m considering alternating between mid and low volume base/build cycles as I think that I’d crack mentally if I tried mid volume continuously.

London. Difficult to keep it under 20 degrees indoors once it gets warmer.

I train indoors and ride outdoors. If I am not trying to build to any kind of goal then riding becomes more of a consideration.

That’s how I look at it. If spring has sprung and I feel I need to get out I do it but I use that as an EM ride or something similar. All interval training is indoors for me regardless of how perfect it is outside. YMMV

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Hmmm. I’m in North Carolina and outdoor temperatures are regularly around 40C. My garage is insulated and I ride early in the morning, but even still the temperature in the pain cave is around 28-30C for much of the summer when I’m training.

I think you need better fans.

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I ride for health and fitness too, I don’t race. I am very competitive with myself though. I have learned that without an A event to prep for I can skip the Specialty phase. So, I run a cycle of SSB I --> SSB II --> Sustained Power Build --> SSB I --> etc. So far I’ve found that this gives me good FTP improvement and I can hold high levels of FTP for long periods of time. I have enough fitness to never get dropped from my group rides, but not enough snap to win any city limit sign sprints. Last week I thought I was late to my group ride, but I was actually early. I was “chasing” the group for the whole ride but I never caught them (because they were behind me). I looked on Strava later and I held a pace 3 mp/h faster over 2.5 hours as a solo rider than the pack I was trying to track down!

Here is my past 18 months of training with FTP. I have marked on the chart the FTP result that appears at the beginning of the training block as the end of the completed one. So, rather that “this is level of my fitness to mark the zones going forward” they are “this is the FTP I arrived at after completing the previous training block”.


I train for CX, so between the end of January and early May I’ve been doing mid volume with little outdoor riding other than occasional commuting or short rides when the weather’s good.

From May until the start of CX season I try to follow the mid volume but switch out the weekend training with an outdoor ride, not training just for fun. I’m also doing a crit, time trial or summer CX race once a week if possible, these are very much C races and are just social or for me to see how my fitness is going.

In the summer, I ride outside whenever I can. What is more enjoyable than riding a bike outside? All this nonsense about not getting the perfomance gains by slavishly conforming to the absolute watt doesn’t do it for me.


Probably, but for the moment, wind is cheaper.

You don’t agree that structured indoor riding brings larger and more-efficient performance gains than outdoor riding? Or are you saying that you just prefer to ride outside when you can?

Ok, but should you change your mind in the future, you might find this thread helpful.

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What I’m saying is you can do just as structured training outside as you can inside. You don’t need a smart trainer and ERG mode to get the right session done.


For me personally this isn’t true, at least not easily. My topography doesn’t provide for long steady-state efforts so they’re less effective and the workouts take a lot longer. Once I committed to indoor riding the gains started to come more readily and with a significantly reduced training time.

Riding outside is enjoyable, but I personally don’t find the performance training replicable outside.

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Can you say how the gains were demonstrated?