Summer training

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?

FTP gains is the primary measure for sure. Qualitatively, I ride with the same group of guys on the weekend and I used to struggle to hold onto the group and now I easily keep and push the pace. Is that what you meant?


Don’t want to get too bogged down in this, but I really feel that people can get just as big gains by other means than spending time on a trainer indoors. And for some, there are more difficult to measure gains than FTP achievable from getting outside and enjoying the world.

I guess the point I’m trying to make is that you don’t have to stress about completely replicating an indoor session to get just as big gains.

I agree, if people are actually doing proper training outside. If you are able to do largely the same activity outside as inside, the training benefit will be the clearly be similar. I think what is most commonly observed is that indoor training is properly structured following a plan with set intervals and outside riding is a group ride hammerfest, Strava segment chasing or a Z3 waste of time. So it’s frequently not apples to apples. It’s not the outdoors environment that I question (although as I said, for me that is more challenging), it’s the fact that a lot of people ride outdoors rather than train outdoors.


I agree you can train v effectively outdoors…just Not necessarily at 9.30 in the evening with 1 hr to spare! This is my issue. In order to find half decent roads to train on (I.e. not traffic lights and heavy traffic every 2 mins) I need to ride for approx 25-30 mins. That means to get in an hour’s good training turns into a 2 hr ride…and I never have 2 hours! If I did however then outdoors sounds great!

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Maybe for you. I personally don’t have roads that are flat enough or climby enough to do something like 3 x 20’s without coasting a bit, turning a lot, hitting traffic lights or that kind of thing. So I’m terms of shear efficacy I disagree. Doesn’t mean that you can’t get a good or great workout outdoors, with that I agree.


To answer the OP question: My summer (northern California) is a combination of outdoor and indoors:
Outdoors for group rides, racing and fun rides, including those with a specific training purpose such as a 5-6 hour endurance/tempo ride.
Indoors when I have a specific training purpose that I won’t be achieving outdoors (e.g. sweet spot, threshold or O/U efforts) or time is limited (e.g. recovery or short endurance ride).