The long base ride indoors ... strategies for survival

Yes, Velonews tells us we shouldn’t do long indoor rides. We burn out, we use different muscles, it sucks.

Well, riding 4 hours in a snow storm at 5am sucks as well. And I do not have the flexibility with my time slots. But I have goals. To reach these I have to do long rides.

So let’s share some strategies on how to make >3h rides more bearable. Strategies that make time fly by.

I’m talking here about low intensity rides. For higher intensity I find it pretty easy, see today’s ride for example:

Simply add some intensity over the course of the ride and you get some distraction. But what about when staying at low intensity?

  • make chunks, e.g. between my intensity 5 min chunks. This seems to be the main strategy implemented by longer low intensity TR workouts
  • hop off the bike every x minutes and do some strength training
  • be mentally prepared, set a clear session goal: today I ride 4 hours
  • I often find the first hour the most difficult. Starting at some lower-low intensity and reading a newspaper of book helps.

More to come …


I have some thoughts and will add them soon.


  • Choose at least one, but likely 2 or more sources. You may not like one or the other once you are in the moment, so having some options is handy.


  • Consider the common suggestions; stand frequently, maybe use two pairs of bibs, take a break off bike as needed.
  • A rocker plate or even a thicker foam mat can add some motion that relieves pressure on the saddle support.
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I haven’t done in a long indoor base ride in a while, but I used to - what worked for me was to basically split it into 2 workouts - I’d do a 1-1.5 hour TR workout on my kickr, then hop over onto my rollers and do a z2 ride for another 1.5-2 hours on Zwift. Kind of mixed things up a little bit and moving to the rollers (even though they’re e-motion rollers so it’s easier) kept me more mentally engaged.

Find some quality entertainment!

I provided some thoughts in the other thread we had on this podcast:

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