What is the optimum time for an indoor cycling workout?
I have thought about this a lot. Not just recently. I have thought about, and experimented with this for years.
I am blessed with several months of cold, wet, and short days. Days when it is uncomfortable, unpleasant, and down right dangerous to train outside. So, I train inside. I get on the spinning bike, and lift weights from December through March. I may get out on the road bikes occasionally, but the rides are shorter, less intense, and slower than in the warmer summer months.
I have done this for years. Many years. Long before I referred to myself as a cyclist. And now that I am retired, and not commuting to the office daily, I train inside even more. Most every day. So, what is the optimum time to spin?
Some find it difficult to get on a spinning bike or trainer in the winter months. The workouts are more difficult. There is continual resistance, not to mention the boredom. It is as much a mental challenge as a physical one.
And, that’s exactly what I like most. The mental side.
Spinning inside develops power, speed, aerobic fitness, and mental strength. Mental strength 🤔That’s it. I figure if I can spend 45-60 minutes sweating it out on a spinning bike, I can cycle on the open road for hours. You see, I don’t plug into an aerobic playlist. No. I want to build the mental stamina to work hard, and sweat profusely without artificial stimulation. I don’t plug in on the road. Why would I indoors?
45-60 minutes is my optimum. For me, that’s equivalent to 120 minutes, or more, outside. There are no stop signs, no traffic lights, no wind, no interruptions. Just steady resistance. It’s quality time. I may tire of looking at myself in the floor-to-ceiling mirror strategically placed immediately in front of the spinning bikes. 45-60 minutes is enough of that. But 45-60 minutes is enough time to warm up, cool down, complete gruelling, simulated, hill repeats, and suffer through agonizing high-intensity intervals. Longer sessions are difficult to sustain, and anything shorter just doesn’t feel like a workout. 45-60 minutes are just right.
So, instead of dwelling on the long, cold, and wet winter days, I embrace the spinning bike for 3-4 months of the year, so that when spring arrives, I’m stronger, faster, and more committed than ever.
Don’t be fooled. I’m sick of winter this year 😫
Well, I am in tune with your last paragraph. ;-). For the rest, I’m afraid I can only admire your positive attitude. I am happy to run all winter and I’ll go out in all weathers. I also use the bike all year round and on all days except when there is snow and ice and it’s unsafe. Being outdoors is a big part of what makes me happy cycling and running in a storm is a huge thrill. I guess the truth is you train hard while I cycle and run soft: each to his own and it is doing me good to be exposed to your different thinking on how to be focused and positive about pain and effort. Who knows, a wee bit of your approach may rub off on me! All the best. Norman
I agree with Norman. I have to be outside – for the fresh air and breeze on my face. Kudos to your good attitude!
I couldn’t agree more but when I’m faced with cold, icy weather I head to the gym rather than not train.
True. No training is worse, and makes me cranky!
I completely see and admire the sense in your way of training I just hate indoor exercise. I’ve found mountain biking with friends over the winter is a good way of maintaining fitness. The motivation of going out with other people is good at kicking me out of bed on cold days, plus getting muddy is always great fun! Roll on spring 🙂
I agree with you. I do get several muddy MTB rides in as well. What I enjoy about indoor training is that they are more focused. I can dial into the HR and wattage ranges I need to improve. And, the sessions are relatively short.