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Why does indoor triathlon training matter?

As the weather gets colder, more people are starting to take their bikes indoors for the winter. There are a few different categories these people fall into. The one I hear most is “It’s the offseason, so I am going to take the winter off.” That training strategy doesn’t sound too promising heading into the next season. In the Spring when they get back on their bikes, their first reaction is usually wondering why they are slower than the previous season and out of breath so quickly! Athletes can train hard from April to September, but if there is minimal to no training from October through March, your body will take longer to be ready to start training for the new season.

There are also those folks who can’t or don’t ride indoors for various reasons. Some examples include not enough space, the bike not being allowed indoors, going to a cycling studio, or just not riding at all.

I always mention to my athletes that indoor training is the best way to get stronger on the bike to get yourself ready for the upcoming season. While it is fun to use platforms such as Zwift or Rouvy because they feel like riding outside on “courses,” doing structured workouts are where real gains are made. You can do structured workouts on those platforms, but there are other ones such as Trainerroad, Sufferfest, and Perfpro. Using any of these resources, I can provide my athletes with their personal, customized workouts whether they live here in New York City or anywhere in the country.

Having someone you trust who designs these customized workouts for you is an important factor and a key ingredient to success. The standard workouts that these platforms create themselves are good, but they fail to meet each person’s specific training needs or personal schedule. There is also a progression that should happen with specially designed workouts to help you become a stronger athlete. Each block of workouts a coach creates for you will have its own purpose and build toward your goals for your season. It doesn’t matter if it is the criterium down the street or a 5-day stage race, everyone’s needs are different

Finally, training indoors isn’t meant to be just a winter activity anymore. With the technology that has evolved, I tell all my athletes that they should ride indoors at least two times a week all year round. Not only are these indoor workouts more efficient, but in New York City riding indoors has become more of a necessity than a luxury.

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