Indoor Vs Outdoor, Which Is The Best Cycle Training?

Indoor Vs Outdoor, Which Is The Best Cycle Training?


– What is the most effective way of reaching your peak fitness? Is it training indoors? – Or outdoors? We thought we’d discuss the facts. (smooth jazz music) – Well, firstly, one of
the biggest advantages of indoor training is the quality. And by that I mean that
every second you spend riding on an indoor trainer, you can press on the
pedals and make it count. So no waiting at traffic lights, no stopping at road junctions, and no getting stuck in traffic. And we have our own indoor training success story right here in the GCN offices. Because Matt used indoor training to great effect through the last part
of his racing career. He took all the quality from multi-hour road rides and condensed it into super-hard indoor training sessions. And he got screaming fit. – Alright, fair point. Can’t argue with that. I must admit I do hate it when I have to freewheel in
the middle of an interval and watch my average power plummet. But as for long rides, they can be really enjoyable. Great fun, in fact. Long rides, with intervals, are fantastic. – Well, yes. But working hard, reaching milestones, is incredibly good fun, too, and very motivating. So, if you take something like this, TrainerRoad, for example, it is a training app that provides carefully thought-out training plans that comprise of individual workouts that are set, specifically,
with a goal in mind. And also taking into account how much time you have available to train. And not only that, but they’re
also individually tailored to your ability level, set by your Functional Threshold Power. And you keep track of that with regular FTP tests. Again, you have one here. So, if you are the kind of person, that likes setting goals, working hard, ticking off milestones, then indoor training is definitely for you. And not only that, but you
will know categorically that each workout is done to the absolute best of your ability. And not only that, but
each interval as well that, because it’s holding me at my target power. Now admittedly, if you’re
not lucky enough to have a smart trainer, then it won’t do that, but, the consistent resistance
of an indoor trainer will allow you, woo, glad that 300 is over, it will allow you to ride very evenly at that set effort level. And if you are lucky enough
to have a smart trainer, then if you tick the ERG mode box, then it will literally keep you at that specified wattage. – Well, no, I suppose a road
is not going to give you a set level of resistance. However, you can still
ride to a set power. You’ve just got to find the
right roads to do it on. And when you’re riding on those roads you’re also going to be
developing your riding skills, which can be just as important
when it comes to riding fast. After all, there’s no corners to go around on an indoor trainer. – No, indoor training is not gonna work on your bike-handling skills. But what if you don’t actually
live near any decent roads to train on? See, we’re quite lucky
here where we’re based. But one thing we don’t have are long, steady climbs for
doing consistent intervals on. But that doesn’t matter
if you’re indoor training. You can simulate the longest
climbs that you fancy. With having said that,
there is nothing to say that just riding up long climbs hard is the most effective way to train. ‘Cause one of the other
advantages of indoor training is you can actually dial up the complexity of your training sessions to make them more specific. So if you take this one
from TrainerRoad again, it’s called the Wolf Jaw Plus Five, and what I’m looking at here are seven sets lasting about four and half minutes, and each one comprising a 20 seconds on, 15 seconds off, at 125%, and then 88% of my FTP. Try doing that on the road, huh? – Uh, that’s a fair point, but outside you can just smash it up climbs. And what can be more specific, and some ways more enjoyable, than doing that? Oh, and if you’ve got a
good group to ride with, that interval session
that you’re looking at Si, is effectively just like riding in a pace line. And again, that’s super enjoyable and a very important skill to learn. – Well yeah, no arguments here with that, except for the fact that we’re talking about
ultimate performance. And group riding is inconsistent. And, if you were looking at
building to a physical peak, you need consistency. And that is indoor training
through and through. All you need is an allotted period of time and then you know, categorically,
you’ll be able to get your work done. Consistent, quality work. And again, if we turn back
to our example of TrainerRoad here, if you follow one of their plans, then you could religiously tick off session after session as you get it done. And yes, fair enough, you
could do that outside, but indoors you guarantee that consistency regardless of available daylight,
regardless of the weather. And yet, that does bring
me to another plus point of indoor training, is that
you know exactly what weather you are going to get, so no
sacrificing training sessions to adverse conditions. – Yeah but what about
being in the great outdoors and enjoying the sunshine? – Dan, we live in the UK. – That is true, but we do get one or two nice days. In August. Sometimes. And actually, even when the
weather is not quite that nice, it’s still enjoyable. We’re bike riders. We like being outside. And indoors, you get all sweaty. I mean, I know you, Si, get
sweaty wherever you are, but it’s gonna be particularly
bad on an indoor trainer. – Yeah, fair enough, I do get
a little bit of a sweat on. But a fan helps a lot and
it’s also not that far from my bike to the shower. – Alright Si, I can see
that there is an argument that from a pure quality
and interval perspective indoor training might just take the edge. But you’re not going to get the endurance you need indoors. After all, even with the
best wheel in the world, you’re unlikely to spend more
than 90 minutes at a time on an indoor trainer, although I guess there are
some dedicated, hard-core people out there who
might be able to do more. Joking aside, though, in trying to decide for
which one is better, we might be slightly missing the point. Yes, indoor training may well
be slightly more effective, but for almost everybody, indoor training is all about making us
faster when we’re outdoors. Oh, here he is! Finally joined us, Si. – I’m absolutely filthy already. And you don’t have to clean
your bike training indoors. Now, while training indoors
may make you screaming fit, it’s not necessarily gonna
make you a great bike rider. And then also, if you only train outdoors, you may not get as fit
as if you supplemented with indoor training as well. – Now, if you are yet to subscribe to the Global Cycling
Network, please make sure you do so by clicking on the globe, which somewhere on your screen right now. After you’ve done that,
you might want to check out this next video,
which describes exactly how to do an FTP test
on an indoor trainer. – Yep. Or, for another video,
particularly useful if you do ride a lot outdoors, how
to clean a filthy bike.