Maybe it’s the weather, an injury, or lack of daylight hours that has reduced all of your training to being indoors on the turbo.
Whatever the reason, though, you are going to have to leave the comforts of the indoors and head out into the real world.
Riding outside does require a certain amount of motivation as well as different structures with your training.
We are going to be doing our best to convince you of the benefits of riding outside as well as bring you tips on how to keep your training efficient and goal specific.
Both indoor and outdoor training has several benefits, although we don’t need to sell the benefits of setting up your turbo at home. The convenience is just jumping straight on it without spending time finding all of your kits. It doesn’t matter whether it’s daylight outside, and you’re not going to waste any time having to get out through traffic or freewheeling downhill so you can really get a lot out of one single session.
On top of that, you’ve got all the numbers there that you might need, and you can even watch a movie or listen to your own music, regardless of whether it’s cold up or wet outside.
But there are certain things you cannot learn or cannot benefit from without actually heading out the door. You’ll never know what race day is going to throw at you, what the conditions are going to be like, none of us are really going to choose or enjoy riding out in the wind and the rain.
However, if you survive a tough training session in conditions like that, you’re going to take some confidence from that, you’ll know that you can pretty much tackle anything when it comes to race day.
That’s partly the reason that we see some pros actually not choosing to go abroad when they’ve got that option and training at home.
When it comes to riding outside as well just practicing, braking, changing gear, reading the road ahead of you can make you a far more efficient rider and actually make you faster when it comes to race day. Leading on from that last point, you’re going to be racing outdoors, so you need to train outdoors.
We can’t expect your body and your mind to be mentally ready for all of these different stimuli if you haven’t practiced it. Trying to stick to the numbers that you set near one impossible, when it comes to outdoors, you’ve got to have that ability to be able to adapt.
For example, if you’re riding up a steep hill, you’ll struggle to keep your power actually low enough and the opposite when it comes to writing downhill. Doing sessions at race pace intensity out on the roads a great way to prepare for the upcoming season. You need to be prepared to put in hard efforts that aren’t going to be constant.
For example, if you’ve been freewheeling down a steep hill and then suddenly need to get your legs to work really hard up the steep hill on the other side, it’s going to be hard to replicate that in the case of the turbo.
The feel-good factor is hard to pin down with its exact science, but you definitely get that buzz a lot more from riding outside than you would indoors.
If you are lucky enough to have some sunshine where you’re riding, you’re going to get vitamin D, which is really essential for athletes who are pushing themselves hard.
Even if it is a ride outside without sunshine, but you’re getting daylight, it has been proven to help boost your mood, and then that will, in turn, make you enjoy your training more and allow you to push harder when you need to in a long way.
The majority of your indoor training is going to be done alone, but riding with others can be so much more engaging to get that mental stimulation as well as the ever-changing surroundings of being outside.
If all that’s not enough, then have a good descent, and you’ll get the adrenaline pumping.
We think all of this combined is definitely going to help with those endorphins. It’s pretty hard to do a long steady aerobic ride indoors partly due to boredom, discomfort, and also maintaining your body temperature.
However, when you do head outside, it’s pretty easy to ride for a long time at the required low intensity, and this is also great for fat burning.
On the topic of fat burning, there have been some studies that prove that riding at low intensity in cooler temperatures encourages your body to burn more of that brown stored fat. So there are some benefits for riding in the cold as well you know why to ride outdoors now.
Maybe it was something else keeping you riding indoors, whether an injury or lack of a location for your riding. Whatever the reason was, it’s a good idea to get back out on the road as soon as you can.
However, you don’t need to go from one extreme to the other, so you don’t suddenly need to stop all indoor training and do all of your training outdoors. It’s about finding that happy balance in between.
Maybe you live somewhere that the weather is lovely all year round then it’s a good idea to actually keep a mix of enjoying an outdoor training as that helps keep you mentally and physically in a nice fresh state.
When it does come to the season though we’d recommend is a bit of a guide a minimum of doing 60% of your riding outdoors. There is a bit of a danger when you head back outside for the first time after doing all of these really indoor specific training sessions that your rides all turn into the nice long social steady effort in that contrast so the sweat and the pain that you’re putting in on the turbo.
Admit it, you’re probably naturally gonna be riding for longer when you go outside as it’s often that bit easier, but if you’re not careful, you could end up undoing all of that hard work and outdoor training does still need to remain specific.