Transitioning to Indoor Training

How to train inside and not lose your mind or motivation
by Coach Mike Ricci

Coach Mike working with an athlete on swim video review in Solvang last year

While many athletes will grind out miles on the trainer and treadmill over the course of the winter, I like to take the opposite approach. Unless you really love to sit on your bike seat and ride in place, and have lots of time to do so, I think your time could be spent more wisely, during the winter.

There are 3 different types of energy systems I like to see athletes access during the off-season. The first energy system is Tempo or Zone 3.

Mike with athletes post ride at our camp headquarters

The second system is Threshold or Zone 4, and the last set is VO2 and Zone 5. The mix of workouts below will give you a taste of each energy zone and by the time the winter months are over, you’ll have some new found fitness and you’ll be ready to hit the race season with great power!

 

Here are a few of my favorite trainer and treadmill workouts for the off-season:

WORKOUT 1:
Run:
Easy 10-15 minute warm up, then go right to the bike.
Bike:
Warm up of 15 minutes and then 5×1 minute hard with 1 minute easy in between, followed by 5 minutes easy. That’s 30 minutes total warm up.
After bike warm up, go right into:
5×3 minutes @ 90% of FTP [Functional Threshold Pace] or Zone 4 HR, with 3 minute recovery – after this main set, you’ll jump onto the treadmill for 3×3 minutes with 3 minutes’ recovery, at LT [Lactate Threshold] and 10k pace. After the last set, move right back to the bike again.
2nd round will be:
5 minutes easy on the bike and then 5×2 minutes at 95-100% of FTP with 2 minute recovery, and after this main set, you’ll jump onto the treadmill for 3×2 minutes at LT+ and 5k pace.
Finish up with an easy 5 minutes.

Total workout is 2:10 minutes, including warm up and all the main sets in this workout.

WORKOUT 2:
Run:
Easy 10-15 minute warm up, then right to the bike.
Bike:
Warm up of 15 minutes and then 5×1 minute hard with 1 minute easy in between, followed by 5 minutes easy. That’s 30 minutes total warm up.
After bike warm up, go right into:
5×10 minutes broken into 6 minutes at @ 80% of FTP or Zone 3 HR, and right into 4 minutes @90% of FTP or Zone 4 HR, with 2 minutes’ recovery.
Right after the bike you’ll jump onto the treadmill for 3×5 minutes with 2 minutes recovery, at LT and 10k pace.
After the last rep, you’ll cool down for 10 minutes.

Total workout is 2:16, including warm up and all the main sets in this workout.

WORKOUT 3:
Run:
Easy 10-15 minute warm up, then right to the bike.
Bike:
Warm up of 15 minutes and then 5×1 minute hard with 1 minute easy in between, followed by 5 minutes easy. That’s 30 minutes total warm up.
After bike warm up, go right into sets:
10×1 minutes @105% of FTP or Zone 5 HR, with 1 minute recovery – after this main set, you’ll jump onto the treadmill for 5×1 minute with 1 minute recovery, at LT+ and 5k pace. After the last set, move right back to the bike again.
Finish up with an easy 5 minutes of running.

Total workout is 1:50 minutes, including warm up and all the main sets in this workout.

Rotating through these workouts every few weeks will give your training a nice boost and set you up for success in 2018.

Mike riding strong on Jalama Beach Rd at camp last year

Coach Mike is a Level III USAT Certified Coach, a USAT National Coach of the Year (’14), a USA World Team Coach and ITU World Champion Coach. He is the founder and Head Coach of D3 MultisportHis coaching style is ‘process focused’ vs. ‘results focused.’ When working with an athlete, their understanding of how and why they are improving is always going to take precedence over any race result. Yes there is an end goal, but in over 2 decades of coaching, experience has shown him that if you do the right work, and for the right reasons, the results will follow! And if you understand and enjoy the process, the likelihood of achieving your goals will increase ten fold!

Coach Mike ls lead coach at the Spring Fling Camp 2018, March 12-18 in Solvang, California.

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