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:

Easy 10-15 minute warm up, then go right to the 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. Continue reading “Transitioning to Indoor Training”