It’s Too Cold to Bike Outside! {Workout}

I realized last night that I’ve haven’t really talked about cycling here. In fact, when I read over my fitness posts, it looks like all I do is run (with some occasional yoga)! Well, I’ve certainly been running A LOT more than cycling, but I’ve been back on my bike 2-3 times a week since last December (at least).


I never get tired of pictures from Ironman Austria

I really do love cycling – I just haven’t given it much focus recently, because I’m primarily a runner in the winter. I typically do my last multisport race in the August/September timeframe and switch to running until the following season begins in April/May. Since I started this blog last September, the timing led to the bike taking a back seat.

Well today that’s going to change! I’m going to share with you one of many cycling workouts that my wonderful hubby has written to help make riding your bike indoors – on a bike trainer or other stationary bike – more interesting and effective! You’ll hear me say “we” a lot about cycling, because Kirk is the better cycling coach around here. Maybe “we” should be “he” more often… :)

Let’s start with the basics! When “we” write workouts, we use terminology that you may not be familiar with (or you may just use different terms). In either case, the chart below shows the name and description of the zones I will use for cycling workouts. Be sure to save this for later!



I’ve given you HR ranges and RPE (rate of perceived exertion) in the description. I also train with power, but I’m assuming you know those ranges if you are training with a power meter.

Now that we’ve got that covered, it’s time for the workout. Now I know you might not like riding indoors, but unless you are braver than me (which is completely possible), it’s probably still to cold to ride outdoors. Or at least it’s dark too early to ride outdoors after work, right?

Unless I’m only riding for 30 minutes, I always use a workout for trainer rides. This helps to break up the ride and keep you from having time to get bored. Instead of thinking about 45 minutes, you’re thinking about the next block of time. This small mental trick really helps me!

Are you ready for the trainer workout now?

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Hopefully the format of this workout makes sense to you, but here’s a more detailed description of the first part of the main set exercise:

2 x (2.5 min Tempo/2.5 min Endurance)

To complete this section, ride for 2.5 minutes at your Tempo pace (using heart rate, rate of perceived exertion, or power) followed by 2.5 minutes at your Endurance pace. Repeat that series twice.

If you have any other questions about the workout, just let me know in the comments and I’ll try to clarify a little more.

Whether you’re a new cyclist, roadie, or triathlete, I hope you enjoy this fun workout. I’ll tell you I was dripping with sweat by the end of this workout – it was great!!



  • I know many of you are runners, or aspiring runners. How many cyclists do we have in the group?
  • If you are a cyclist, how do you feel about indoor rides?
  • Any cycling workout requests?

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  1. says

    I wish I was better at riding bikes. For some reason, I am just not good at it any more. I am horrible at mountain biking. I swear I spent more time being flung over the handle bars than I did on the bike! I may look into road bikes again. I miss that feeling of being kind of carefree on a bike!

    • says

      I mountain biked in college and loved it, but I’m always afraid I’ll hurt something which will affect another sport now. Road Cycling I love and the indoor option makes it easy to do year-round. You should give it a try again! :)

  2. says

    I’m a cyclist! I also live in Oregon, so this winter I’m heading to the gym for spin class to keep my cycling base strong. I will go back to commuting to work a few times a week this spring and I’m training for a full Century this summer.

    Having a bike trainer at home is great…in January and February when I want to avoid the crowds at the gym, I get on the trainer at home. it’s nice!
    Lisa recently posted…Progress is Progress NonethelessMy Profile

    • says

      Awesome – glad to see another cyclist!! :) I love century rides, I’m hoping to schedule one in this year myself for fun. They are a lot of fun and always a great accomplishment. Will this be your first century?

  3. Tim says

    I’ve always thought of cycling as my next sport. Nothing compares with the simplicity of putting on some shoes and running out the front door.

    If I can’t run, I’ll be a cyclist. It’s fun, but requires lots of paraphernalia.

  4. says

    I’m not a cyclist…simply never been one. But when I worked at a gym as a trainer I did try a spin class (although I was terrified) and LOVED it! Wish I had something like that regular in my life; it could even open me up to cycling and I’ve always thought about triathlons (for the challenge, because I’m also not a swimmer! …maybe it’s not in the cards for me). 😉 But all the same I enjoyed this post – love a 3-dimensional runner who does more than just run (strength training is where my other facet of fitness comes in; we need so much more than the movement of running).

    Looks like a great workout!
    Bonnie recently posted…Tight-Space Body Weight WorkoutMy Profile

    • says

      There’s always duathlons, if you don’t want to swim and still want to try multisports! I’m not planning to swim this year, I’ll wait until the next Ironman to get back into the water. Duathlons (run-bike-run) are a great alternative for those like us! =)

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