Attached is a link to an article on Triathlete.com which weighs the pros and cons of trainer rides vs. road rides as part of your training routine. Any thoughts from some of the more experienced (i.e. faster) riders whether this accurate?
Indoor riding can definitely be a more focused experience, and I understand why it works. During the winter I thought Ron's group classes at Contes were great, and I entered the season in the best bike shape of my life.
But the other side of it, that the article neglects to mention, is that a lot of people find biking outside a lot of fun. One of the big reasons why I got into the sport is I enjoyed training outside. If I wasn't able to do that, I don't think I'd enjoy the sport as much.
I haven't read the article yet, but I feel I gained more base fitness by biking outside this past winter. I believe there is no substitute for hills, wind, and hard miles outside. That said, it wasn't easy dragging myself outside when it was in the 20s.
I'm with Sean on this. The fun factor is the reason most of us do triathlons. Nothing beats a long ride with friends (and post ride trash talk over ice cream). I think I'm more than happy to leave it to the pros to approach training as a job.
I agree on the fun and motivation factor. Indoor workouts tend to drive me nuts. I used to be able to handle them before I got a tri bike and before I started running outdoors. Now that I've experienced how much more fun it is to run and ride outdoors, I can't really bring myself to do run or bike workouts inside any longer.
Even though I dislike cold weather, I did all of my bike and run workouts outdoors last winter. I did a lot of "cross-training" on the mountain bike and even on the Capital Bikeshare bikes, as part of the Winter Weather Warrior contest.
It remains to be seen how effective that training was, since I haven't had any tri races yet this year. I'll find out soon enough, this coming Sunday at WDC Tri.
If part of racing is bike handling skills then hard to argue against riding outside. There is also a strong core training component thatgoes with outdoor training. That being said there are advantages to riding indoors with a structured program. Plus if you are doing base miles in the winter it's sometimes easier to pass on the cold crappie weather and ride in front of the tv. Training is all about setting goals and knowing how you respond to various stimuli. I do appreciate the plug Sean and glad the program worked well for you!