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Cycling Tip: Indoor Training to Stay Fit
Robert Panzera

If bad weather is keeping you inside, now is the time to get yourself in shape in preparation before you hit the road. Using an indoor trainer is a perfect way to sharpen your fitness in time for outdoor riding.

There are many good trainers out there—your local bike shop can give you tips. Ensure that you choose one that provides enough consistent resistance to mimic “road feel.”

A simple workout you can do will cover most of your cycling fitness. After a 10-min spinning warm-up:

Unclip your right foot and pedal with one leg for 2 minutes. Switch feet and repeat for a total of 2 sessions per leg

Switch to a bigger gear and simulate climbing. Stand for 5 minutes; sit for a minute, repeat. Try to build to 20-30 minutes of total standing over a month’s time.

No need for intense intervals right now—save that for the road. Instead, do lactate threshold intervals: For 15 minutes pedal a big gear at 85-95 rpm cadence with your heart rate between 80-82% of max. No HR monitor: pedal to the point were you can only speak in short sentences. No need to pedal till you can’t speak. Repeat 2 times with 5 minutes rest between.

Do this trainer workout a couple of times a week, and you will notice a positive difference when you hit the road this spring. Always check with your doctor before starting a strenuous exercise program.

Robert Panzera is a Level 2 USA Cycling Coach and owner and operator of Cycling San Diego (CCSD). CCSD is designed to provide a venue of warm weather training miles in the off-season for serious touring and elite racing cyclists. For more information about Robert Panzera and CCSD, visit or contact him at

This tip was originally published in the Adventure Travel Group (ATG) monthly newsletter. For more information on ATG, visit or contact
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