Integrating training into your life is easier said than done, especially during winter. However, a hybrid training plan of indoor and outdoor sessions can help you clock up those miles.
Not to mention, hybrid training is time efficient. You won't have to haul your bike around or clean it down. And if you save your long rides for the real thing, you can also focus on your output indoors and track your progression by repeating sessions such as ramped intervals or Russian steps. British Cycling even has a free indoor training e-Book if you’re looking for some inspiration.
If you don’t have the space or budget for an indoor setup, and training in a group is appealing, these classes will keep your training specific and smart.
Discover which zone you need to improve on
Transform your functional threshold power (FTP) at Cadence Indoor Cycling, with their Zones class. The 50-minute session hones in on aerobic, anaerobic and threshold. Your FTP will benefit from training in the different zones.
Studio owner, Melissa Power, says: “It’s hard as an outdoor cyclist to train in specific zones unless you have a completely clear road and the right gradient. All the conditions have to be perfect.”
Melissa is currently coaching one of her members for three stages of the Tour de France. Riding outside, he had always remained in his aerobic zone, so focusing on the specific zones was a game changer for making training progress.
The intimate studio consists of 14 Keiser bikes and the coaches are CIMSPA certified. Melissa is keen to promote safe training backed by science and data.
“The last three or four years, a method of indoor cycling has been forced upon people that is incredibly unsafe,” Melissa says. “There are studios using bikes as props. They ride entire classes at high RPMs and start a class at 128 RPM.”
There are also physiological barriers with certain positions on the bike in these classes, Melissa adds. “Men typically have bigger upper bodies so they can’t stand up at a high cadence over your handlebars.”
Melissa says it’s better to take a slow and gradual approach to classes. “Any person at any age can do our classes. There is nothing you physically can’t do. You might struggle to do a 40-second power interval in a high gear if you are not that fit, but you do it in a slightly lower gear, and a month on you can take on a slightly higher gear.”
Ride with power and build resilience
If you want to increase your stamina, take on Cycle Perform Endurance at Digme Fitness. The 75-minute class of extended intervals features different terrains and speeds.
Dan Little, Director of Talent at Digme Fitness, says: “It allows you to work with people with similar goals and offers a bit of everything. It simulates going up climbs, fast work and slow strength work. Training with power is very personal and allows you to maximise your training. It is genuine training. It’s not standing up and swinging your towel around.”
Dan is no stranger to Ford RideLondon, having completed the challenge twice thanks to a hybrid training plan and a turbo trainer, which is a static resistance platform that provides the same resistance and feeling as a moving bike.
“At Digme, we want to break down that barrier of, ‘Indoor cycling isn’t for me'. I’m an outdoor cyclist. I’m also a track cyclist. I do everything, and I teach spin. Our classes align with international cycling events, and our training philosophies are born out of those events. We pride ourselves on being a legit and authentic riding experience.”
Under the Perform arm, Digme also has Perform Crit, think high intensity and high intervals, and Perform Threshold, where riders work optimally in their threshold zone.
Digme has four studios across London, as well as an ‘at home’ section with live and on-demand cycle classes available online.
Get analytical and book a free FTP test
If you love to log every ride, then Elevate Group Cycle Performance at King’s Cross Fitness might be for you.
The new Better Gym cycle studio, just off Granary Square, is kitted out with 31 Technogym bikes, and members can track their performance via the Technogym app. You simply scan the QR code on your bike before you clip in. You can also book an FTP test before you start, so that you can tailor the class to your ability.
Anna Slorach, Assistant Manager, says: “You can train for serious events indoors. It’s about teaching power output. Some people think you ride on the highest gear and go as fast as you can for the whole time and we teach our members that is not sustainable. You can be riding slow but heavy or take that resistance off to get that speed.”
If you want to get in the zone
Hire a bike at Velo Studio in Colchester Sports Park. The studio caters for all abilities, and you can choose between a Wattbike AtomX or Technogym Skillbike on a pay-as-you-go basis or via a membership.
Colchester Sports Park, recommends one of the Skillbike classes if you’re looking for an indoor workout that replicates an outdoor ride.
Technogym says the Skillbike is the only stationary bike to incorporate real gears and a direct power measurement system, ensuring that riders experience a lifelike sensation that closely mirrors the feeling of riding on the road.
Colchester Sports Park say: “One key advantage is the bike's ability to accurately measure power output, cadence, and other crucial metrics, providing riders with detailed insights into their performance."
If you’re looking for a customisable training programme that you can complete on your own, go for the Wattbike AtomX.
“Its precise measurement of power output, cadence, and pedal smoothness enables riders to analyse and improve their technique with unparalleled accuracy. The bike's dual-leg power measurement system ensures that users receive accurate feedback on their pedalling dynamics, helping them to develop a more efficient and natural riding style.”