Before coming to Canada I was fairly adamant I was going to remain a hardy Scot (albeit an English interloper) and train outside as much as possible through the winter. For all the Canadians reading this - all the guys from the Scottish division of Athelite still ride outside virtually every Saturday come hell or high water, blizzards, driving rain, sheet ice, gale force winds and even the occasional day when the sun comes out and everyone burns.
Here in Canada though everyone knuckles down on their trainers in their basements or groups together in huge sweaty spin classes. We quickly realized that there is often no choice but to go down this route - whilst it hardly ever rains here last week was down near -20 all week and there is no way anyone is going on the bike in that.
This year we are training in 3 week blocks (2 weeks hard, 1 week easy). Last week I had quite a big mix of volume & intensity but this week is more of an endurance week. If, like us, you are training for an Ironman this year then you are probably in your base period right now and that means endurance. This week we have to spend a lot of time on the turbo trainers indoors. This can be mind numbing but just because your schedule says Zone 2, in doesn't mean you have to just trudge away in the small chain ring watching the Coronation Street Omnibus.
As an example here is the 2 hour Endurance set that we did yesterday;
3 x 40 minutes as;
10 mins warm up
9 mins Single leg drill (1 min left, 1 min right, 1 min spin) x 3
4 mins 90 cadence
1 min spin
3 mins 100 cadence (choose gear to keep you in zone 2)
1 min spin
2 mins 110 cadence (as above)
4 mins spin
6 mins Alternate 1 min standing (big gear, low cadence) 1 min spin x 3
Repeat 2 times.
If you choose the right gearing you can do all of this at a sensible heart rate, the session has structure and time will fly by.
I am generally a big advocate of intensity training but if you do it properly & honestly then you simply cannot do it every time. especially if you have to add in Swimming, Running, Gym & Core into the mix and then go to work & deal with the rest of your life.
Happy Base Training everyone!!