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GTN Presents: Why Is Indoor Cycling So Hard?

BY Susan Legacki

It turns out there are a number of reasons why riding indoors is harder than outdoors, and luckily there are a number of things you can do to alleviate the pain (Zwift anyone?).

As part of the partnership between the Global Triathlon Network (GTN) and TrainingPeaks, we’ll be bringing you twice-monthly episodes of the “Triathlon Training Explained” show, where hosts and former pro triathletes Mark Threlfall and Heather Fell answer your triathlon training questions with the help of TrainingPeaks software, coaches and industry experts from around the world.

When you move your bike on your indoor trainer for the season, it’s normal to feel a bit defeated. While indoor riding is incredibly efficient (not to mention much safer), it’s also mentally and physically more challenging.

There are many reasons while indoor riding is more challenging. It’s harder for you to keep cool, you’re riding in a fixed position for a long period of time, the lack of ability to coast, and most obviously— it’s just unbelievaby boring.

In the latest episode of Triathlon Training Explained, Mark Threlfall discusses some of the physiological reasons that indoor riding can be more challenging than outdoor riding, as well as highlights some ways to make things easier by adjusting your workouts, your Functional Threshold Power (FTP), your pedal stroke, and more.

Check out the full video below:

Triathletes in the know like GTN’s Mark Threlfall, Fraser Cartmell and Heather Fell use TrainingPeaks to help plan, track and analyze their training. Dial-in your triathlon training with a free 14-day Premium Trial today!  

About Susan Legacki

Susan Grant Legacki is the Content Director at TrainingPeaks. The founding editor of LAVA Magazine and a former editor at Triathlete Magazine and Inside Triathlon, Susan is an IRONMAN finisher, Boston Marathon qualifier, USAT Level 1 Triathlon Coach and certified Pilates instructor. When she’s not editing or writing copy about endurance sports, you can usually find her training for them around Boulder, Colo.