Bike - Long Ride Indoor Trainer Alternatives

If you are unable to get out on the road and complete your long ride then this guide will help you adapt your session for the turbo trainer.

Heart Rate based Trainer Sessions

 Description  HR Zone   Duration 
 Recovery  Z1  30-90mins 
 Aerobic Endurance (AE)  Z2  60+mins*

*you can reduce road ride time prescribed by 25% e.g.  a 2h20m can be anywhere between 1h45m-2h20m 

Power Meter based Trainer Session

If you have a power meter fitted to your bike and the workout description provides a detailed power based workout then complete this workout as prescribed on the trainer.

If the power based workout is a generic type ride and you use TrainerRoad you can select an equivalent TrainerRoad workout. 

TrainerRoad Alternatives

It is possible to substitute your long ride for a TrainerRoad workout but you must do so with a workout that has the same goal as your ride.  For those who do not have a power meter but use Virtual Power on TrainerRoad then these instructions should help you select an appropriate workout.

Coach Andy T Workouts
Within the Coach Andy T Team there are some workouts that I have written which are specifically designed for long ride replacements.  These are titled AE-70-xxx where xxx is the duration of the workout in minutes.  To access these from within TrainerRoad you need to go to "Workouts > Teams > Coach Andy T".  You can view these workouts here:

TrainerRoad Workouts
Using the table below select a TrainerRoad workout that is equivalent in time your long ride and meets the IF criteria (IF = Intensity Factor or just Intensity). 

 Description  IF - Ride  IF - Intervals  HR zones  Duration
 Recovery <0.55 max 0.60 Z1 30-90mins
 Aerobic Endurance (AE)  0.55-0.75 max 0.80* Z1-Z2 60+mins
* for more experienced athletes IF - Intervals can be raised to 0.85 (if you don't know if that applies to you ask!)

Example:  If you long ride is meant to be 2.5hrs - HR-Z2 then you will be looking for a 2.5hr TrainerRoad workout where the overall workout intensity is between 0.55 and 0.75 and maximum intensity of any of any intervals in the workout does not exceed 0.80.  The interval intensity is usually provided in the workout description.

Unfortunately the filters within TrainerRoad are not very good and it is not easy to see at a glance the intensity of the workout intervals.  To speed up this process please see the information below (if you find a workout that you think should be on the list then let me know).

Note: Erg mode
If you have the option of Erg mode then ensure you don't automatically default to always using this when on your trainer.  Learning to concentrate and control your effort is an important skill on the bike and erg mode can de-train this.  If you are doing a lot of your bike sessions on the trainer during a week then think about the goal of the session and determine what sessions would benefit most from being in erg mode.