I use my inside trainer time to target my workouts more than I would if I were riding outside (although now that I have got an Edge 305 for Christmas I will likely be trying to do more disciplined workouts on outside rides when the weather and daylight turns nicer).
What I try to do each week is this...
Sunday - Recovery/Leisure ride (outside if possible) for about one hour
Monday - Hill climb course on trainer (35-45 min depending on course) trying to keep my heartate in my roughly defined HR zone 3 or zone 4. I usually race my prior best time
Tuesday - Recovery pace (zone 2) for 40-45 minutes
Wednesday - rest
Thursday - Sprint Intervals, Hill Intervals or TT test. The idea is to keep hold zone 4 or zone 5 HR for periods of time and then recover, rinse, repeat. On the sprint intervals where I try to hold zone 5 for one minute I usually feel sick to my stomach when I finish
Friday - Recovery pace for 40-45 minutes or rest day (depending on how much sleep I've been getting and how tired I feel).
Saturday - long ride. 2 hour minimum. Most rides in the 2-3.5 hour range and between 35 and 50 miles (although I'll throw in longer rides if I have time). I do these on the trainer if weather is bad (those are usually closer to the 2 hour mark than the 3 hour mark
). I guess this would be considered a tempo ride? Not sure on the terminology. But I try to stay in zone 3 and some zone 4 and out of zone 5 as much as possible on the hills. This usually means moving along at a pretty good clip (for me) on the flats & rollers and pacing myself up the hills.
My trainer, via the computer, automatically adjusts tension for the grade. But you can accomplish the same thing on a standard trainer or rollers by using your gears. It jus may not be quite as fun
My weekday workouts are all at 5 AM and are limited to under an hour as I have to take my daughter to school an then go to work. That's why those are in the 30-45 min range. I try to use that time as well as possible. I may miss a day here or there. I try to get 5 days on the bike, but often end up with an extra rest day
. I have had to watch the amount of sleep I get. If I go more than a couple nights with less than 7 hours I start to feel it.
What the trainer has done for me this winter is added a lot of consistency to my training. I really have come to enjoy it. When it gets light enough I am going to try to adapt this consistency out on the road as well. But it seems easier for me to get distracted and go too fast or too slow out on the road depending on the external stimuli (chasing another cyclist, enjoying the scenery etc
Wow...I've used my words up for the day...