Second year rider here with modest goals. Lose weight (currently 245) and increase speed (currently 13-14 on relatively flat rolling terrain).
I have been building base for 2 months now, riding when I can and in a gym when too cold. Keeping hr between 130-150 for 60-90 mins, 4 times per week. Riding between 75 mins and 3 hours now that it is warmer (in NC).
Question is, I have been told that when I switch from base to intervals (very soon), I MUST do the intervals on the bike.
Why? For that kind of measurable effort, I prefer the controlled environment of the gym. (Elliptical, stationary bike or stair stepper)
Any suggestions on how to succeed at intervals on the bike would be greatly appreciated. I have tried it once or twice and really did not enjoy it. I love riding, but structured training seems like no fun at all on a bike.
1. Interval training is aimed squarely at the cardiovacular system, ie oxygen transportation, the heart. So it is feasible to do it some other way because you are primarily stressing the heart to develop it.
2. Having said that, you will benefit more from doing them on the bike, because the muscle groups that are used for cycling will also develop.
As your fitness increases, endurance training will have to take over most of your training time.
Intervals would have to be exercise specific to benefit any particular exercise. Doing intervals whilst swimming, running or stair climbing would help your conditioning but they would not give you the maximum possible benefit.
That being said, doing intervals on a good facsimile of a bike like a spinning bike or a bike using a resistance unit should be very close to what you want. If you are more comfortable going all out when you are not on the road, you will probably do better sort of simulating the bike that way. I probably will not be quite as good as exercising to the same intensity on a bike. But if you feel more comfortable on your simulation and exercise more intensely, you might get a better result.
Wilier Zero 7; Merlin Extralight; Co-Motion Robusta; Schwinn Paramount; Motobecane Phantom Cross; Cervelo P2; Motebecane Ti Fly 29er
Intervals on any of the equipment you've listed will help you get in better shape. Intervals on a stationary bike that fits you close to the same way your road bike fits you will also make you a faster cyclist. Nothing is going to replace riding your bike in terms of making you faster riding your bike, but a decent stationary bike is a reasonable substitute, particularly if not all of your interval work outs are on it.