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Old 04-10-14, 05:19 PM   #1
DaveLeeNC
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Mapping Trainer Time to Road Time

I'm a life-time 'on again, off again' endurance type guy. Been mostly a runner, but my (almost) Medicare aged knees don't like that anymore. In my past (which includes extended periods of inactivity) I have also done some (Cat IV level) road riding. For the past year I have been working (mostly) regularly on a spinner bike and my weight is now back to competitive levels (which was the point at the start and we are talking 40+ pounds here).

So I have decided to drag my mid-90's vintage Bianchi out of the attic and go back on the road with the immediate goal of riding a Century on (roughly) my 65th birthday (late fall). Wanted to run a marathon (last marathon was in the 80's), but those darn knees have other ideas - from what I can tell cycling does not create similar issues.

I re-instituted a workout log a couple months ago. I've been averaging roughly 6 hours/week on the spinner (typically spread over 5 days). And it is real work as over all these workouts (including short warm-up,cool down times) my average HR is 92% of my best estimate of my LT (estimated from the average HR in a 100% max 30 min TT - again on the spinner).

So this is probably 'more work' than you'd typically see in 6 hours per week of road cycling. And the question is just how much more? I guess it doesn't really matter, but I am a numbers guy so I am always curious about such things.

Thanks.

dave
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Old 04-10-14, 11:04 PM   #2
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For my rollers, I figure about .75 as much time as I'd put in on the road for the same fitness bump. Might be even less. Thus a similar effect from 1.5 hrs. on the rollers as a 2 hour road ride, similar program. Might even be 1.25 hrs. Divide by .75 and you won't be too far off.
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Old 04-11-14, 05:08 AM   #3
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Sounds reasonable - thanks.

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Old 04-13-14, 04:00 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by DaveLeeNC View Post
So this is probably 'more work' than you'd typically see in 6 hours per week of road cycling. And the question is just how much more? I guess it doesn't really matter, but I am a numbers guy so I am always curious about such things.
Sometimes I work harder on the trainer than I do on my road rides. Sometimes I work harder on my road rides than I do on the trainer. Sure volume of training is important and logging time captures that, but intensity is also key and there is no way logging duration will include intensity. If you want to log volume via time, the only sensible way is to log indoor and outdoor the same. If you want to keep track of the intensity of your workouts there are several ways to do that (both combined with volume and independently). I would recommend reading several articles on different ways to do that.
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Old 04-13-14, 04:18 PM   #5
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I've got training zone information recorded for the past several months. But back when I was 'really riding' my HRM was really only a HR display. So I don't have a feel for how much more zone 1/2 time (as in typical descents) I would accumulate (something which I pretty much don't encounter on a trainer other than warm-up/down or maybe the occasional rest after an exceptionally intense interval).

But like I said this was really curiosity while I get my bike back on the road where I will learn for myself.

Thanks for the comments.

dave
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Old 04-13-14, 07:23 PM   #6
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I'd say it really depends on how steady you are at keeping power applied while outside compared to inside.

Assuming you ride non-stop inside, and you probably aren't pedaling 10-20% of the time outside (just guessing), the .75 conversion earlier is probably close enough.

But one thing I've noticed (and it probably doesn't matter in training for a century) this year after a winter where I spent a lot more time than I wanted inside: the workouts are different, at least for me. I get a better pure aerobic workout inside where the lack of breaks means aerobic power generation is really developed. But there are also no power spikes, so my high-level anaerobic power seems to be really down. No, it doesn't just seem to be down - it IS down.

So while trainer time is better for my aerobic fitness, it doesn't do much for pure power.

And yes, I know it's possible to do z5 and z6 workouts on a trainer - I do it quite often. But there's no way to do the large power spikes on a trainer that can be done outdoors.
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Old 04-13-14, 08:21 PM   #7
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^Absolutely. Nothing develops anaerobic power like hill attacks. Today we (Stoker and I) were sitting in the middle of the line when something snapped in my head. I hollered, "Sorry children, we're going" and we were gone. No way to do that indoors.

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Old 04-14-14, 11:44 AM   #8
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This subject is another "recurring questions without any solid answers." The difficulty in producing an answer lies in the lack of attractive measuring method that covers the variety of what we do outside in real conditions and inside with different devices and approaches.
Rollers: large and small diameters. Magnets, fans, flywheels. Gearing, tires, treads, inflation pressures.
terrain: Steeps, rolling, flats; sun, rain, sleet and those jerks you want to beat.

If I do a 45 minute indoor workout at a AvgHR of 150bpm, there are many ways to replicate that outdoors. It may be that each outdoor course you choose would its own "My Basement Rig Workout Equivalent" that would vary by course... something like:

the hilly course around the East End requires an average speed of 14.2 mph to produce 45 minutes of 150 AHR.
the rolling course around the West End requires an average speed of 16.8 mph to produce 45 minutes of 150 AHR
the velodrome in the next town requires an average speed of 19.5 mph to product 45 minutes of 150 AHR.

Just thinking out loud here.
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