Off-season and winter are almost synonymous. During that time, weather, holidays, travels, etc. necessitate performing workouts inside at gyms, hotel fitness areas, or in our own homes on treadmills and/or indoor bike/trainer. Some athletes don't like to train indoors because of a lack of interest, a tendency to get bored, or a belief that indoor training gains will be less than training outdoors. All of these factors can cause athletes to skip workouts or to postpone the beginning of pre-season to avoid the indoor season.
It is possible to obtain maximum benefits of indoor training if we switch the way we think about and identify goals for our indoor workouts:
Creation of an aerobic base
Correction/modification of technique
Increase flexibility and elasticity
Increase strength and power
Creation of an aerobic base. Training on the treadmill/indoor bike/trainer allows greater control of some training variables as heart rate, power, cadence, pace. This enables us to spend more time in aerobic zones and to perform progressive aerobic muscular endurance workouts. Examples include 4 x 6 min (4% elevation) on the treadmill or a 60 rpm-high resistance indoor bike/trainer both at heart rate zone 3. These workouts are not easy to perform outdoors because of traffic, short/lack of hills, etc. Progressive aerobic muscular endurance workouts, as directed by certified coaches, can yield tremendous benefits in 4-6 weeks.
Correction/modification of technique. After a run video analysis or a bike fit, we can correct bad/deficient technique, it is important to know that in order to overcome inefficient/ineffective movements we should perform the correct/new movement more than 700 times for it to be ingrained. Indoor training allows us to double-check the way we perform a technique/movement and the low speed of the workouts during this time increases the opportunity to check the technique of our movements.
Increase flexibility and elasticity. Sometimes we don't give enough value to elasticity and flexibility because we think they don't impact speed, endurance or power. But they give muscles, tendons and ligaments the capacity to move better, increasing the range of motion of joints and providing better resistance to injuries. These capacities could be improved by spending just 10-15 min after every workout stretching muscles, tendons and ligaments. Follow a series of prescribed stretching routines or do a short yoga session.
Increase strength and power. The best period to begin a progressive strength and power plan is off-season/preseason because we can devote more time per session and more sessions per week. It also fits very well with the aerobic base plan. The strength and power we gain during this time will help us in-season to be more efficient running, cycling and swimming. Later in season we will transition to a maintenance strength plan because we will increase the number of anaerobic running/cycling/swimming sessions.
Today is the first day of the year, we begin it with 2019´s goals and objectives. Include a new mindset about indoor training that will result in better 2019 season!
Have an excellent 2019!!!!