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Indoor Cycling - Indoor Cycling Workouts That Will Keep You Fit, Fast and Sane

By Selene Yeager - from Bicycling Magazine

Most sun-loving cyclists treat indoor training like a necessary trip through purgatory to reach the promised land come spring. But indoor training can become more productive and entertaining if you infuse it with speed drills and the elements that make real rides enjoyable - friends, variety and plenty of stimulation, says elite-level coach Andy Applegate. "Done right, indoor training can not only deliver benefits that reach beyond outdoor riding, but it can also be fun," he says. Here's how to transform your ride from bland to grand.

High-cadence spin-ups

The Drill
Spin at 70 rpm in a low gear, increasing by 5 rpm each minute until you bounce in the saddle. Then back off to being stable again and hold for a minute. Drop your cadence 5 rpm each minute until you're back to 70 rpm.

The Benefit
Teaches you how to spin a small gear at a fast cadence, which spares your leg muscles so they stay fresher longer. Off-season is the perfect time to practice this, because you can convert the strength you build in the weight room to speed on the bike.

Pimp It Up
Slide a copy of Fox Racing's ChainSmoke II ($20, justpushplay.com) into the DVD player and spin like mad while off-road hotrods perform jaw-dropping stunts. The lightning-fast footage and raging soundtrack will amp up any speed session.
Speed play

The Drill
Controlled-chaos training. Perform random intervals, ranging from 10 seconds to several minutes in length.

The Benefit
Prepares your body for real-life cycling situations, like chasing breakaways and bridging gaps in races or hard rides.

Pimp It Up
Do them when your favorite college or NFL team plays. Choose sprint cues, like first downs and time outs, and sprint like crazy when they move the chains or take a break in the action.

Single-leg pedaling

The Drill
Rest 1 foot on a chair next to the trainer, and pedal with the other. Pedal smooth strokes, aiming for 90 rpm for 30 seconds, then switch legs. Increase the time up to 4 minutes as you improve.

The Benefit
Trains your neuromuscular system to eliminate dead spots in your pedal stroke, which improves pedal efficiency and makes you a smoother, faster bike rider with less effort.

Pimp It Up
Try these challenging drills while watching
A Sunday in Hell ($29; worldcycling.com), the classic DVD of 1976 Paris-Roubaix. Pretend you're riding buttery smooth over the cobbles as you work on perfecting your pedal stroke.

Low-intensity endurance sessions

The Drill
Spin for 1 to 2 hours at an easy to moderate effort.

The Benefit
Builds your aerobic engine--the foundation upon which all cycling performance is built. Do these on days you don't do intervals.

Pimp It Up
Start a "garage band." Meet with friends once a week for long trainer sessions. Each week a different "band member" brings the soundtrack. Keep the intensity conversational.

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Team Beachbody Coach Rich Dafter

Hi, I'm Rich Dafter - full time dad, life-long runner, Team Beachbody Coach and Polar Global Ambassador. By the Grace of God, I have been able to raise my kids working from home by helping people get healthier, fitter and have better quality of life as a full-time Team Beachbody Coach since 2007. more...

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