Indoor Training Workouts That Improve Performance

Getting to the gym 2-3 times each week will go a long way towards injury prevention and ensuring you remain strong throughout your season.

As the weather gets colder, training outdoors for long hours becomes challenging. While you may be training indoors, that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice performance. There are multiple ways to improve performance over the winter. By following the workouts below, you’ll be better suited to achieve your goals this upcoming race season. 

Indoor workouts

When discussing indoor workouts, we generally associate this with less volume overall. While some athletes have the ability to stare at a wall for 3-5 hours, many do not. Lack of visual stimulus and changes in the environment often means you have 40-60 minutes before you get bored. Our recommended workouts are designed to be short, but provide performance benefits. Maximize this training by staying consistent throughout the week. The more you perform these sets, the better you’ll be when you finally return outdoors! 

Treadmill Running

Treadmill running is one of the best things you can do during the winter months.  While it may take a few days to adjust to running on the treadmill, the benefits you’ll see are well worth your time. Treadmill running provides ways to improve that outdoor running can not.  

Increased Frequency

You can increase your frequency of running when on a treadmill. Due to the “bounce” and softer platform, you don’t accumulate as much stress/impact on your legs. With less load bearing impact on your legs/joints, this is a great time for athletes to increase their running frequency. Start small with 20-30 minute runs, and aim for 5-6 runs/week. By doing this now, you will be ready to hit the pavement more often as the weather improves.  

Running Efficiency

Treadmills also provide the added benefit of increasing running efficiency. This is done in two ways. First, its difficult to run with a lot of side-to-side movement on a treadmill. Secondly, Once you set a pace on the treadmill, you generally need to increase foot speed to accommodate the pace. You can’t over-stride due to the machine in front of you, so your best option is to increase cadence. Heading into the summer with less side-to-side sway, and a faster turnover will lay the foundation for your best running times yet.

Sample Treadmill Workout

Cycling Workouts: Indoor Riding

Indoor cycling workouts are great for two reasons. First, cycling is a non-load bearing sport (no weight on the body). This allows athletes to train harder without requiring as much rest. Secondly, indoor workouts on the bike can focus on dedicated intervals without worrying about traffic or stop signs. You can target specific physiological adaptations, and focus on the workout vs the environment around you. Adding in threshold workouts on the bike will help improve your aerobic threshold, and not require as much recovery compared to running at the same intensities.

Cycling Threshold

As noted above, running at higher intensities requires more recovery. Therefore, this winter you should aim to mix in some cycling intensity to build your threshold. What we are aiming for on the bike is steady prolonged intervals at 80-95% effort. By doing workouts like this, you will enter the warmer months with the ability to hold harder efforts for longer durations. Below is popular threshold workout used by many cyclists and athletes while training indoors.

Sample Cycling Workout

Strength Training

Over the winter is a great time to strengthen your body and help balance any inefficiencies you may have. Getting to the gym 2-3 times each week will go a long way towards injury prevention and ensuring you remain strong throughout your season. Athletes should focus on starting slow at first to reduce the onset of DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). Start at 50% effort and build by 10% each week. Workouts should consist of 2-3 sets and 6-10 reps at 70-85% effort.   During these workouts, keep a focus on proper technique and range of motion.  The goal for these workouts is to increase strength and enhance your power throughout your range of motion. Control your movements and focus on targeting the appropriate muscles. Hiring a personal trainer is always a great idea!

Sample Strength Workout

Training Week

When combining all of the items above, you begin to lay the foundation for frequent training that will have you ready for your summer build. Treadmill running will help with your training frequency, running cadence, and running efficiency. Cycling will help with your aerobic threshold development. Strength Training will help you build specific strength and injury prevention. The only thing that is missing from this schedule is the athletes volume. Save that for when the weather warms up and you’ll see another jump in fitness as well. 

Sample Week

COROS EvoLab Software

While everything above can be done by effort and without a watch, the benefits compound when you begin to collect data. Every workout above would be trackable with a COROS GPS Watch. When you track your data (heart rate, pace, intensity), you begin to see trends in both fitness and fatigue. Items such as Base Fitness begin to take form so you can ensure you’re actually gaining fitness heading into your season. If you’re eager to track your data and curious to know more, spend some time getting to know the COROS Training Hub. The training hub is free of charge and designed to help you explore perfection!

Conclusion

While the winter can be dark and cold, there are plenty of options to improve your fitness. These workouts last 40-60 minutes and provide a massive benefit to athletes during this time. Whether you are focused on running efficiency, or building your threshold, these training concepts are sure to have you ready for your summer events. Download these workouts and start tracking data as you prepare for your best season yet!

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2 thoughts on “Indoor Training Workouts That Improve Performance

  1. Hello,

    With Treadmill running, you will still receive some metrics, but not all due to no GPS signal at that time. Training Load is still a feature though which is one of the most important. Keep track of your fatigue and fitness even while indoors. As for running intervals on the treadmill, you will need to manually change the pace as needed on your watch. Pause the workout, go to settings, and change pace, this could be used as part of your recovery period. We are working on some new items to incorporate workouts into indoor running, but those are still under consideration/development.

    Thanks,
    COROS Sports Science

  2. Hi, I have a couple of doubts about indor workout (treadmill)
    Runnig on treadill I will get metrics like Marathon level, 7 day fatigue trend, etc…..?
    And second how can i set 2 or more peaces on my treadmill workout? Before to start I have to config the peace but only one so this means that I cannot use interval workouts.

    By the way. Congratulation for your work on Vertix 2 🙂
    Thanks in advance,

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