8 ways to keep training for long rides and stay active indoors
biking on long ride

The freedom to ride with the wind at your back is hands down one of the greatest feelings in the world. But even before Washington state’s “stay home, stay healthy” order, riders have found ways to train indoors for long rides ahead -- because of the weather, time, or their ability to travel. 

Many riders are still finding ways to bike outside and keep their distance. However, if you’re looking for ways to train for long rides like STP and RSVP or just to stay healthy while at home, here are some tips for you:


  1. Invest in the right equipment. There are numerous affordable options these days, from the standard stationary bike to app-based riding with Zwift, Sufferfest, and Peleton (all currently offering free trials), as well as fancy options such as the Wahoo Bike Fitness Desk for folks working from home. Bicycling.com has a great list of indoor cycling options for various riders’ needs, including the most freedom of movement.

  2. Don’t take the cheapest route and end up injured. That low-end roller may seem like a smart buy for your budget, but getting injured would not only strain our already taxed hospital system, but could cut short your ability to train all together. 

  3. Take advantage of the indoors for the workouts you don’t want to do outside on your bike. One leg drills. Pedaling drills. High and low cadence drills. Get your workout on and improve your agility, all from your living room. 

  4. Don’t forget to weight train. You’ll need to keep your strength up to fuel all of that pedaling power. Some of the most efficient muscle-building exercises involve kettlebell swings. The Seattle Kettlebell Club on Rainier Avenue has a YouTube channel with dozens of training videos, from total body workouts to leg strengthening. Kettlebells aren’t your thing? There are hundreds of bodyweight workouts available online, including some that are geared especially for bicyclists

  5. Use a power meter. If you need information on the effort you’re exerting, power meters are far more affordable than they once were and offer great insight into your pace and energy levels in real time. As John Sharples of Train Sharp Cycle Coaching told Cycling Weekly, “This gives riders huge pacing benefits as they will know the numbers they can ride at for a set distance and stick to them. This is without doubt the most efficient way to tackle long distances.”

  6. Stay hydrated. Hydration is the key to any workout -- and life, truly. Fill up your Cascade water bottle from the last STP, drop in extra hydration from our partners at nuun, and keep your core temperature down by drinking lots of fluids.

  7. Have fun! It’s only boring if you make it that way. Make a playlist to bike to via Spotify or Google Play Music. Give yourself a reward for every 45 minutes of training, like watching Stephen Colbert change his inner tube, or calling a riding buddy that you haven’t seen in a while. Listen to a podcast or watch Pedal the World on Netflix

  8. Don’t forget to stretch. And finally, once you’re off the bike or done with your weight training, don’t forget to take a moment to stretch out those muscles. Yoga with Adriene has a great YouTube video on yoga for cyclists, or if you just need a general cool down, Livestrong has some great stretches for indoor cyclists

Sara Kiesler's picture
Sara Kiesler