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How much indoor training do pro triathletes do?

There's a lot to be said about the efficiency of indoor training

Photo by: Kevin Mackinnon

Many Canadian triathletes find themselves doing a lot of their training indoors through the winter – cold temperatures and other inclement weather conditions make it a triathlon-training necessity, and often, with our busy schedules, we’re forced to get on our bikes before the sun comes up or long after it has gone down. There’s a lot to be said for incorporating indoor workouts into your program throughout the rest of the year, though, even without taking weather and timing into consideration.

Weather and timing, though, aren’t the only reason you might want to spend more of your time indoors. Indoor training can be an extremely efficient way to train. On the bike it means you can focus on your ride without having to worry about traffic, and you certainly won’t find yourself coasting down any hills – you’ll be pedaling hard throughout the session. You can also carefully control all the variables to ensure you’re getting the most consistency out of our sessions. That’s why so many big-name pros seem have embraced using bike trainers and treadmills as a regular staple for their weekly training programs.

Related: Ironman Champions share their indoor training tips

We caught up with some of the pro triathletes who are partnered with Wahoo to find out how much of their weekly training is done indoors throughout the year.

Great Britain’s Tim Don enjoys a ride in the sun before Challenge Daytona in 2020. Photo: Kevin Mackinnon

Weather issues

“Year-round I ride my Wahoo Kickr about twice a week,” says Ironman champion Tim Don. “[I ride] more in the winter when the English weather is wet, cold, damp, grey, icy, frosty, misty [and] damp.”

“It varies by season,” continues Australian Ironman champion Sarah Crowley. “I do roughly 60 % indoor in winter and about 30 % in summer. There are some key sessions that we do on the trainer regardless of the weather.”

Related: 6 Tips to get the most out of your indoor riding sessions

All-out sessions

“I do a lot more indoor training in the winter months, and especially when we are up in Bend, Oregon for the winter, but I still use my Kickr for key VO2 sessions throughout the entire year,” says Heather Jackson. “These are the head down, all out sort of sessions that you want no distractions, no stoplights, no cars or other things interrupting the work. They are extremely hard and there’s no better place to do them than a controlled environment.

Olympian and top Ironman competitor Sarah True also find herself indoors all year round based on specific workouts.

“While I’ll spend tons of time in the ‘pain cave’ in the cold and snowy winter months, I do indoor training year-round,” the American says. “Even in the warmest, sunniest days, my coach will give me specific bike trainer and treadmill sessions to do.”