Training while still being able to ride outside

I have been training for a couple winter races that I have coming up and am just getting in better riding shape for the spring. I usually do my trainer rides early in the morning before work and on weekends I have my longer rides on the trainer.

This past weekend the weather was beautiful and there was no way I was riding my trainer inside and my wife and I went for some mountain bike rides instead. Is there a good way to integrate training with outdoor rides without overworking myself? I don’t have a lot of time left with this good weather in Colorado so it may not even matter, but those nice weekend days make it hard to want to sit on the trainer indoors.

Is it “okay” to skip those training rides on the weekends and do some hard XC mountain biking for a couple hours on weekends even though I am trying to stick to a fairly strict training schedule?

Any advice is helpful!

You set your own rules! If you are committed to training compliance, perhaps try and make your outdoor rides roughly consistent with the indoor ones you are substituting (duration, intensity, etc.). But the mental health benefits of the outdoors sure beat a pain cave.


@Muchmore302 Definitely go for it but be sure to be smart about balancing out fatigue. If you were supposed to ride Z2 endurance during the weekend but instead you were hitting threshold and above because you just felt great then back off coming into the next week to properly recover - some yoga, a Z1 video, etc.

If you have Nine Hammers schedule for the day or two after an intense outdoor ride you need to be honest with yourself whether it is the best fit or whether you should substitute for another session. Strava and Training Peaks have measurements for overall fatigue that are somewhat helpful. I also use a Heart Rate Variability app - but the best option is often your own gut check.


Try as best you can to do the rides requested. If you have an FTP/MAP ride on Saturday that’s what you should be doing. If it’s endurance, again, try to ride an endurance ride. Same with Sunday. If you ride HIIT, you might find that getting up on Monday morning becomes a hard walk to the next room. This may mean an extra day of recovery or two (and you might not want to even look at the bike, but it is really best if you do a recovery ride of some duration to keep the ‘juices flowing’.

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Thanks so much for all of your help and replies! It helped me focus on what to do a lot.

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