Should I get on my turbo or go outside? Which is better for me? Of course there’s a lot of personal preference and some triathletes hate getting on their turbo and only ever go outside which I totally get. On the other hand I have athletes that will only ride outside on a blue sky 20 degree kind of day. Which I also get!
But I think both are missing out on opportunities for effective training and to become a better athlete. Being flexible in your training and thinking definitely makes you stronger and more robust.
What is best for you very much depends on your experience and background as an athlete and a cyclist. It’s worth identifying where your strengths and weakness are as a cyclist and then figuring out what sessions will help.
If you’re a new cyclist and triathlete and have only been riding for a few years then you will probably benefit from more riding outside because it will help you to learn bike handling skills and confidence.
Having said that novice triathletes that I coach also benefit from doing their hard training sessions on the turbo. Because they don’t yet have the skills and confidence to do hard bike sessions outside.
On the flip side an experienced athlete who’s been riding all their life probably has good bike handling skills and experience. They might benefit from doing more riding on the turbo – because it’s hard and there’s no escaping the suffering. It will help their mental focus and toughness as well as their fitness.
This doesn’t mean that you need to do all your sessions on the turbo or go out on your bike in the snow. But rather to mix it up and maybe aim for two rides a month outside during the winter or two turbo sessions a month during the summer.
In the end everyone is different and what one athlete needs isn’t right for someone else. I think the key is to be flexible rather than rigid with your training. The thing that you don’t like doing is probably the thing that would be most beneficial to you.