Should I do my hard sessions outdoors?

As daylight hours shorten and temperatures fall, Anna Marie Hughes assesses whether it’s really necessary to keep doing high-intensity sessions outdoors

(Daniel Gould)

Let’s admit it, riding outdoors is becoming progressively less appealing – while the turbo or smart-trainer becomes strangely alluring.  

Not wanting to be labelled ‘soft’ or a fair-weather rider, the logical move is to start hammering out your hard sessions indoors; you can hit your interval targets far more accurately and you won’t be interrupted by road furniture, inclement weather or inconsiderate drivers. In terms of training benefit, is it OK to bring your intervals indoors until spring, or should you carry on doing at least some of your hard riding out in the real world?

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Anna Marie Abram
Fitness Features Editor

I’ve been hooked on bikes ever since the age of 12 and my first lap of the Hillingdon Cycle Circuit in the bright yellow kit of the Hillingdon Slipstreamers. For a time, my cycling life centred around racing road and track. 

But that’s since broadened to include multiday two-wheeled, one-sleeping-bag adventures over whatever terrain I happen to meet - with a two-week bikepacking trip from Budapest into the mountains of Slovakia being just the latest.

I still enjoy lining up on a start line, though, racing the British Gravel Championships and finding myself on the podium at the enduro-style gravel event, Gritfest in 2022.

Height: 177cm

Weight: 60–63kg