Training outside vs inside: the pros and cons of the annual debate

In her former life as a pro cyclist, Emma Silversides avoided indoor training like the plague, but she concedes that, for those balancing a day job and family commitments the turbo trainer is often the most effective tool

Training indoors vs out
Emma training in Mallorca with team mates with Emma Johansson up front, vs on the turbo when she broke her collarbone
(Image credit: Emma Silversides)

I frequently interact with a fellow cyclist on social media; I post a photo of where I’ve been on the road bike and Dave, a keen road racer, guesses where it is. I rarely catch him out; his knowledge is enviable. Recently, he turned the tables; he posted a photo and asked me to guess where he’d ridden. I shocked myself with the rote response, ‘the road to Castell de Castells’ [near Denia/Calpe]; it’s been over 10 years since I rode there. 

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Emma’s first encounters with a bike were in between swimming and running. Soon after competing for GB in the World Age Group Triathlon Championships in Edmonton in 2001 she saw the light and decided to focus on cycling. 

With a couple of half decent UK road seasons under her belt, she went out to Belgium to sample the racing there, spending two years with Lotto-Belisol Ladies team, racing alongside the likes of Sara Carrigan, Grace Verbeke, Rochelle Gilmore and Lizzie Deignan. Emma moved from Lotto-Belisol to Dutch team Redsun, working primarily as a domestique for Emma Johansson. When Redsun folded, Emma was offered the opportunity to ride with a newly formed Belgian team and home to the first year senior and budding rider Anna Van Der Breggen.

After retiring, Emma returned to teaching, setting up her own tutoring business. When not coercing kids to do maths, she is invariably out on two wheels. While the road bike remains her true passion, she has also developed an addiction to touring, with destinations including Iceland, Georgia and Albania, to mention just a few. There have also been sightings of Emma off-road, on mountain and gravel bikes… As if all of this isn't enough, she's been working as a freelancer since 2005, testing and reviewing the latest kit and sharing her insight into the sport.