In our opinion, no. Rather, let's try to understand what the types of advantages of this training method are and what the most common mistakes to avoid are.
The 4 most common errors to avoid while you're on your cycling simulator
- Not knowing your own threshold power, at medium and long depths: without these parameters it is practically impossible to organise a good workout. You end up just turning your legs.
- Cycling on a smart trainer that is not very precise and that does not allow the set wattage to be maintained regardless of the number of pedals (constant power): the precision of the intensity of the exercise is fundamental for the quality of the session.
- Train in an environment that is too hot but above all without a fan: if it is too hot and there is no ventilation, the performance will be affected.
- Do not vary power and pedalling cadence: this is the most important point and it is worth analysing it in more detail.
Analysing a graph recorded with a power meter during a performance on the road, in fact, we can see how there are continuous variations in power and cadence that we could schematically divide into 4 areas and possible types of pedalling:
Area I - high force / high speed
Area II - high force/low speed
Area III - Low force/low speed
Area IV - Low force/high speed
Therefore, if we know our powers at the long, medium and threshold base, we can exercise them at different pedal rates to obtain significant improvements in performance.
3 advantages of power cadence variations
- Greater similarity with the type of engagement in the race
- Adaptation to changes in pace thanks to a greater stimulus that we can call neuromuscular
- Increased completeness of stimulation on slow, intermediate and rapid muscle fibres.
Cycling on an inaccurate cycling simulator that does not allow you to maintain the set wattage regardless of the number of pedals is an error to be made when training indoors.
However, when you begin the specific preparation of an event, you must refer to the type of effort that you will have to face. If, for example, you must do a time trial the exercises must include more stimuli at high power and low cadence, say between 60 and 90 rpm. If, on the other hand, the objective is a flat time trial or an Olympic or sprint triathlon, the focus should be on high cadence/high power.
In short, quality indoor cycle training can provide highly training stimuli as long as you know your data well and use it to build ad hoc sessions.