A few months after I first got into running, I decided to run a 10K.  Now, I only had one friend who ran regularly and hadn’t discovered the wonderful world of blogs, so I didn’t have many resources on training.  I just winged it, slowly increasing my mileage bit by bit until race day.  One of the things that I didn’t really consider was whether I could train entirely indoors on a treadmill.  I didn’t realize how much of mileage I had ran indoors until race day.

Running up that first hill was a rude awakening.  I remember thinking, “Hmmm…. maybe I should’ve actually ran outside every now and then!”  And then I paused to place my hands on my knees and dry heave.


There are many advantages to running indoors, of course.  You can run indoors any time of day, it’s a great alternative during the peak of winter or summer, and, in some neighborhoods, running outside just isn’t feasible or safe.  However, there are a few disadvantages to treadmill running, at least when it comes to training for a race:


  • Unless you constantly adjust the incline, running on a treadmill fails to properly simulate the ups and downs of natural terrain.  Running on a flat surface is much easier!
  • The treadmill propels you forward very slightly.  This is why most of us feel that treadmill running is easier.
  • The treadmill inherently paces you.  This means that you may have trouble self-pacing during a race and end up coming out too fast (or too slow).
  • The treadmill has much more ‘give’ than the sidewalk; this means your body isn’t as prepare for the pounding of the sidewalk or the road.  I find that running on a treadmill results in less soreness in my legs, knees, and hips.  If you are 100% treadmill-based and want to switch to outdoor running, running experts will recommend you transition slowly over several weeks (not cold turkey) so you don’t hurt your muscles, bones, or joints.
  • You may get used to running indoors and find outdoor running to be a bit disheartening due to issues above.  This is not something you want to experience for the first time on race day!


Can you train for a road race indoors?  I think you can… to a point.  Clearly, it’s better if you can do some of your runs outdoors, too.


Anyway, I found myself pondering this very issue because I’ve been thinking a lot about cycling.  I am eyeing an end-of-August sprint triathlon and know that I can handle the swim and the run (if I walk/run, which I’m fine with doing – I’m not going to break any personal records right now; I just want to get back out there before the season is over).  But I’m a bit concerned about the bike, mostly because I’ve spent the last three weeks swimming or running but not biking… not even once.


Biking is definitely my weakest triathlon sport – it’s also my least favorite (funny how that works out).  I am painfully slow on the bike because I never train hard enough.  God only knows how slow I’ll be this time around!  One of my issues with cycling is that my part of Charlotte is not very conducive to riding.  I am not a huge fan of riding in traffic; you can’t safely ride a road bike on the sidewalk (tires are too tiny and I always pop ‘em); and I’m not typically willing to pop my bike in the car and drive somewhere to train.  The other issue, of course, is that cycling is inherently time consuming, and I’m not exactly dying to be away from the baby for hours on end just to ride my bike.


So, I’ve been wondering – can I train for the bike entirely indoors?

I have an indoor trainer that I love.  I can adjust the resistance by changing gears, which will help simulate riding on hills.  Riding indoors certainly won’t help me practice shift gears, balancing, or passing other cyclists.  But time on the bike is time on the bike, and riding indoors is certainly better than nothing.  Right?


Plus… an indoor trainer means I get to ride while watching the Olympics!

As a side note, of course there are also issues with training for a swim entirely in a pool!  It definitely helps if you can get into a lake or bay before the big day.  But I think that’s more of a psychological issue than a physical one.


I’d love to hear your thoughts on training indoors… whether for running, swimming, or biking. Have you ever trained for a race entirely indoors?  How did race day go?



  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat July 30, 2012, 3:25 pm

    I’ve never really done any races apart from running ones, and I’ve trained for several completely indoors – well almost completely. I don’t really have a problem with running on a treadmill for long periods of time, and I know a lot of people loathe it. I totally agree with all your pros and cons of treadmill vs pavement, especially the fact that treadmills are nicer on the joints than concrete. For the bike thing, (and I’m certainly no expert), I think you could definitely build your endurance, cardio strength and stamina, but a bike that isn’t on a road probably wouldn’t challenge your upper body and core as much as riding outdoors, don’t you think? That’s just my assumption from my experience teaching spin classes, but you’re far more of an expert when it comes to riding real outdoor bikes than I am! I’m excited to check back and read the other comments!

  • Laura July 30, 2012, 3:26 pm

    If your goal is to just finish the race and feel proud of yourself, I think it’d be fine to do the bike entirely indoors. And if it’s a sprint, I’m guessing the mileage is around 12-15 miles-which most fit people could do straight away without training. Maybe just do one outdoor ride a week or so before the even to get back into switching gears and clipping/unclipping…

    • HTPDad July 30, 2012, 3:30 pm

      really good idea!

      • Caitlin July 30, 2012, 3:48 pm

        EXCELLENT idea

  • Lisa July 30, 2012, 3:27 pm

    Good topic! In my experience, outdoor workouts are much better. They are harder, too. Running on a treadmill is easier and when I head outside, I can tell the difference immediately. Not just the terrain, but also how my muscles work and are effected.

    With cycling I kind of think cycling outside is almost easier…When I bike outside, I can always coast but you can’t really do that on a bike trainer or spin class!

  • Rachel O. July 30, 2012, 3:29 pm

    i’ve never trained entirely for a race indoors, but i distinctly remember when i first started running in college – treadmill only. i was up to 3 miles at a decent pace. came home for thanksgiving (treadmill-less) and went for a run outside…ouch! my knees were so sore for 2 days! but then i discovered my real love for running.

  • Lindsay July 30, 2012, 3:29 pm

    I think training indoors on either treadmill or trainer is difficult when it’s your first race in that discipline. As a runner – you know now how hard it can be to run up a hill for the seventh time during a race. You also know how to handle your stride coming down each hill so you do not injure yourself on the descent. Same goes for cycling. There isn’t anything on most trainers that can mimic having to get up out of the saddle on climbs, or wind resistance, but it is a great tool to just spend time in the saddle when weather and life doesn’t cooperate.

    Perhaps the compromise is to get one of either activity in each week? Maybe long run outside one week, then a long bike the following? Whatever time and Henry allows for. 🙂

    I think you are a seasoned athlete, and if you up your incline and resistance respectively, you’ll have great success in all swim bike run endeavors!

  • Kelly July 30, 2012, 3:29 pm

    I don’t have an indoor bike trainer so I can’t speak from personal experience, but I honestly think this will be fine for a Sprint Triathlon. How long is the bike portion? My guess is if you absolutely HAD TO you could probably bust the 10-13 miles whatever it is out right now if you had to without training at all, particularly since you are very well trained for the swimming part of it and don’t mind walk/running for the run at the end. I think training inside is definitely better than nothing 🙂
    Also, I totally agree with you… biking = least favorite tri sport!

  • Annette@FitnessPerks July 30, 2012, 3:30 pm

    GREAT topic! Cycling is my weakest triathlon sport as well, and with my upcoming Half Ironman, I only have a few training rides OUTside. I do a lot of spinning, and cycling at the gym (changing gears throughout, and actually doing HARD core inside), so we shall see.

    But I do believe that it HELPS. I don’t think it’s wise to ONLY train indoors, but I think you’ll be fine if you do most of it indoors & do a few training rides outdoors before the race. Maybe even just 1 or 2–esp since you have a nice base, are athletic and have done a race before. Just a thought 🙂

  • Stellina @ My Yogurt Addiction July 30, 2012, 3:36 pm

    I am currently training for my first half marathon and so far have ran entirely on the treadmill. I have thought about this topic so much and keep telling myself that I HAVE to get outside at least at some point. I like running on the treadmill a lot because I am able to adjust how fast/slow I go by simply hitting a button, and I am also able to see my form in the mirror. I know I need to get outside soon because as I am nearing 7 miles on my run/walk training plan and the treadmill time caps off at 60 min. It’s not as fun when I have to re-set the treadmill to get in the extra miles! Like you though, I say time running is time running wherever it’s done!

    • Norcal January 8, 2013, 2:22 pm

      Good luck this weekend. I’m sure all of your hard work and detiiadcon will pay off. Have you considered a last minute visit to your chiropractor? If you are experiencing any neck discomfort, your headaches might be due to a slight misallignment in your neck. Your chiro can get you back in line, and hopefully take care of those annoying headaches. Not sure how you feel about going so close to race day but just a thought.

  • Carly July 30, 2012, 3:39 pm

    I trained for my first ever 5k almost entirely on the treadmill. However, I was also playing rugby at the time, so I probably got a fair amount of running fitness from outdoor practices and just didn’t equate practice with running.

    After I trashed my ACL (at rugby practice, not running), and post-surgery I have found that my knee HATES the treadmill now. It’s weird, I can go out and do 14 miles without a peep from my knee, but more than 5 miles on a treadmill and my knee is screaming for the rest of the day. Must be something with the belt movement.

  • Abby July 30, 2012, 3:43 pm

    My university has an indoor track that I run on most of the year. Here in Texas, in the summer it’s still over 90 degrees at nine p.m. and I’m not willing to run in the dark. During the winter, it is bitterly cold (like, 10 degrees outside cold) and more often than not the wind is outrageous. There are a few months in between seasons that are good for running outside, but I find myself mainly sticking to the indoor track. I figure it’s a nice cross between a treadmill and outdoors.
    I am moving to Houston next month and am looking forward to being able to run outside for a better part of the year. I’ll still have heat issues in the summer obviously, but their winters are much milder.

  • Margaret July 30, 2012, 3:45 pm

    Yup, I train exclusively on a treadmill. The only outdoors running I do is for races. I’ve only been seriously running for just under a year now, so I still have issues with pacing. I’ve now completed 2 1/2 marathons (3rd is in September) and countless 5K’s and 10K’s. I generally run @ 9:30 pace on a treadmill and run much faster outside for racing (25 min 5k, 52 min 10k, 2:04 1/2 marathon). It seems to work for me! Plus, I’m just too much of a sissy to run outside 🙂 I like the comforts of being at home!

    • Caitlin July 30, 2012, 3:48 pm

      You’re a beast! I can’t imagine doing double digit runs indoors!!!

  • Sam @ Better With Sprinkles July 30, 2012, 3:48 pm

    I know when it comes to running, training for a race 100% indoors is probably not the greatest idea. I find I can run 4-5 miles on a treadmill no problem, but when running outside I have to really push myself to get past 3 miles. The treadmill is definitely an awesome tool, but it can’t completely recreate the feel of terrain.

    • Sunny July 30, 2012, 4:10 pm

      I find the opposite of this to be true. I cannot run on the treadmill at all. I’m bored at a mile, that darn clock kills me. Its so interesting to see everyone elses points of view!

  • Mel July 30, 2012, 3:50 pm

    “you can’t safely ride a road bike on the sidewalk (tires are too tiny)”

    Also because riding your bike on the sidewalk (with any kind of tiresl) is much, MUCH less safe than riding in the road since cars are not expecting you there. You are also encountering many more “intersections” every time you pass an alley or a driveway. Mile for mile, you will be safer on the road.



    Besides being unsafe, riding your bike on the sidewalk is also illegal in a lot of places. Another great reason not to do it. So don’t do it!

    • Caitlin July 30, 2012, 3:51 pm

      True that!!!

      • Mel August 1, 2012, 9:01 am

        Sorry for the soapbox. Bicycle safety is my (super dorky) passion. I don’t just lecture strangers on the internet. I also lecture strangers in public.

  • Victoria (District Chocoholic) July 30, 2012, 3:58 pm

    Ask Andy Potts:

    Indoor riding seems to have worked well for him. It’s more efficient from a training perspective because you don’t need to slow down for roads, just make sure you have a power meter or heart rate monitor to measure your effort and keep you honest. You do still need to get outside every so often to make sure you maintain your road handling skills, but the bulk of your work can be indoors.

  • Brandi@StringCheeseRunner July 30, 2012, 4:02 pm

    I wish I even remotely liked running on the treadmill, but it just doesn’t happen for me. I hate every second of it and would much rather train outdoors for anything that I do.

  • Gillian Forsyth July 30, 2012, 4:07 pm

    Yes! Just do as you say change the resistance so that you can mimic hills. You can also prop your front wheel up with a phone book. I trained for an early spring ironman and living in chicago I did most of my long rides indoors :). You can also do some intervals as well.


    • Amanda July 31, 2012, 8:59 am

      +1 on the intervals comment. That is THE way to get faster on the bike, especially if you don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to riding.

      Keep a timer/watch on you and once you’re warm and feeling loose, go as hard as you can for 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds (easy spin). Do that 10 times.

      Good luck with your training. You’ll be fine for the sprint because it’s a really short distance, but for longer races, definitely try to get outside.

  • Megan R July 30, 2012, 4:10 pm

    I’m just starting to run and am doing it on a treadmill because it’s WAY too hot out and my area is not conducive to outdoor running. I’ve signed up for my first 5k in Atlanta (which is different terrain/temp/scenery than Boston- where I live). The training outdoors thing is one that has been on my mind. I’m hoping to be running outdoors by September to prep for Thanksgiving.

    Thanks for the post! It hammers in what I need to do..

  • Ann July 30, 2012, 4:10 pm

    Cycling is actually my favorite sport and I’ve spent some years racing road bicycles.If the course is not technical (i.e. no sharp corners or steep descents), you can train for the race indoors, just make sure to do interval training as well as simulate time trialing. Good luck! Once you find a great ride to do outdoors and have a friend that rides too, I bet you’ll like it a lot more!

  • Army Amy* July 30, 2012, 4:12 pm

    You forgot one thing, running outside is more fun than running outside! I can only go a few miles on a treadmill, but I could go much farther outside. I am not sure if the same is true of the bike, but I say, do what is best for you. Henry is little and you don’t want to be away. Stay inside. Your goals aren’t too intense for this race, and you can get more outside time as time goes on and your goals change.*

  • Krista July 30, 2012, 4:14 pm

    I’ve always heard people say TM running is easier than outdoor running, but I’ve always found the opposite to be true. I think it’s because outdoors I’m taking in the hot air and all the surroundings and end up faster. Whereas on the TM I get bored so fast.

  • Rae July 30, 2012, 4:21 pm

    I’ve trained for 2 Ironmans riding 95% indoors (yes, including 6 hour rides!) Yesterday, a cyclist and friend was killed after being hit by a car (the 3rd this year) and I have personally gotten hit, so I dont feel very safe riding in open roads. Aside from somewhat weaker bike handling skills (ill admit it!) I averaged 17.5 mph over 112 miles of biking= hit my goal!

    • Diane July 30, 2012, 4:39 pm

      Such sad news. I’m very sorry to hear about your friend. -a fellow cyclist

  • Linsey July 30, 2012, 4:40 pm

    I definitely agree with you in regards to training for either the running portion of a tri or just a road race in general- you are best prepared if you can get outside frequently. However, for cycling you can definitely train indoors, especially for a sprint tri, and be well prepared as you can do all sorts of intervals, make changes in resistance to simulate hills, etc. I road my bike indoors several times a week for the entire winter and only got outside for the first time for a 40 miler and it was a piece of cake. I expected it to be hard but the only thing that was difficult was clipping in and out at stop signs/traffic lights! Otherwise, I was well prepared from biking on the trainer and going to spin classes. Good luck with training! Your first race as a new Mom will be so exciting and rewarding!

  • Kim July 30, 2012, 4:42 pm

    How does the bike trainer compare to a spinning bike? Does the bike trainer allow you to climb hills out of the saddle?

    • CaitlinHTP July 30, 2012, 4:44 pm

      A bit but its kind of shaky.

  • Nicole July 30, 2012, 4:49 pm

    I think training outdoors for cycling is critical, but you’re not looking to PR for this race. Your time with Henry is most important right now, so indoor training might be a really good option for you at this point. Once he’s a little older, you’ll feel better about heading out for an hour or two to get some miles in.

  • Courtney Leigh July 30, 2012, 4:54 pm

    This season I spent far more time in spin class than I did on the road and I just put in my fastest bike leg ever this weekend – which was still ridiculously slow, but hey Improvement! If you train indoors and get an outside ride in once a week, or even every other week, you’re going to do fine.

    I also hate the bike. I keep telling myself it’s just because I still have a heavier hybrid and when I get a fancy, light road bike I’ll be SOOO much faster I’ll love it. Hahahaha!!! The lies we tell ourselves…

  • Melissa July 30, 2012, 5:12 pm

    I have always subscribed to the philosophy that you should train in the conditions you are going to play/run/swim/bike in. However with swimming that is not always possible and biking can be tough with a little one. I got a Burley for my daughter once she was older (two-ish) which makes hills seem easier when you are pulling them alone, but it is nerve-racking. That being said I would love to know more about your trainer-I am thinking about getting one for the winter since we are moving to an area that has no spinning classes or gyms anywhere close. I know you said you are watching the olympics right now, but ordinarily how do you ride? Do you listen to music and do speed tracks and hills; can you do that with a trainer?

  • BroccoliHut July 30, 2012, 5:15 pm

    I once trained for a 10K (as part of a marathon relay) entirely indoors. It was a February race, so I wasn’t particularly excited about spending time outside in chilly temps, so I just stuck with the treadmill. Race day went surprisingly well–I even set a PR! However, I think I lucked out with a flat course and a sunny day 🙂 I think it’s always a good idea to mix up training with both indoor and outdoor workouts.

  • Nina July 30, 2012, 5:21 pm

    Watching the Olympics on the bike trainer sounds like heaven right now.

  • Bridget July 30, 2012, 5:22 pm

    I ran a marathon after running only my long runs outdoors. All my other training runs were done inside. It seemed to be fine because once a week I could simulate race day things while the other days I could bask in air conditioning and cushioned landing.

  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats July 30, 2012, 5:30 pm

    I’ve never trained only indoors, but when I was training for my first half marathon it was snowy and icy so i did my first 10, 11 and 12 mile run indoors. When I headed outdoors my long runs were so much harder and it was disheartening! I was also very over-trained and burnt out, but I could tell that not training outdoors made a big difference.

  • Liz @ Tip Top Shape July 30, 2012, 5:46 pm

    I remember running outside for the first time after only doing treadmills. It was a rude awakening!

  • Susan July 30, 2012, 6:41 pm

    Your website is not viewing properly since late last week on my desktop PC. I looks fine on my iPhone, but the spacing is all messed up when I login from my desktop. Is it just me?

    • Caitlin July 30, 2012, 6:46 pm

      It’s internet explorer – I’m working to resolve it. So sorry!

  • Amanda July 30, 2012, 7:32 pm

    I trained indoors for a road race, when I finally got outside it was a RUDE awakening! It was awful. Now I run mostly outside, with exception of bad weather.

  • Beth @ 990 Square July 30, 2012, 9:02 pm

    I train a lot of a TM (generally 2 runs a week inside, two outside). It’s actually good for me, because I live in an inner city and there just aren’t good places to run outside. I spend my weekends in a more rural place or I drive to a trail, so it works out.

  • Carolyn July 30, 2012, 9:26 pm

    I trained for my first 6 half marathons by doing runs only on a treadmill. The only time I would run outside was during a race. I have also trained for 1 duathlon inside, and had no trouble finishing the race. Although I rarely train indoors anymore, I feel like I had a lot of success doing so. I just prefer to get outside now.

  • Natalie M. July 30, 2012, 9:32 pm

    Hi Caitlin,

    I read all of your posts via RSS and I just felt the need to respond to your question today!

    I just want to say that you can train for a running race entirely indoors. I trained for a half marathon and when it came to race day I beat my goal time. I live in Canada and I started my training for a half marathon in December. There are people that run outdoors in the snow, but I’m a bit of a wimp. So, everyday I got on the treadmill, turned the tv on, changed my incline and speed on a regular basis and just ran. I loved it. I could probably count on both hands how many times I ran outdoors for that race and I trained for 3.5 months.

    Now I’m training for a marathon, but completely outdoors. I took one training run on the treadmill last week and almost died of boredom!

    Like you said, the key is changing the incline and speed.

  • Katie H. July 30, 2012, 9:58 pm

    Here’s my understanding of treadmill vs. road running:

    When you run on a sidewalk, you’re propelling yourself forward. The treadmill, however, is moving ground, so you’re essentially stopping yourself.

    Although the benefits/outcomes are very similar, the differences in form (whether intentional or not), and the innate difference in the two movements, use different muscles.

    I don’t know how much of that is true, and how much I made up in my head. But it makes sense to me. I know that my legs are sore in different places after I run on a treadmill, even though I may run the same distance at the same pace outdoors.

  • Calla July 30, 2012, 10:00 pm

    This is such a well-timed post for me! I’m a new runner and have learned on a treadmill, and my attempt at transitioning to outdoors has been awful. I hate to sound so negative about it but the ground is much, much harder, there are things to look out for (traffic! pedestrians! low-hanging branches!), and I miss knowing my speed and time frame (and I know there are gadgets for this but I also don’t like to carry things with me or strap things to me while I’m running). I semi-promised my mother-in-law that I’d train to run a half-marathon with her and my sister-in-law and now I’m terrified that I’ll never be able to do it because of how hard I’m finding outdoor running. I’ve gotten almost to 8k on the treadmill, but find 5k outdoors really, really difficult (like, it requires breaks and makes me feel like the world is watching me fail, which isn’t a problem in the small gym in my building). I know the pacing thing mentioned in the post is an issue, too.

    ANYWAY. Sorry for the rant. I would deeply appreciate any tips people have on how to make this adjustment or anecdotes on how they’ve done it themselves.

  • Lauren July 30, 2012, 11:19 pm

    I trained for a century ride completely on a bike trainer in my living room last year. The century was in the spring after a pretty harsh winter so I couldn’t (ok, more like didn’t want to!) ride in the freezing cold snow. I ended up finishing in just under 6 hours so I guess all those hours on the trainer paid off!

  • Melissa July 30, 2012, 11:32 pm

    I trained for my first half marathon completely on a treadmill! In my “defense” I started that training cycle in November for a February race and was working crazy hours so it was really my safest option at the time (I did not have running buddies, did not know how much I enjoyed colder weather running, etc). I remember a couple of hills in that race that looking back on, were not that big of a deal but I paced myself well and believe it or not it was NOT my PW time…it was actually a pretty great race!

  • Irina @ Chocolatea Time July 30, 2012, 11:33 pm

    I’ve never trained indoors but it sounds grueling to me! I actually find the treadmill to be more difficult/challenging physically (and mentally) for some odd reason. Surely I’m not the only one?!?

  • Corrie Anne July 31, 2012, 12:01 am

    I trained about 95% on a treadmill for a 10-miler, and it was perfectly fine. I know the treadmill cheats a little by helping you with pacing, but if you can discipline your mind – haha – that can also be helpful in pushing yourself.

    And it’s worth it to watch Olympics!!!

  • suzie July 31, 2012, 11:50 am

    what a wonderful thread..

    for almost a year after I got back into running seriously, i only did it on the treadmill. and hard and fast, increasing my speed each time. I ran outside ONCE prior to my first half. I was also doing long runs on the treadmill..10, 15, 20 milers. I loved it. I got to watch tv and keep track of my pace! I also did a 1% incline to mimic outdoors. race came and it SUCKED. I hit a huge wall at mile 7 even though I was going slower then in my training runs on the treadmill. I ended up finishing my first half at a time slower then my training runs. I thought it was bc I started out too fast and it was just a fluke. I mean I could bang out 13 miles like nothing on the treadmill but at the race I was dying! start out slower i told myself… next half i tried to slow down at the beginning, still hit a wall, wanted to die and ended up finishing slower then in my first half.

    the next week after that race I decided to start running outside. for the past 2 and a half months I train 2-3 times a week outside and 1-2 times on the treadmill for speed work. I find I am slower outside. my easy pace on the treadmill is just sustainable when i do 7 miles outside. could also be because ive been training in extreme heat the past couple months but I also think running outside is much much harder for me. and im hoping by actually running outside I will PR in my half marathon in the next week.

    my point is to me i think there is a huge difference between treadmill running outside and I think solely running on the treadmill really screwed me in my last 2 races. Im keeping my fingers crossed that its easier and better this time around! I can let you know! great blog post btw!

  • LeeAnn July 31, 2012, 4:04 pm

    I tend to avoid training indoors. I would much rather be outside on our beautiful Colorado air.

    My husband is a professional level cyclist, so he has gotten me into riding.
    My biggest concern with indoor training would be the bike handling part. It is one thing to ride on the trainer…where you can pull your hands off at any point, but another thing to have to swerve around a pothole or crack or another rider. I think endurance wise, the trainer can be great…but not for the other aspects needed in the race.

  • Jeanette July 31, 2012, 4:32 pm

    You’ll be fine training for a tri on an indoor trainer – I do 95% of my bike training on my trainer. I can train indoors year round (in the midwest), at any time of day/night, and there’s no slowing down or stopping for traffic, lights, etc, so more like race conditions. I do get out the week before the race to get a feel for clipping in and out, handling, etc.

    The best part is it’s the only time I watch TV (hulu) so I look forward to my trainer time! With 4 kids, it’s really the only feasible way for me to get adequate time on the bike.

    Safety note: Little fingers are curious and I know of several instances of kids’ fingers getting broken (and worse) by turning the pedal with one hand and getting fingers caught in part of the spinning bike. Kids are not allowed in the room when I’m on the trainer unless they’re in front of me. They also know touching it is off limits at any time. If my kids were younger I’d keep it in a separate room, gate off a room, or keep a playard/superyard gate around it (found mine secondhand).

  • Ellen @ Wannabe Health Nut July 31, 2012, 5:31 pm

    Oh man, biking is the only thing keeping me from trying a Triathlon! I’ve got the running and swimming down, but biking just seems so scary to me. (It probably doesn’t help that I live in NYC though!) So, I’m not the person to ask, but I’d say that you could do most of your training indoors, but taking a few easy rides outside couldn’t hurt either. 🙂

  • Tori @ In Love and Peanut Butter August 1, 2012, 9:05 am

    I think it’s definitely possible but its good to mix it up when you can. I’m training for my first 70.3 and have had to do more indoor training than ever before because I run out of daylight with the longer distances. I do think that a couple of open water swims are important for the reasons you mentioned above!

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