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Why I Ride Indoors: Jana Richtrova

Plus two trainer workouts to ride like a champ.

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Since getting hooked on triathlon in 2009, Jana Richtrova has been chasing the top step of the podium at the Ironman World Championships. This year, at age 39, she finally got it – and her secret to her age-group Kona win may surprise you.

“I am a year-round indoor rider,” says Richtrova. “I have used Saris trainers from the very beginning of my triathlon days, and it lets me make the most of my training time. On the trainer, a 60-minute workout really is 60 minutes, and every minute counts.”

What Richtrova likes most about indoor training is the ability to replicate just about any outdoor race environment. Her Saris H3 Direct Drive Smart Trainer makes it easy to program specific variables, such as hills and flats, into the workout of the day. “As someone who lives in The Woodlands, Texas, I don’t have proper hills for training. But I can do hill repeats from my house using the trainer.”

When she’s preparing for a race, Richtrova goes all out. In addition to workouts replicating race-specific terrain, the training indoors allows Richtrova to control other variables. “I can recreate just about any outdoor race-specific conditions – hot or cold, hilly or flat. Riding indoors also allows me to practice race day fueling and nutrition without any excuses of having to look for gas stations to refill bottles.”

Even the competitive nature of race day can be found on her Saris H3 Direct Drive Smart Trainer, thanks to built-in compatibility with Zwift. “I really enjoy doing my workouts, especially with longer intervals during Zwift races. I have once done four different Zwift races to build a five-hour ride!”

Indoor Training Like a Champ

Jana’s Favorite: Feel the Burn

“These VO2 Max sessions are geared toward improving maximal aerobic power and lay down a great foundation so you can later work on your sustainable power, or race pace,” says Richtrova. “This workout doesn’t look too intimidating on paper, but give it a shot, and find out for yourself! It doesn’t take long before the 30 seconds of work feel twice as long as the 30 seconds of rest. Depending on your fitness level, the first week you can start with 5 sets, and week after week you can increase the number of sets to as many as 20.”


15 minutes 55-65% FTP

5 x 30 seconds 95% FTP, 30 seconds recovery

Main Set

5-20 rounds of 30 seconds 110-120% FTP, 30 seconds recovery

10 minutes 70-75% FTP

Cool Down

5-10 minutes 55-65% FTP

Saris Pick: Race Day Brick

The trainer is an ideal way to experiment with nutrition timing and techniques ahead of race day. In addition to programming your Saris trainer workout to simulate the race course, research the on-course fuel provided by your race, as well as the location of aid stations. If you plan to utilize the on-course fuel on race day, train with that product as well to avoid any surprises. During this workout, fuel at similar intervals as the location of the aid stations on the bike and run.


10 minutes 60% FTP

3 minutes 75% FTP

1 minute 80% FTP

1 minute 90% FTP

5 minute easy spin

Main Set

25 mile bike:

5 x 2 miles 85% FTP, 3 miles 70% FTP (no rest between intervals)

6 mile run, including:

5 x 1 mile race pace, 400 meter easy jog

Cool Down

5 minutes easy jog/walk

A whole new world of indoor riding is waiting for you. Find your perfect trainer and discover the endless ways to connect by bike at