Indoor BikeTraining

If you live in the US, just about everywhere has been hit by some nasty weather that inspires indoor training.  I for one am not a huge fan.  Although I have many a friend who can go hours on the trainer or even choose to when its 70 degrees out, I much prefer toughening it outside in extreme conditions or finding other things to do. However, I always take riding the trainer pretty serious in the January – March months.  Not only to get in time on the bike, but I have found it to be excellent prep for the season.   It’s a less stressful way to build up the miles and work in some real work in very short time frames.  Let’s just say, trainer time has its place in just about any cyclists racing/riding schedule.

I was recently interviewed and had an article published in Bicycling magazine recently that was all about winter training.  They asked me for ideas on how to make the trainer tolerable.  So here is what I sent them:

1.Don’t pedal aimlessly. Vary your intensity so that you have the recovery and interval portions of the effort to create short events that you can mentally target. An easy one is to watch a show and go all out during the commercials, then recover during the program.
2.Watch bike racing.  Cyclocross is perfect for the trainer and widely available for free online.  The action is constant and the races are short, intense efforts.
3.Find a buddy.  Riding the trainer with a partner takes out 70% of the boredom.  There are plenty of ways to use other folks around you as motivation.  Spin classes fall into this category.  Although, I tend to think of this in the same category as Zoomba, I think it is actually a pretty good way to stay bike fit.
4.Keep it short. Unless you are training for a major event and can’t ever get outdoors in that training block, trainer sessions shouldn’t be more than 1.5-2 hours max.  It is surprising how much fitness can be gained by a focused 45-60 minutes on the trainer.
I hope this helps everyone stay sane and fit this winter.

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