People love to hate on the trainer and it's true it can quickly earn its nickname "the paincave". But if you want to get a jump start on your summer race competition - or just your own personal bests for the season - putting the time in now is essential. If that's not a good enough reason, keep in mind that trainer riding is the by far the most efficient way to train on a bike and offers quicker gains than training on the road.
Power in the People
If you can, join a class. Booking yourself into regular a workout schedule will give you a commitment to stick with and the communal energy of riding with others is always a positve motivator. In addition, gaining the expertise of an experienced instructor will also give you great benefits to your training.
Work, life, family schedules don’t always line up with a class or group, so sometimes you’ve got to go solo. There are lots of easy tips to make the solo training experience enjoyable, get the most out of your sessions and drive you to ride your best. Here's your set up checklist to help keep you rolling smoothly.
The Home Trainer Set Up:
Towel Up & Mat Down
Here a simple trainier fact. You're going to sweat. A lot. The lack of wind rushing by, coupled with the indoor temperature and trapped body heat generated means lots of perspiration is inevitable. So be ready with a drop mat below your bike so you don't create a floor puddle and couple with towels on your top tube and handlebars to catch sweat and ease in access to wipe yourself down.
With all the sweat youre going to have to be even more aware of replenishing fluids during your ride. Make sure you have multiple bottles of water & sports drink in close reach to keep yourself properly hydrated.
Another way to keep the sweat down is a really good fan. There are some awesome commercial grade fans out there that generate some major cooling power and sit nicely in front of your wheel with plenty of angle options to meet your specific preference.
Riding on a trainer isn't like being outside. Once you get into that ride position, chances are you're not moving too much until the session is over. There are no stop signs, or major climbs and decents on this ride, so you're going to be glued in the saddle. What does that mean? A comfortable short is even more important than ever! Make sure you have a lightweight, breathable short with a great chamois made for long miles in the saddle and you'll be able to keep your mind on the effort at hand and not nagging discomfort that could lead to an early dismount.
Video Killed the Trainer Boredom
One major complaint of the trainer is boredom. Without ride buddies, beautiful scenery and ever changing road conditions, there is a strong probability that your mind will go a bit stir crazy in the saddle. For those with more sophisticated "smart" trainers there are a growing number of online programs to take advantage of. By syncing your ride outputs with the new software, you can join group rides and enjoy highly realisitc ride simulation. But for those with less budget to spend (those trainers cost major $$$) there are still lots of great videos online to capitalize on. Simulate riding within a high pace crit or sunny day group ride, all within the easy reach of a YouTube or Google search.
Pump up the Jams
Where outdoor road conditions might make it unsafe to ride with headphones, now is the perfect opportunity to plug in and crank it up. Get a high paced music set going, one that keeps the tempo high and let the beats drive you.
Now you're out of excuses. All you need is some fresh gear to started. Shop our Kickstart the New Year Collection now for indoor training essentials.
Get on there and have fun, happy in the mindset that every session now will put you ahead this summer!