Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Cycling Indoors...What's it good for?

Coach Mari's Tri Bike, Jena, is ready to rock the trainer ride!

It's that time of year.  The days are getting shorter, the temperatures getting cooler and the additional clothing layers are coming out of the back of the closet.  I hate to say it, but our triathlon race season is winding down.

We definitely need some downtime from the rigors of training, racing and living our lives.  However, let's not hibernate on the couch for the entire winter. There are ways can work on some skills to get us ready for the spring racing season.

One skill we can work on over the winter is our cycling.  More specifically, we can use our bike and indoor stationary trainer for a huge benefit this winter. 

There are huge gains to be had by using an indoor trainer.  Its efficiency due to time savings and not having to haul the bike anywhere can lead to effective gains without spending so much of your valuable time.  Furthermore, there is less hassle to deal with on the trainer.  For example, you will never have to stop for a street light, stop sign, deer, car or other crazy cyclist!  There are no concerns about weather conditions, the time of day, or poor road conditions. 

Here are a few tips for Indoor Cycling:

#1 Fluid Trainers are the best!  My personal recommendation is the Road Machine by Kinetic

#2 Follow a workout! Don't just sit and spin in front of the tube or computer.  Have a purpose for each and every workout.  NOTE: Keep following my blog for a future post about how to read and follow a workout.  I'll also provide a few samples.

#3 Start off with a base training workout that includes some technique.  

#4 Train in a well ventilated area or get a big fan.

#5 Use a couple of towels to catch sweat: One on the floor and one near your handlebars.    

#6 Fluid bottles should be filled and ready to use.

#7 Music doesn't hurt!  My favorite Pandora channel for Indoor Cycling is Pop and Hip Hop Workouts, which was a suggestion by my blog friend, Frayed Laces, who is a fantastic triathlete who just won Rev3 Cedar Point Full Iron Distance Triathlon.  Woo Hoo!    

#8 Gather your training buddies to join you!  I am a firm believer that workouts that are difficult to do on your own are much easier when you have the motivation of your friends or arch nemesis! <smile> 

Now, get out there and gather all the tools you need to get your cycling skills ON.  Then, be ready to see how fit you are when spring rolls around!

Happy Winter Training!

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