Saturday, 10 November 2012

My thoughts on Indoor Training

No race this weekend - Remembrance Day and all.  Its probably a good thing - legs are starting to feel sore.  I have ridden a bicycle at least once every week this year.   In total, I've ridden about 6400km, including indoor training rides, and beach cruiser rides in Longboat Key, Florida (keep an eye out for a blog post in late March about that - probably the best bike ride - EVER).

Go on to a forum, any bike forum, and ask "Which trainer should I get??  You'll get some douchebag response like "Spend money on base layers and ride outdoors".  To those people:

Yes, that's an Honda S2000.  I loved that car.  Sometimes I wish I never sold it...but I digress.  Sometimes, you just HAVE to ride indoors, so you might as well make the best of it.  As far as devices go, I have a fluid trainer and rollers.  Each have their pros and cons:

-  Force you to ride and pedal smoother, or else you're putting dents in your drywall
-  There's little resistance, so not very good for interval training or any serious effort for that matter
-  Lighter and cheaper
-  Don't need to set anything up.  Just put your bike on them and ride.

Fluid Trainer:
-  Built like a tank.  Heavy and large.
-  Boring as hell if you're just spinning on them.
-  Lots of resistance for interval or effort rides.
-  Need to use a trainer tire, clamp the bike on it - more setup.

Most rollers are the same, so I'm not going to spend much time talking about them.  The larger the drums, the less resistance.  I have 4" rollers - easy to ride on, no resistance.  I throw on a movie and ride on them for an hour or so if I want to loosen my legs up, but that's about all they are good for.

The trainer - Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll.  Its huge and heavy, but for a reason.  Most trainers are fixed - meaning its a solid unit that you clamp your bike to.  This one has rubber bushings that allow side to side AND vertical movement.  You can stand up on the pedals and sway your bike side to side.  Very useful for climbing and sprinting exercises.

Check this for a quick look:

Other things critical for indoor training:

1)  A Fan.  I'm not talking a little desk fan, but a floor fan.  For the longest time, I went without.  I would finish a session completely drenched in sweat.  I eventually bought a large floor fan and the difference is night and day.  Not only am I not drenching the basement, my bike, and my clothing, but my average heart rate for a work out is about 10-15 BPM less, but I'm putting out the same power numbers.  Same power/speed - less effort - you can't beat that.

2)  A cycling computer with rear wheel mounted sensors.  What's the point of training if you have no idea how you're doing.  That's like going on the treadmill and putting electrical tape over all the numbers.  Its a must.  Garmin 500 with the GSC-10 sensor is what I use.  Love it.

3)  A towel.  Despite having that super fan blowing on you - you're gonna sweat.  If you aren't, you're not doing it right.  A towel for both your face and your bike.  Sweat is uber corrosive and wreaks havoc on your bike.  I keep it draped over the headset area.  Not only does it protect the bearings in my headtube, but its easy to reach to wipe my face.

4)  A video.  The Sufferest.  There is no other video you shall use.  There are a bunch of others, but The Sufferfest series is the best.  Full stop.  Awesome music, UCI race footage, sarcastic motivation - all you will ever need.  

A bit more on this - When I bought my trainer, it came with a "Spinervals" DVD.  For those who lived in the 80's - remember "20 Minute Workout"?  Big hair, thongs, legwarmers, and music produced on a AA battery powered CASIO keyboard.  Now, translate that to a cycling video - bolt on aerobars, sleeveless jerseys, hairy legs.   Not good.  Not good at all.  Screenshot says it all:

See what I mean??  Tension?  Really?  You want me to spin to that action??  No thanks.

On to Sufferfest:

Better music...more sleeves.. less cheese

Pictures speak louder than closed.   Go to .

As a bonus, click on GEAR on that website - that badass guy?  Yeah, me....that's me....looking badass.  Autographs at Forestry next weekend.  I'll tell you how I landed that, post-race.

Next blog - critical cross weekend gear.  I like gear talk :)

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