Bike Trainer Survival Guide

So many people complain about how indoor bike training is SO BORING. We disagree. Ok, so riding in place, in your bedroom or basement, doesn't exactly compare to whizzing up and down mountains, but it doesn't have to be something to dread. And it just might make you a stronger cyclist. Bec did almost all of her training for the Rev3 Florida Half last month and had one of her best rides ever. 

We can tell you're still not convinced...so here are some tips:

Entertainment: The best way to break yourself in to indoor cycling is to start up a new TV series and ONLY let yourself binge on it while riding the trainer. A few episodes into Orange is the New Black, Breaking Bad, Scandal or Downton Abbey and you will find yourself craving a bike trainer ride. An entire tv season can 10+ hours, which is a lot of riding. With all the tv shows and movies on Netflix, you could ride forever. 

Reading: This may be hard to do, but put your Triathlete and Inside Triathlon (or other favorite magazines) aside and save them for trainer rides. I have also been known to hoard the various newspaper's Arts and Style sections. This may mean that go right from the mailbox to the bike trainer room, but that's a good thing, right? You'll notice that aerobars make a nice magazine rack. 

Music: Reading and TV watching are great for easy or moderate spins, but there is nothing like a good set of tunes for hard intervals.  Download the Pandora app (pay the 4.99 a month so you don't have to deal with the ads).  Or, if you have specific songs you know will make you crank it up make a playlist, like this one model and triathlete Elettra W. recently shared on Self.com. Mine go to playlist is a mix of show tunes, rock and roll and country. Whatever works!

Have a Plan: Start rides with a workout written out ahead of time and stick to it.  Tape it up next your bike so you can see it and won't miss anything.  Bec has a white board and markers in her trainer room...(she also has a digital pace clock like the kind at the pool), but a piece of paper and a watch works too!  

Mix up the workouts

Some days do intensity and some days ride easy. Here's one of my standbys: 

20 mins warm up spin

5x 20 seconds fast/50 easy

Main set with intervals of :

10 min on/ 5 min easy

8 min on/ 4 min easy

6 on/ 3 easy

4 on/ 2 easy

2 on 

with effort increasing each interval.  

15 mins cool-down

Nutrition:  make sure to have a lot of water within reach. More than you'd think.  You're going to sweat.  A lot.  I also always have my First Endurance EFS flask by my side for some extra liquid calories.

*Extras: An ISM saddle (for comfort), a fan, an open window, and lots of towels (see above re sweating!). For long rides, you may even want to have a dry bike kit to change into halfway through the workout. 

Embrace it!  It hurts but will make you so strong!

--Laurel