But it’s too cold and/or wet to ride outside, Jordan, what do I do now?
It’s time to bust out the trainer and/or rollers. I, for one, spend the majority of the winter riding indoors. I have no issues riding in the cold, but I save the cold and wet for race days, and for when cabin fever has gotten the best of me.
My set up includes the following:
Mat: they make trainer/roller specific mats you can purchase. A towel will suffice in a pinch, but the mats have a non slip finish that will keep you firmly in place.
Towel: I keep at least one towel on hand to wipe off excess sweat. I also keep a small hand towel over my stem to keep sweat fro getting into my headset. (I also give my bike a good wipe down post ride as well, paying particular attention to the bottom bracket area)
Fan: These are crucial! As you are riding indoors during the winter, you probably have your thermostat dialed up a bit. You are also static, so don’t get to feel the thrill of the wind in your face and the cooling affects that it provides. This is where the fan is worth it’s weight in gold.
Water bottles: This should be fairly self explanatory, but be sure you have the means to keep yourself hydrated for the duration of your session.
Entertainment: Whether it’s your phone, computer, tablet, iPod, TV, a good book, etc. Have something available to keep yourself entertained and motivated for the duration of your indoor session.
Lastly, I will give you my take on how to endure the mental anguish of suffering through hours of suffering on the turbo. The majority of my trainer sessions are broken down into either drills or some sort of intervals, typically in the 90-120min range. While this may seem like a long time overall, it actually isn’t.
Here is how. Break down your total trainer session time into smaller blocks. 20min warm up, 5min hard, 5min easy, 10min hard, 5min easy, 15min hard, 20min cool down. This would be a good example of a 90min session. So now you only have to be focused on each individual time segment, rather than the full duration.
Hopefully with the help of your entertainment source, you can drive on through the session. Another thing to consider is the benefit of roller/turbo sessions.
Unlike riding outdoors where you have times where you are free wheeling, you won’t be doing any of that while riding the turbo/rollers. So an hour ride indoors roughly equates to 2hrs on the road. Smaller sessions, bigger pay off!
I hate riding indoors as much as the next guy, but it’s a necessary evil to reach your fitness goals.
I constantly tell myself that “Right now, there is someone else out there working harder than I am”. Know yourself, know what you need to keep yourself motivated, and do the work. At the end of the day, it really can be that simple. Now fire up some Game of Thrones, and get pedaling!!!
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