Winter in the colder parts of the country leave many cyclists looking at their indoor trainer with disdain. Yes, the thrill and joy of riding a bike happens on the road or trail—but cycling indoors doesn't have to be as boring as it might sound.
Thanks to plenty of good indoor training videos and the short amount of time it takes to get in a good workout, the "trainer time" can be enjoyable and beneficial to your cycling fitness during the winter months.
In order to get the most out of indoor training, it's important to have a purpose, define a plan and learn to stick to it. Use these tips to get started with your indoor workouts.
Have a Purpose
Distraction is the key to making time pass on the indoor trainer. Sitting in the saddle and spinning away while staring at the wall is only going to make you bored and frustrated. To get the most out of your workout, you need to have a purpose and something to help motivate you along the way.
If you just finished cyclocross season, you probably gained fitness in the last few months. Taking time off in the early winter to recharge for the upcoming season, in this case, probably isn't a bad thing. For everyone else, you should be able to think of at least one reason how the indoor trainer can help you get better.
Here's a list of nine ways the indoor trainer can benefit you:
- Improve your cadence
- Work on pedaling technique and form
- Even out muscular imbalances (one leg dominant)
- Saddle height, fore, aft and pitch experimentation
- Adjust new cleats or get used to new shoes
- Begin using rollers to improve balance
- Try out cleat shims if you know one leg is longer than the other
- Increase power for 40K time trial
- Become a more efficient climber