As summer turns into winter, daylight hours shrink, temperatures drop and weather becomes wetter. It gets harder and harder to get outside to ride your bike. Before long, it’s time to dust off your indoor trainer.
Riding inside is a good way to maintain your fitness during the off-season and even work on your weaknesses ahead of next season. Below we share some tips that will help you stick to your indoor training routine.
Tip #1 – Make It Easy to Start
Set up a designated space in which you do your indoor training. If possible, leave your trainer and bike set up between sessions. Take it one step further and have your kit and towels all ready to go, especially if you’re pressed for time to squeeze in your workouts before or after work. It’s all about removing obstacles that might derail your best intentions or serve as excuses not to ride.
Tip #2 – Make It More Comfortable
Indoor training is inherently hot and sweaty, but you can make it more comfortable by turning on one or more fans to blow over you and keep you cooler as you pedal. Also place some towels within easy reach to mop up sweat as needed.
Be sure that you’ve got your bike set up properly – you may need to put a prop under the front wheel so that your bike stays level and you’re not angled downward and thus putting too much pressure on your hands and wrists. A rubber mat under your bike and trainer can keep the trainer from slipping, protect your floors from dripping sweat and shield downstairs neighbors from the noise that some trainers produce.
Tip #3 – Stay Hydrated
Because indoor training can be so sweaty, you may lose significant fluids during any given workout. Fill your water bottle before your session and put it in your bike’s cage so that you can drink as you ride. If you’re still thirsty afterward, continue to drink until you feel replenished – just like you would after any outdoor ride.
Tip #4 – Keep It Short, Sweet and Diverse
Burnout is a real problem that comes along with regular indoor training. Rather than pedalling mind-numbing hours inside and without purpose, start each session with a clear plan. Keep it to between 30 and 60 minutes in total. Switch out trainer workouts so that you’re not doing the same thing every time.
Not sure what to do on your trainer? Try some of these workouts [link to https://www.bicycling.com/training/fitness/how-ride-inside-indoor-trainer-workouts-cyclists or link to a similar article with specific workouts in Spanish], or hire a coach who can help you work on your weaknesses and keep your indoor training fresh and interesting.
Tip #5 – Share the Pain
Why suffer alone when you can share the pain with others? Recruit a friend to join you, participate in trainer night at your local bike shop, or sign up for a local spin class. Just like riding a bike outside, riding a bike inside is more fun with company. Plus, if you’ve told someone that you will be somewhere to ride at a certain time, you are much more likely to actually do it.
Tip #6 – Get Inspired
Maybe training with others isn’t an option? That means you’ll have to find your own inspiration. Try doing your workouts while pedaling to your favorite music, streaming some fun shows or watching some pro race footage as you pedal.
Tip #7 – Mix It Up
Indoor trainers are great for prescribed cycling intervals and workouts, but it’s also a good idea to mix up your indoor training time by varying your indoor activities. For example, sometimes ride your rollers instead of your trainer. They will help you improve your balance and bike handling skills.
Or take your workout off the bike altogether: go to a yoga class, do a gym workout or participate in other indoor sports. The more variety you have in your indoor workouts, the more likely they are to remain interesting over time.