As a cyclist, you can either hate the winter, or make the best of it. Some bundle up and dress to embrace the winter chill while others opt for the dreaded trainer.
Most cyclist have a love / hate relationship with the trainer. As a training aid, cyclist love it because it offers training options during poor weather and winter months. Yet, on the flip side, trainer rides can be boring, lead to muscle- specific fatigue, and basically, offer uninspired riding. Ugh. Is there a way to make it work? Yes! Fortunately, there are now many apps that make your time on the trainer more productive and entertaining. Additionally, these apps record your workout so you can analyze your effort and get your best bang for the buck workout wise.
The post, Choosing the Right Indoor Cycling App, offers a list of apps and a description of how they function to help you decide which is best for you. Some of our favorites from the list include Zwift, CycleOps Virtual Training, and TrainerRoad.
Granted, apps can make your ride more enjoyable; yet, having the right equipment can make a difference too. When we’re talking about equipment, sure, we mean having your road bike on the trainer, but we’re also talking about having a fan, a trainer tire, a riser block, a sweat towel, a trainer mat, and indoor riding clothes. If you are using a basic trainer, you may also want a cadence sensor, a power meter, and a heart rate monitor. You might not think all of these cycling accessories add up to a great trainer workout, but if you’re looking to take your training to the next level, having the right bike parts helps support motivation and training consistency.
If you find yourself really averse from riding the trainer. Break your workout in half. Spend half as much time on the trainer and the other half running, hiking, or doing another sport. One way to do this is to avoid long rides on the trainer all together. Year round strength training for cyclists matters and substituting your indoor rides with strength training will do more for your cycling later on in the season than doing another trainer session. In fact, a one hour hard trainer workout will do more to improve your cycling and race fitness than 2 to 4 hours easy on the trainer. So, plan your time on the trainer accordingly.
Trainer Techniques for Winter Training