About how effective do you think indoor training is? How does it translate over to actually riding out on the open road? Discuss.
Indoor trainer versus riding outdoors
I use InsideRide rollers and have used Cycleops Jet Fluid Pro in the recent past, so my observations are based on that. My wife is a recent convert to the rollers, and I wish I'd never let her in on the secret.
Inside is phenomenally effective for base, on down to about 5' efforts. You are never not pedaling. If you can cope with the dynamics of riding inside, it offers consistency and precision of effort that can not be replicated on road.
A lot of people will be negative on riding inside as it is not enjoyable, etc. I enjoy getting fast and riding inside is, in my case, a necessary means of doing that.
From a weight loss perspective, my kj production per hour on the trainer trumps outside by 15% or so, simply because of constancy of effort I assume.
My wife broke her arm last winter (12/8/11) and because of nerve damage was not able to ride outside until April. She did her first race last spring with maybe (maybe) 15 hours of outside riding under her belt. She was a 3 at the time in a 1/2/3 race, was 2nd over the line and first among 3s.
Training inside can be amazingly effective but I can sympathize with the downsides.For disclosure purposes, I am a partner in November Bicycles. This fact probably colors everything I say. I'm clearly not to be trusted.
Depends on the type of trainer you are using. When I used to ride rollers almost exclusively, that first few rides outside were always a rude awakening. Trainers were a bit better, but never had a realistic road feel. The problem is that neither one can simulate the up & down nature of riding on the road. A little roller here, downhill there, etc. Trainers such as Computrainers or the old Velodyne do a pretty good job of simulating riding on the road, IMO.
I actually think the "speeds" on those units tend to be below what you would achieve for a similar effort on the road.
However, if you use trainers for intervals, then the correlation to riding on the road becomes somewhat irrelevant, since you are focusing on effort (ideally by power).
You do get a bit of an advantage in terms of time, since there is no coasting involved. Some people say it can be as much as 20%, but I think that is a bit generous.Just say "NO!!" to WCP!
"Want to get faster? Work harder, eat better, cut the crap. Instead of talking the talk, work the work"
I have to train indoirs in the winter. Just too nutty for me outside. I use a Spinner bike and a HRM and pick what I want for the ride (usually endurance pace or low ens strength). As long as I am committed and do it regularly, it works great. I usually ride for an hour at a pop and try for 6-7 rides per week (some days both before and after work). Weekends, depending on the weather, Saturday is for snowshoeing and Sunday for skiing (alpine). So, Saturday is a good long endurance day and Sunday in the moguls turns into interval day.
I find it preserves a really good base to work from come spring. I sued to do fewer rides and punch harder but I lost way more of my fitness doing that. More rides at lower intensity works best for me. Come spring, I won't be as strong as I am mid-season, but hey, that's okay. The old bod needs a littl down time base training anyway.
I do think you can maintain weight and fitness by doing the indoor stuff. Also makes interval training a little easier than outside. However I am never in as good shape after a winter of pretty serious indoor cycling as I am during the middle of the summer when I have two months of outdoor riding in my legs. So I am of the opinion that there is nothing better than outdoor cycling to get into cycling shape. Indoor is OK but to me, not as good.
was teaching spin classes 3x a week for past 7 years but since we moved i got a kurt kinetic road machine with the extra pro flywheel. out of the saddle work is now limited but i think it's a good simulation of road resistance (sans wind of course). still ride on a trail bike outside weather permitting (chicago) and also do more strength training on a total gym in the winter
Added thought - the multisport facility I joined has been awesome for getting me to train. Lots of motivation (was there @ 5:45 this am for a 90' ride) and the social aspect combined with the Computrainers keeps it fresh.
I figured if I use it 10 times a month, it is worth my $100 / month ($10 / ride). So far I have already been 3 times this month, so I am well on my way to getting my $$ worth. Supposed to be warmer next week (40's!!), so we'll see what that does for my motivation to ride inside.
I'll also add that when working a Maffetone program, indoor riding works great since you have complete control over your efforts.
I think the longer you have been racing, the more effective indoor training is for a person.
I think people new to the sport should focus on being out on the bike as much as possible. Preferably in a group.
dkri's wife is a perfect example as are all the pros you hear about who break a collarbone or something and use the trainer so as not to lose fitness. When you KNOW things like what you baseline fitness feels like and what hard intervals feel like as a result of race experiences, you can then use your trainer effectively.
I remember the first time I did a trainer workout with someone who raced regularly (name drop, Tony Scott out of Georgia. Has National champ jerseys in his closet). We only had HRM monitors back then. I asked what heart rate I should be at. He told me his target for hard intervals was 175 or so. I was at 175 and casually asked him a question. He looked over at me in shock, "you can TALK? Harder..." Pushed the HR to 185ish. He looked over at me, "yeah, that looks better."It is his word versus ours. We like our word. We like where we stand and we like our credibility."--Lance Armstrong.
I have a Computrainer and it works great as the power numbers are pretty close to what I get on my road bikes. Nothing beats Erg mode and a pre-set course to force you to do your workout. It hurts, but can really improve your fitness.
Some good advice already, have to agree with KR that the longer you ride/race the more you will get out of any indoor trainer. You will develop a sense of 'feel' for RPE (relative perceived effort) and even HR making the trainer time more valuable as you listen to your body to fine tune the workout on the fly.
I've gone back and forth on spin classes. biggest issue is time lost in transit to/from the facility versus just walking into the garage and jumping on a bike already set on the trainer stand. But spin classes have a lot of appeal in structure, energy, change-of-pace, and post-ride cooldown and stretching.
Trainers are great for intervals and can be good for base-miles. However without some sensory stimulus, be it music, video, or best a compu-trainer or Tracx type interface, they get BORING! http://www.bing.com/Dictionary/search?q=define+boring&qpvt=boring&FORM=DTPDIA need to update the definition to include 1-hour on a stationary bike.
Best thing I ever did for my winter training was to buy a Track Bike and start riding the velodrome! Helps that my sorta-local facility is indoors. Too bad it is 48 miles away! And I thought the drive to the local gym for spin classes was too long.
However it turns our that the solid axle / wheel nut combo on the track bike is a perfect fit for my trainer.
the downside is the mag-trainer i have screams like a banshee whenever I start getting on top the gear with cadence over 110. My wife doesn't like it when I do sprint intervals, spinning up to the 130 - 140 range.
I have a Spinner bike at home, and one of my favorite things to do is get up and climb on at 5:00 a.m. with a great CD cranked (no neighbors to worry about) such as Sonia Dada Lay Down and Love it Live cuz it cranks and has 13 songs (the magic number for the ride I describe) and is just over an hour. Leave the lights off so it's pitch black up in my loft except for the filcker of orange from the woodstove downstairs. First song, seated flat, low resistance, high cadence, second song, seated climb, higher resistance lower cadence/mid to upper endurance zone, third song, standing climb, lower end strength, not cracking 80% MHR, fourth song, seated climb, next seated flat and start the loop all over again doing it 3x through. Great mix, heavy emphasis on high end endurance, bracketed by strength while staying aerobic on the way up and the high end recovery zone on the bottom. I love my Spinner because: 1) I love the smooth feel and the small incremental resistance changes you can make right up to gut-bustin hard, and 2) you can ride in the ptich black with tunes cranked and never feel anything but totally stable.
'Round about June, point your car east on the 40, take the 4 hour drive to Cary and my shed, which should be about a cool 120 degrees, and I will show you how effective riding the trainer can be.
In all seriousness, I read somewhere that a trainer 1-hour ride can equate to a 2-hour road ride. Is there any truth to this?Life is too short to be small. - Disraeli
So, why not be petty? - The Short White Guy™
GREAT album. Never tried riding to it, however. I'll have to give it a whirl.
Sonia Dada Lay Down and Love it Live
If I can get out for an hour its better than sitting on the trainer for an hour.
What it comes down to, really, is how you are wired emotionally and behaviorally. Some folks, like jmdirt (a good friend) cannot deal with riding indoors. Others are at the other end of the spectrum, and can spend three, four, even five hours on the trainer. What matters most, even more than the training advantages of one versus the other is the impact on your central nervous system based on one's relative perception of training indoors vs. outdoors. If you really can't stand training indoors...don't do it. Ride outdoors. It will spare the mental energy you burn by just getting on the trainer. If you can tolerate the trainer for an hour and it works for your schedule better than riding outdoors, you can structure a great workout in that amount of time indoors. And if you are one of those folks who enjoy hour upon hour training indoors...have at it. The point being, just figure out what works best for you, as we are all different. Knowing how you really feel about one versus the other is vastly more important the the limited training benefits of one over the other.
thinline - thanks, gonna check out that album. I've a few saved genius mixes with plently of classic rock tracks that get me moving. usually my last set of spin intervals starts with a Guns-and-Roses cut - you wanted the best, well they didn't make it!... yeah, that get's you pumping.
You know in a weird sort of way I look forward to time on the trainer as I don't listen to music for an hour+ unineterupted very often. Even when traveling it seems the flight attendendts, seat mates, etc. are always saying or doing something.
This time of year is trainer time for me, especially during the week.
I do mostly intervals, either 3x15 minutes or some short 5x 3 minutes once a week.
I will also do 1 hour or so of boring base rides if I have to recover or just burn calories.
I get bored and can not ride over an 1.5 hours at base pace.
If it gets over 35 on the weekend I ride outside.
I think ideal for me right now is intervals during the week and base miles outside on the weekend.
Of course 6 weeks down south with the road, MTB and tandem, fishing gear, frisbee and b-ball would be best, but I am still doing that job thing where they want you to show up and work.
Any discussion of trainer rides is not complete without mentioning The Sufferfest videos. They are what makes trainer rides bearable. I work for the fire dept so I actually ride on the trainer all year. When my schedule demands that I miss what would be a hard day on the road I replicate it at the station (provided we aren't getting calls). If I need a recovery spin on a work day I can do that.
The videos are great structured interval workouts designed to give specific workouts. There's long climbs (Angels, The Hunted), speed workouts, TT efforts, whatever you need. They show real race footage the whole time and play it off like your in the race and reacting accordingly. No Chris Carmichael telling you what lance did as he barks at a roomfull of other folks on trainers.
I highly recommend them to you folks who can't stand trainer rides. They might change your mind and hey are only like $12 a download. I put them on my iPad and it's super easy.
I use a trainer mostly for base miles to maintain cycling fitness -- usually 80-minutes two or three times a week -- generally run the other days. I'll add some intervals as we get closer to spring. I find it effective and more pleasant alternative to riding outside in sub-32 temps.
Rollers are better in my opinion, just for the fact that you have to balance and pay attention, I have hit them once this year on the set we have in the shop, I don't plan on using the trainer unless we get like 3 feet of snow.
I would rather just get my winter gear on and head on out, single digit temps on my rides this week when heading out, low teens by the time I'm finished, just trying to keep my base fitness this time of year
I experience lots of benefits on the road from time on the trainer and rollers, e.g. focused training like 50 rpm climbing intervals w/out driving off to east BF to risk my ax on skinny, dark road at 25 degrees. Also easier to focus on form, like smooth spin, applying power (as best as possible) thru 360 degrees, etc. But, yeah, it sux.
I dont think it matters, personally. Some people are wired to tolerate the boredom of indoors while others tolerate the adverse conditions well.
I do think that off season cross-training is essential. Riding 2-3 days per week and running, lifting, x-country or even downhill skiing the other days is helpful mentally and physically. There also is some evidence to suggest that interval running in the off season can produce a significant boost in VO2 max. I also consider MTB riding cross training.
Knocked out 2 1/4 hours today at the multisport facility. Got sucked into the heat of the ride (again) before I sat up and rode my ride. Legs feel a little tired, so may have gone just a touch too hard early on.
New record for me on a trainer.
1,061 km since Dec. 22, all inside. Using a Tacx VR trainer. Wouldn't even come close to that on a normal trainer. Along the way, rode online with people from different parts of the U.S. and Canada (I think). Using RLV's (real life videos) rode with Cadel Evans in Mendrisio, some Rabobank riders in the south of Spain, part of the Tour of Lombardy, and the Amstel Gold course. Even with all the distractions of VR trainers, I'll have to agree with timmsteiner that it takes a person with a certain mentality or need, to be able to spend a lot of time indoors on a trainer. Winter break is over tomorrow, back to work.
the wife & daughter went to les mis so i drug the trainer into the living room and watched the first half of the ravens/colts game from the seat of my bike.
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