Whether you are an ambitious cycling competitor or someone just looking to stay healthy or lose weight, indoor cycling training is an excellent option in the fall and winter. It can however be hard to get a good indoor training set up. Other than a bike and trainer or rollers, there are a few things that will make your indoor pain cave as nice as possible.
In the fall and winter it is likely that you may have to carry out training sessions from your 2PEAK training plan indoors. We often discus all the benefits of training indoor. But if you want to get the training benefit from these workouts, here are some general tips to improve your indoor training.
1. Have a Plan
Unlike riding outdoors, it is not as much fun or beneficial to just go out and ride. You are going to benefit so much more from having a specifically designed workout. This will help you stay focused and maximize the benefit you get from the time you spend there. Ideally your training session is part of a personalized periodization schedule set up for you goals like with 2PEAK but if you need some inspiration for good workouts, we have assembled 5 essential indoor cycling training workouts.
2. Stay Cool
Cycling indoors is hot! After only a few minutes you could be drenched in sweat. It is very important to do everything you can to cool down. Open your windows, invest in a fan, and consider setting up your trainer in the coldest area possible like a garage. keeping your core temperature low will help you push hard throughout your training session.
3. Stay Hydrated
This is related to the last point because no matter how much you do to keep cool during indoor training, you are going to sweat more than normal. you should try to replace as much lost fluids as possible during your workout. At least one but two or more water bottles is an absolute must going in to an indoor workout.
4. Dress for the occasion
Just like a long ride outdoors, well padded cycling shorts are going to help you indoors. riding indoors can actually be harder on your but than riding outdoors because it is often more static than riding outdoors and you will spend a lot of time in the saddle. A cycling jersey is optional since you do not need to carry nutrition you can just wear a light top that keeps you cool or even go topples if it is possible.
5. Make it a Social Event
It is always easier to stay motivated during a workout when you have a training partner. doing your indoor workouts at gyms in cycling studios or using virtual platforms like Zwift can help with this but if this is not possible you can also take your trainer to a friend and ride together just like you normally would outside.
6. Track your progress
When you are training indoors there is less to focus on in the surroundings so you can focus more on watching your watts. if you are following a good training plan you should improve as you do more training and tracking these improvements can be the positive reinforcement you need to increase motivation. After your workout you can use the analysis tools in 2PEAK to get a more in depth look.
7. Stay consistent
When training indoors there are no excuses to miss a session. Is it raining outside? Is it too dark? It does not matter for your indoor riding. It is often easier for endurance athletes to stay fit in the summer when they can always work out outside, but staying consistent indoors throughout the winter is going to substantially improve your experience when you go back to the roads.