Riding outside all year is not an option for many athletes; the winter months bring freezing temperatures, slow flurries and biting wind. However, indoor riding doesn’t provide quite the adventure that outdoor riding does and can get boring pretty quickly. Here are some ways to keep your indoor riding fun this winter:
- Set up a dedicated training space – Find a space in your home where you can set up your bike on the trainer and leave it. Set it in front of a television, get a fan and be sure to put something underneath the bike to collect your sweat. You’re more likely to get in a ride when you don’t have to take the time to set everything up every time you want to get on your bike.
- Do workouts with varied courses/structure – It’s one thing to jump on your bike and just ride for 60 or 90 minutes, but another thing to mix up the cadence, intensities and rest periods. Not only will breaking things up a little bit keep you more engaged, it will also make you a stronger rider. For some ideas on the different workout structures you could try, download this pdf: Indoor Trainer Workout Ideas
- Train with friends – It can be hard to get motivated to get on the trainer when you are alone. Once you’re there, it can be very boring. Gathering a few friends to ride with helps in a few ways. First, there is the accountability. If you say you are going to meet at 7am on Sunday morning for an indoor riding session, you are now being held accountable to do that workout. Riding with friends can be motivating because when you see someone else putting in the hard work, it makes you more likely to work harder yourself. Lastly, friends make it more fun. You can chat, joke and challenge each other through every ride.
- Use a smart trainer – A smart trainer (one that is computerized) is going to give you feedback for every ride. You can track power, cadence, distance, time and compare those variables over time. A magnetic or fluid trainer is just not capable of providing this information. If you have the financial capability, a smart trainer is a wise investment.
- Track your progress – It is important to remember where you started from. As you continue along your indoor training, you might start to feel like you are not getting anything out of it. However, if you can write down as much information you can about each ride – how long, intensity, how you felt, etc., over time you will notice improvements. Those improvements will help keep you motivated to continue your riding.
- Be consistent – In order for this to be fun, you need to make progress. In order to make progress, you need to be consistent. If you only ride one day, then take off for two weeks, then ride 2 days and take off another week, you will only frustrate yourself. It will become harder to bring yourself to get on the bike and when you do, you likely won’t have any fun. Set a schedule for yourself and put it into your calendar. Depending on your availability and goals, riding 2-3 times a week is a great start!
If you are looking for more help with your indoor riding or triathlon training, please contact me. I can help you set a clear path to reach your goals for this upcoming season!
Train Right, Tri Right,