Indoor cycling

12 Dec

Cycling indoors:

So if you live in a cold weather climate like I do in Minnesota cycling season outdoors can be short lived. But don’t let that stop you from training for cycling events next season or Triathlon’s. You can accomplish some very good workouts indoors cycling and make huge improvements so when you take to the road next season you’re in great shape and ready to roll.

Just like the rest of you I prefer to ride outdoors on open roads myself but some of my best workouts are indoors on the trainer. The thing I do like about the trainer is I can lock into race pace and sustain it for a long time without dealing with traffic, stop lights etc… this is key in building cycling endurance and speed. There is a lot of new trainers on the market and ones that make it just like riding on the road.

Computrainers are more expensive than most indoor trainers but are they nice! They adjust tension as you ride based on the workout you program in. Say you want to ride the Ironman Wisconsin course you can do so and the computrainer will adjust to make it feel like you’re on the road going up and down hills. Lemond Fitness makes a really nice trainer as well that you take your back wheel off and it has a fan to cool you down. As for just a regular trainer the kinetic fluid trainers are the best in my mind.

An indoor cycle ride can be a great way to kill two birds at once. Instead of sitting on the couch eating chips while you watch the ball game put that bike on the trainer and ride get yourself a nice endurance ride in. If you’re pressed for time crank up the tunes and hop on do some hard interval work and build strength and speed. Riding on an indoor trainer allows you to practice shifting gears and getting use to your bike so that you feel more comfortable on group rides and the open road.

Another way to get some good exercise in via indoor cycling is to take a spin class at the gym like the ones offered at Life Time Fitness. I happen to be a cycle instructor at the club in Chanhassen and teach class with a format called “Performance” cycle that is intervals geared at prepping you for the outdoor ride season. It can be a lot of fun spending 60-90 minutes in a studio music thumping a movie on the big screen and a room full of sweaty people motivating you to work hard and keep up.

Some things you want to work on as you embrace the indoor cycling season. 1. Cadence you want to establish a quick rhythm and a consistent one. I like to ride about 90-95 RPM’s this helps my legs feel good when I hit the run course in a Triathlon. And the key to my indoor training is to train my body how to push a harder gear while sustaining that cadence. 2. Endurance I like to do long rides and work on holding “race pace” for extended periods of time and as I do this work on where my heart rate is and keep myself aerobic.

Cycling also has a great recovery benefit to it as a runner when my legs get tired and full of lactic acid if I jump on the bike and spin with low to medium resistance and fast RPM it can help flush out the legs and make them feel better.

So don’t get the winter blues when the outdoor cycling season comes to an end but rather embrace being indoors on the trainer, in a spin class and work on form, speed, endurance and strength. Create ways to make the time fly by like watching a ball game or a good inspiring movie. Do intervals to help you get stronger and faster. And have fun!

Coach MB

This morning’s cycle workout:
After my 6 mile run outdoors I jumped on my Trek Speed concept 9.9 on my Kinetic fluid trainer and busted out a 60 minute ride while watching the Ironman World championship DVD from 2009 race. I warmed up for about 10 minutes of easy spinning and then progressed into intervals of 10 minutes long I would do a slow build of the gears but always sustaining a 90-95 cadence so as the interval progressed and the gears got harder I had to work harder to sustain that pace. At the end of the 10 minute interval I would take about 3-4 minutes of an easy gear and spin at 85rpm to recover and then right back at it. The time flew by and I was drenched in sweat.


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