The Rider

December 8, 2010

The Art of the Indoor Trainer

Filed under: Steve's Stuff — The Blog @ 6:11 AM

I just finished my first indoor/trainer workout of the year: 30 minutes at a fast pace with the trainer set on medium resistance.

Hopefully this won’t be my last indoor/trainer workout of the winter, but, if the past is any indication, it just might be. Riding the trainer is boring! The only place in our house where I can set it up is the basement, which is, well, a basement. The cat litter’s to my left (I should probably scoop it out before I start spinning), the furnace is to my right, directly ahead of me are several boxes that we’ve yet to open in the four years we’ve lived here. There are also at least 17 cobwebs in progress.

The living room, what with the TV right there, would be ideal, but let’s just say Susan isn’t so gung ho on the idea. I tried the “It will make an interesting topic of conversation when we have company,” argument, but she countered with the more persuasive: “No.”

If I’m going to stick to this, I need to improve my riding environment and make it more pleasant. In lieu of actually cleaning up the basement, which is just plain crazy, I think I’ll set up a TV with a DVD player up and watch episodes of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Flight of the Conchords. This should hopefully while away the hours. OK, maybe one hour.

Does anyone out there have any tips or suggestions on how to make the whole indoor training thing more palatable? If you do, feel free to share them with us.

Just because I’ve set up my trainer doesn’t mean I’m finished riding outdoors for the winter. But let’s face it, these recent sub-zero temperatures have sure put a damper on and limit the enjoyment of outdoor riding. This means it’s time for all of us to cross train, so we don’t get all sedentary and lethargic and lose all the fitness we gained training for Pelotonia and gain back all the pounds we lost training for Pelotonia. It’s an insidious cycle, isn’t it, and hard to break.

My cross-training regimen will – hopefully – include riding the indoor trainer to maintain some level of cycling fitness so I’m not starting from scratch in the spring; some weight lifting to build up my non-existent upper-body strength; and yoga to increase the flexibility that age seems to be slowly and cruelly stealing from me.



  1. Is this a setup for buying a large HDTV this holiday? LOL. Good luck with your training.

    Comment by Nikhil — December 8, 2010 @ 7:56 AM

  2. Ditch the wind trainer and try a set of rollers. There is a skill to riding rollers which will challenge you and make you pay attention to your riding. The precision you gain from the rollers will carry over to the road next spring.

    The first ten time you ride the rollers you will fear falling. After that you can work on one handed riding, no handed riding, one footed, one foot/one hand, one foot no hand and then the bunny hop. By the time you have these down it will be warming up outside.

    Comment by steve — December 8, 2010 @ 8:08 AM

  3. Watching movies is key – especially action movies and things you haven’t seen before. Use it as an opportunity to watch movies that the wife isn’t interested in.

    I’ve done a few trainer rides approaching 5 hours in the past in the dead of winter. After you build up to it, it is a great way to stay in shape and my only opportunity to justify sitting in front of the Tv for that long.

    Comment by Jack — December 8, 2010 @ 10:52 AM

  4. I’m with Steve. Try rollers.

    Comment by Groover — December 13, 2010 @ 5:38 AM

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