TRAINING INDOORS IN WINTER
by Brett Nichols, pro triathlete
Brett Nichols has been working at the Landry's Boston store. During his time with us, he earned his elite triathlon license and has competed as a professional ever since. In these Landry's Triathlete Tips, Brett shares what he has learned.
"Nothing motivates like a couple of friendly competitors set up in a circle to chat through the warm-up and grit their collective teeth at 170 bpm."
Welcome to winter, everyone! For those of you still riding when the mercury drops below freezing, "Huzzah!" But when the snow starts to fall (and eventually turns into hard-pack ice):
You'll either need one of these:
Or one of these:
Yes, the indoor trainer! This training tool is perfect for continuing your regimen when the weather forces you to stay indoors. But don't let winter kill your physique -- if you want to be ready to race in the spring then you've got to be riding hard before the snow stops falling. The indoor trainer will help you in your quest to become stronger and faster. Even if it's nice out the trainer is a great tool for practicing efficiency drills, focused interval training, and training along with people of dramatically different fitness levels.
CycleOps trainers @ Landry's
Here are a few indoor trainers we carry at Landry's Bicycles:
- CycleOps Magnus merges training with virtual reality and has the ability to simulate real-time resistance from whatever outdoor courses you choose. You can program in your own ride, or ride the Alpe d'Huez. There are hundreds of courses that fellow riders have uploaded into CycleOps' Virtual Trainer library. You can even plug into a screen and watch the point-of-view of the rider as you progress along the course.
- CycleOps Hammer Direct Drive trainers attaches the bicycle directly to the gears of a cassette, which eliminates tire-to-roller contact. And with progressive resistance, the momentum you create as a rider matches the resistance you would experience riding outdoors. That equates to hassle-free training; no adjustable resistance settings to change, just downshift for less resistance, and upshift for more.
- CycleOps SuperMagneto Pro has four-position magnetic adjustments that make it easy to vary your workouts. With progressive resistance, where just like riding outside, resistance builds the faster the wheel spins.
On a budget? CycleOps makes trainers for all levels, so come into any Landry's store to test your options and ask an expert which trainer is best for you.
Rollers are a unique indoor training alternative and an excellent training tool for skilled cyclists that help promote balance, improve technical ability, and make for some tricky riding indoors. Since your bike is not locked in to the device, you've got to keep your wheels in motion to stay upright.
Riding indoors doesn't have to be a drag
Along with the choice of trainer, there are lots of ways to modify your environment to make riding indoors a more enjoyable workout:
- Invest in a powerful fan. If you've never ridden your bike on a trainer, you will find the lack of wind in your face makes any workout a great deal hotter. So grab a towel for your face, a bike thong for your bike, and set up in front of as strong a fan as you can find. You're still going to sweat, but it'll help.
- Find some entertainment. Setting up in front of the TV is great, but commercials and the need to change channels can distract from a focused workout. Pop in a movie – often one you love but have seen many times is best. It'll keep you entertained, but not too engaged that you neglect putting your head down and hammering out a challenging part of your workout. Music is also effective at motivating your legs, even if you're riding on your own. Few things can get me moving like listening to Katy Perry's "Roar".
- Find some friends. Movies and music work, but live entertainment is always the best. Nothing motivates like a couple of friendly competitors set up in a circle to chat through the warm-up and grit their collective teeth at 170 bpm. Coordinate with some friends, or make some new ones at spin classes in your area. Landry's has professional-led classes at its shops throughout the winter. Check Landry's website for Indoor Cycling Classes.
- Keep yourself motivated. Nothing helps you get your legs moving quite like the prospect of being woefully under-prepared for that early season Half Ironman you signed up for. Get out this winter and find some cycling events, such as an indoor time-trial (such as the annual event held at Landry's Boston store), or even travel to an early season race in a warmer climate. A swim meet or two can have some transferable motivation to your cycling training.
Sometimes the hardest part of doing a trainer workout is just getting on your bike in the first place. Finding a competition in the middle of the winter can be good motivation to stay in shape, and regardless of how well you do, your performance will have a ripple effect to motivate your body and mind for weeks to come.