My primary motivation to train indoors is to maintain and/or improve fitness over the winter months.
In my opinion, the benefits of indoor training during early morning sessions are do-able and convenient on an indoor trainer. Poor weather won’t dictate the time/distance spent in the saddle. Software such as Zwift provides a sociable element to your indoor training and plenty of numbers to analyse and improve upon (power, watts per kilo, HR, av. speed, etc). Preparation for an indoor session is quick as there’s less kit to put on. Less bike maintenance/cleaning after a training ride also.
The biggest benefit for me personally is the uninterrupted continuity of a structured training plan with all the numbers I need to monitor my progress.
Think about what you want to achieve over the winter months and build an indoor setup from there. If you just want to spin the legs for 30min three times a week use an old / 2nd hand bike on a resistance based turbo trainer. You can pick up a second-hand trainer on eBay for less than £40. A bit of music and you’re well away. You can also set your Garmin (or similar) to indoor mode, pick up a cheap cadence monitor and still upload your rides to Strava.
If you’re like me and need the numbers along with a visual aid for some serious training, you may want to consider upping your budget to a smart trainer and a Zwift (or similar) subscription. Smart trainers start around £450 and rise to £1.5K (do your research for the best model for your needs). Dont buy a 2nd hand smart trainer. You’ll want warrenty just incase it fails on you. Zwift will cost £12pm. You’ll also need a decent laptop and ANT adaptor so the software can detect your trainer output.
For me Zwift is well worth the money as it opens a world of virtual cycling that gives you anything from personalised training plans to elite races. I was an original Zwifter and it’s improved year on year.
Whatever set up you go for, get a fan and drink plenty of water as there’s no breeze to compensate for all your hard work!
I’m sure you’ll get lots of opinions on this subject but at the end of the day whichever set up you go for it’s a great way to maintain that fitness you worked so hard for over the summer.
My primary motivation to train indoors is to keep my fitness up in the winter months, or generally, if the weather is bad, it still means I get a good workout.
Benefits of indoor training for me at a spin class are, a brilliant cardio workout for either 45 mins or 1 hour (depending on instructor), with no rest is a great way to push yourself, more so than maybe if you were out on your bike. All classes are done to music, using the rhythm of the track that’s playing to your pedal stroke. This gives an effective way to pace yourself when tackling climbs, standing or seated, which I have found of great benefit.
My advice for those wanting to keep up their fitness when the weather doesn’t allow them to cycle outside, is that a spin class will give you a great cardio workout and teach you techniques that are useful for outdoor riding too.
Well the first club ride of the year was a bit foggy, wet to start then went on to become quite icy and treacherous at times especially when I slipped on some black ice going up Snowshill doing my poor impression of Christopher Dean as I splayed myself across the road! Fortunately I had a couple of concerned wheelers behind me to heal my damaged pride, one of them being the skipper Mik who I’m sure won’t let me forget about it in a hurry (let the banter begin).
After a drastic temperature change coming down Stanway Hill with numb fingers ‘n’ toes the group decided to split due to the conditions and commitments to get back home, Cookie and Digger continuing the ride over Cleeve with the rest of us going on to Gretton Fields.
Big thanks to Digger for planning the route, it’s a shame about the icy conditions as I was personally looking forward to taking on Snowshill, not quickly of course as I was the sweeper… well thats my excuse anyway! It was also good to have a potentially new member along to ride with us today, hope we haven’t put him off!
All in all a good ride… I think!