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Do people on trainers count the miles in their yearly total?(19 posts)

Do people on trainers count the miles in their yearly total?Dutchy
Dec 3, 2001 8:12 PM
The other day I was at the forum and someone claimed to have ridden
5600miles this year. He then stated that half of this distance was done an a trainer.
As far as I can tell, you don't actually ride anywhere when on a trainer, so to say he rode 2800 miles
indoors is a lie. On a trainer people ride in a much higher gear than they probably would on the
open rode. Not many people can push a 53/13 solo on a flat road. So if you road in a 53/13 indoors
at a cadence of 100 the speedo would say ~32mph/51kph. This is clearly wrong as no one could keep
this speed up. The question I want to ask. Do people count their time on a roller as miles for their yearly total?
They way I see it. To count the time on the trainer is fair, but to count the miles that is wrong.

Any opinions?

Well ...tarwheel
Dec 3, 2001 8:47 PM
I don't have a trainer or rollers, but I go to spin cycle classes when the weather is too rainy or cold to ride outdoors. I convert my time in spin cycle class into miles at the rate of 16 mph. This is a very conservative estimate, as 16 mph is at the low end of my typical average riding speed. However, the workouts in spin cycle class are generally very intense, so they probably would be equivalent to more like 18 mph in terms of energy expended.

If that seems unfair to you, then don't do it. I keep a mileage log for my own records and convert the spin time into miles so I can track how much riding I'm doing week to week and month to month. I don't see what the big deal is -- you're using the same muscles, spinning the cranks the same way, etc. The only real difference between spin cycle classes and actual road riding is the absence of wind resistance indoors. However, spin cycle classes make up for the lack of wind, in my view, by the intensity of the workouts using standing climbs, cranking up the spin pressure, etc. Spend an hour in a spin cycle class and try to tell me you didn't work just as hard (or harder) as you do on a typical road ride.
re: Do people on trainers count the miles in their yearly total?John-d
Dec 4, 2001 1:44 AM
I visit the gymn twice a week and clock up say 20 miles/week, but I do not include this as I agree with you, mileage is whats covered on the road or trail. Every thing else is just exercise.

However I do wonder how many miles are clocked up on the computer when wheeling the bike in and out of the garage. does this count?
thoughtsDuane Gran
Dec 4, 2001 4:24 AM
On easy way to settle this is to consider time and heart rate to be more important than distance, but distance has a much better sound to it. Personally, I record my distance on the rollers because it approximates very closely to my road riding experience. My particular rollers have a resistance unit, so others may not echo this experience. All in all, I only spend about 5% of my yearly riding time on a trainer, so for me this isn't enough data to pollute the final figure.

If someone spent half of their 5,000 mile year on a trainer they have my respect. That is serious dedication to the sport. Trainers are so boring that I would almost "give" someone double miles. ;)
Some say ...scottfree
Dec 4, 2001 6:00 AM
trainer 'miles' should actually count for MORE than road miles, given the fact that there's no freewheeling. There's no downhills or coasting. Every inch of 'distance' you cover on a trainer is accomplished by pedaling.

I'm not sure I totally subscribe to that; but I do count the miles, guiltlessly.
Ask Frielvanzutas
Dec 4, 2001 6:17 AM
The training bible does all workouts by time and heartrate. Milage is really third in importance. So if you want to count it, do it by time and heart rate.

Personally I don't keep track of milage at all. I only have a computer on one of my bikes and it only gives me cadence. I look at the clock when I leave my appartment then I look again when I get back. It is very liberating to throw away the computers and ride.

Dec 4, 2001 6:48 AM
I also have only one computer and it works sporadically unless I pay attenttion to it. I use it mostly on a few benchmark lengths of road to see how far I can maintain 20 mph on relatively flat land. Each time a computer fails I freak out over the inability to quantify my effort and after a few rides feel better off without it.

I only count days of exercise, trying for 312 (six days per week) each year. Most years I make it. I count days on the trainer. I don't run or ride real fast, but there are a lot of ex-runners and ex-riders in my age group and part of my longevity at this stuff comes from not making it too much like work. I heard years ago "don't make the sand box into a salt mine" and it's worked for me.
Keep track of hoursSoftrider
Dec 4, 2001 8:04 AM
I keep track of the hours that I ride, not the mileage. If I want to look at mileage, I just convert it at an estimated average speed.

If you do this, you can get rid of the computer altogether. I don't really get any benefit from the computer, it is more of a distraction than anything else.
re: Do people on trainers count the miles in their yearly total?firstrax
Dec 4, 2001 6:33 AM
I track roller miles in the second bike option of my computer. Then I discount them 20% before adding to my total.
Dec 4, 2001 6:55 AM
I just keep my heart in the fat burning zone and time my work out.
No way.jtolleson
Dec 4, 2001 8:02 AM
Not trainer, rollers, spin class. Only honest-to-god road miles. I can not really explain it, but that other stuff is just training. Riding is riding.
Wow, a bunch of good ideas here. Count what ever you wantMB1
Dec 4, 2001 8:18 AM
but when you talk to others about how much you have ridden only talk about the outdoor riding miles.

I suppose if you get going really hard on a trainer so it bounces across the room a bit you could include that too.
You might want to record the milage for purposes of ...cyclinseth
Dec 4, 2001 8:24 AM
chain (drivetrain)-, Wheel- and tire wear.
Since mileage is meaningless ...scottfree
Dec 4, 2001 8:33 AM
as a measure of anything whatsoever beyond commitment, and as a psychological boost, why not count trainer miles? Anyone who'd put 2000 deadly dull miles on a trainer is certainly major league committed, and why not get the positive psychological feedback from folding that in with your road mileage for the year?
Considering that these numbers mean squat to anyone butbill
Dec 4, 2001 8:48 AM
me, I'm not sure what difference it makes, but I have one computer, and it racks up the miles without distinguishing between road and roller, and I intend to spend about as much relative time at each next year as this year, and I really can't put much finer a point on it, except to compare next year to this year, so who cares?
In any case, certainly these things are true -- on rollers, you don't get wind resistance, and you don't climb hills, but you can't glide, either. I think that forty-five (min's) on the rollers may be more like 75-90 min's on the bike, assuming that you keep your heart rate at about the same cruising altitude. True, you can go more "miles" on the rollers than on the road in the same amount of time, but because less time on the rollers entails equivalent effort to more time on the road, rough justice says that maybe the roller miles are not so far off road miles.
Considering that these numbers mean squat to anyone butJon
Dec 4, 2001 9:40 AM
Due to weather conditions in Alberta, I count my roller and trainer hours and miles. At a given heart rate my
roller speeds very closely approximate road speeds, due to higher rolling resistance, except in my big
gears. Then rolling resistance is more than offset by lack of wind resistance. However, I dont do much big
gear work on the rollers. On my trainer, on the other hand, my average speeds are lower than road speeds due
to the type of workouts I do--max resistance, climbing repeats, etc. So the whole thing averages out. My
primary training markers, however, are hours, heartrate, and cadence. This year, out of 7000 mi. total, I will
do about 3000 mi. indoors. BTW, I learned last year how to self-lobotomize, so now the process is easier!!
Nopeterry brownell
Dec 4, 2001 12:45 PM
I had this debate with myself earlier this year when I started taking a spin class. Finally decided I could not add the two together as they are not the same thing. Spin mileage to me is a kluge, since it is simply time and effort based and must be calculated/adjusted to provide some sort of comparable value to the vagaries of riding on the road. I'd have tons of miles if I counted all those hours averaging 27 mph but to me they would not be the same.

However, I do like playing with numbers so I track mileage, time and some other things basing my yearly goals and comparisons on several items. I track road and mountain mileage separately but add them together for a yearly total. As a way of including spin time, I track "hours exercising." This year I had a simple goal - make every month in 2001 better for road miles and exercise hours than the corresponding month in any previous year (I've been tracking since 1998.)
Don't have to. . .Erik W
Dec 4, 2001 3:17 PM
I don't have this delema since I live in an area where it's possible to ride year round. Just knowing the way I work if I got rollers I'd tire of them quickly and they'd sit in the corner gathering dust. The whole appeal of riding for me, both on and off road, is to be outside. If the winter weather is absolutely horrible I'll just go skiing or snowshoeing and wait a few days for it to pass. Erik
Thanks for your responses.Dutchy
Dec 4, 2001 4:11 PM
I'd just like to add this.
I don't have any problem with recording time/distance on a roller etc. It's just that I would feel embarrassed
to tell someone I rode 5600 miles when I really only rode 2800 on the road. I would feel like I'm
not being honest with the person. It just a personal point of view. I now realise how people
claim to ride 8000+ miles per year, some obviously do, but I now get the feeling that some
are doing a lot of it indoors. To me cycling is about, getting out there and tackling the elements
cold, rain, heat etc. If I had perfect weather I could ride at least 25% more than I do.
Maybe I'll just ride on the rollers on really bad days and count the miles so I can say I
ride 8000+ miles per year:-)