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Indoor training - how can you stand it?(34 posts)

Indoor training - how can you stand it?dgangi
Nov 17, 2003 10:35 AM
I've been reading some of your posts about indoor training in the winter time with a lot of interest. I live in Phoenix where indoor training is an alien concept to recreational riders like me -- it never rains here and it is never too cold to ride. Snow? Ha! Even in the heat of the summer you can still get out and ride - you just do it early or late (headlights are the saviour!).

I don't mean to sound mean to you cold weather people, but everytime I read your posts about training indoors I ask myself "How can they stand to do it??". I travel quite frequently and regularly visit a gym when I do. When I go to cold cities in the winter I will train on either a treadmill or take a spinning class, and it takes every inch of my being to make it through that arduous hour. I get so bored, even with headphones blaring! I've tried all the tricks, including closing my eyes and pretending to be outside. It still kills me to be indoors. The only way I get through the torture is that I know I will be back outside in the next day or two when I return to Phoenix.

I assume you all train either in your basement or a gym. Regardless, training indoors gives you a few options of what to stare at: the wall, the back of somebody else's head, or a TV. So, how in the world can you stand all that indoor training, especially when you know that you will be doing the same thing every day for months on end?

Once again, I don't mean to be picking on anybody. I just can't relate...

It does suck.eyebob
Nov 17, 2003 10:49 AM
And anyone who says "But it makes me appreciate being out a lot more" is a complete idiot. (Pay attention, guarenteed someone will add that to one of these threads this Winter).

Essentially you commit yourself to being inside and that's it. Most of us mix it up a lot. Spinning, weights, computrainer, skiing,etc. TV includes your favorite races from last year (so in some respect you're a little more knowledgeble a race fan, whooohooo) Lots of guys and gals up my way race cross through December too. Not that you can't race cross in Phoenix, oh wait, no you cant. It doesn't really exist to any good level. (snicker, snicker)

May you be blessed to never have to "relate."

what doesn't kill you..._rt_
Nov 17, 2003 10:50 AM
or something like that.

training indoors sucks. no doubt about it. i'm doing a lot of it right now and i'm trying to figure out ways not to die from the boredom. the worst part about it is there are days that i'm on my trainer when it is 65* and beautiful today, in fact! actually, it's not that bad right now because i'm doing strength and technique drills that require concentration and are so hard for me that i can't really think about anything but doing it right and making it through.

i do all of my trainer work in front of the TV. i like having moving images to distract me. sports are best & i'm thrilled that college basketball season started last week. now i can keep up on all the games & still get my workout in.

and when i'm really bored & unmotivated, i just remind myself that the time i spend on the trainer this winter is what will allow me to kick ass next spring/summer.

Ya gotta............Mike Tea
Nov 17, 2003 11:14 AM
......have a goal for indoor training. I could not just sit there and ride so I state my goal and it's "to be able to ride with people 1/2 my age next spring". That gives the motivation.

This is what drives me to ride and ride hard. I'm in Canada so outdoor riding is somewhat limited in winter even though we do lots of it.

There are a few things that make it easier to ride indoors -

*Keep it short. I do 45 mins max. Usually 30 mins.
*Do intervals as then there is always something happening - resting, going hard, timing etc.
*Keep the metabolic heat down. I have two fans placed 2' in front of my torso and head.
*Tunes. Tunes give something to concentrate on.

Ex world pursuit champ and world hour record holder Graham O'Bree did ALL of his hard work on an indoor trainer - it was a rusty old exercise bike. He'd ride flat out for an hour and then ride outdoors easy for three or four days and repeat. He took the hardest of the world records by this method. Now THAT's someone who was driven.
I turn on NPR radio news, climb on the rollers, and I honestlybill
Nov 17, 2003 11:17 AM
don't hate it. I go for about an hour, lately all aerobic spinning, no intervals.
The key is that rollers require attention -- and mixing it up with getting in the drops for a awhile, sitting up no hands for a (little) while, and getting up off the saddle for a (very little) while, help break up the time.
As for an aerobic workout, it's actually a lot more efficient than an hour on the road, because you cannot coast. I can't say that I don't prefer going out on the road, but I honestly don't hate my rollers.
ditto the rollersThe Human G-Nome
Nov 17, 2003 12:46 PM
I look forward to riding them even though i live in Cali and can ride outdoors at night if i choose. be careful watching a basketball game on the tube though. i was trying to put sympathetic body english on a shot by Brian Cardinal the other night and ended up leaning myself right off the rollers. after awhile, you forget you're even on the bike if you're not careful.
lol! i hate it when that happens! ;-)_rt_
Nov 18, 2003 6:23 AM
which is why i ride a trainer instead of rollers when watching basketball games!

that, and i don't own rollers. ;-P

Listening to NPR is the only mistake I see with that! (nm) :)lanterne rouge
Nov 17, 2003 12:55 PM
Catch up on your readingKerry Irons
Nov 17, 2003 5:29 PM
We built a reading stand with a little lumber and a stand that was made to go on a Schwinn exercise bike. I catch up on all kinds of reading during the winter. Three fans, good music on the sound system (not boom box), and something good to read and the time flies. I agree that gym units with nothing to do but stare ahead are a real demotivator.
how can you read?_rt_
Nov 18, 2003 6:30 AM
when i'm on my trainer i'm working so hard that i can barely read my heart rate monitor & i'm sweating so much i'm pretty sure i'd melt the pages of the book!

i've heard other people say they read on the trainer but i just can't imagine how!

By NOT doing it! - Ride outdoors year roundstan_b
Nov 17, 2003 11:20 AM
I have two bikes. My winter bike I'm ok with riding in the snow and salt. Last year I went as cold as 17. You get used to riding in the cold. I actually find it invigorating as long as I wear the right clothes.

Once the snow is plowed to the side of the roads, it's not a problem.

I hate indoor training and would never do it.
If I lived in AZ, I would be burnt and overtrained by April!Spunout
Nov 17, 2003 11:21 AM
Necessary evil, the rollers.

Late season cross is great, and it is not real until you're in slush and mud and snow.
tv! (nm)Rich_Racer
Nov 17, 2003 11:32 AM
On a similar note...litespeedchick
Nov 17, 2003 11:33 AM
On Sat's mtb ride i heard a guy getting congratulated on how strong he had become. Guy says, "well, it won't last long now that I'm off the road bike for the winter".

I thought that was weird since this is South Carolina. So on Sun. I go out on my road bike on what is probably the most heavily biked route in the area. I saw ONE other rider. It was sunny and mid 60's. What the hell is wrong with people? Shouldn't it be the thermometer that tells you when to stay inside rather than the calendar? Are people just burned out and ready to rest?
Good point (nm)PEDDLEFOOT
Nov 17, 2003 12:37 PM
Caffeine, fast music, darkness and silly games.dzrider
Nov 17, 2003 11:36 AM
How many pedal revolutions I can make with one foot.

How long I can ride bent forward with my hands behind my back.

How long I can pedal the fixie backwards.

All help my riding and help pass the time. Mostly it's just swilling coffee, and pedalling in the dark with fast music playing loudly. I don't do it that often cause I run in the winter, and commute when possible, but it does happen and often enough to wear out our first stand.
Whew! I thought you did all that on rollers, no stand! :-p nmSpunout
Nov 17, 2003 11:51 AM
No rollers for me, my stomach gets queazy. nmdzrider
Nov 17, 2003 5:11 PM
still beats running anytime of the day nmcyclopathic
Nov 17, 2003 12:20 PM
watch the TDFwitcomb
Nov 17, 2003 12:46 PM
A friend of mine does something interesting. Since he doesn't have time during the summer to watch the TDF he tapes it. Then in the winter while on the rollers he watches everything. An hour a day gives you 2 days a week and there are how many stages, thats enough weeks.
easy - Troy Jacobson!namaSSte
Nov 17, 2003 12:47 PM
he keeps me going all winter. I fire up his videos on a 13" tv/vcr and set taht on top of a full size set in the basement and go to town. The combo of a cycling specific workout that you are going through with the entertainment of OLN, ESPN, HBO, or whatever is enough to keep you going. Truth be told, I think I have had better workouts on the trainer than I usually get on the trail or road.

That said, I spend most of time off raod anyway so winter is just another added challenge until the snow gets too deep to ride through.
Short sessions not bad, longer one's and I need to watch HockeyK-Man
Nov 17, 2003 1:07 PM
Short interval sessions are not all that bad to do. Longer sessions around 2 hours are very difficult and the only way that I can seem to do them is while watching hockey...Philadelphia Flyers. Watching the game does seem to take my mind off the boredom. That being said I still ride on the road year round and try to get out every Saturday and Sunday baring severe weather. Last year I did quite a few longer rides in the low teens and as long as you are dressed correctly it really isn't all that bad. My feet have been my down fall and although I have tried every trick of the trade I finally coughed up the $$ this year and bout some winter specific riding shoes.

Trainer classes!Sadlebred
Nov 17, 2003 1:11 PM
Around the ATL we have several different groups that put on trainer classes. Get a bunch of people together with a coach or class facilitator and workout together. It keeps you from being bored, and having someone leading the class keeps you focused. Think of it as spin class on your own bike. My favorite class is one put on my a local semi-pro mtber/Cat. 2 roadie. He has some great workouts that progress from spinning and light work in Dec. to 2 hour rides on the trainer in Feb. The two hours go by much more quickly than you think.

If I'm by myself, I will watch television, do a trainr video, or even read a book on my easy nights. Once a week or a few times a month, I'll do one of the mountain bike urban assaults outside after work to keep from just getting bored on the trainer.
Trainer classes!AcesFull
Nov 18, 2003 9:22 AM
Where/when in the ATL is this class?
Living in Phoenix - my worst nightmare - how do you stand it?hrv
Nov 17, 2003 2:19 PM
No real change of seasons? I would be unbelievably bored to no end. Scary to even think about it.

Well, if someone just has a boring, one-dimensional life, and their only recreation is cycling,then maybe they might like it...

Guess I'm lucky in that I ride the rollers or trainer in my living room, with the big picture window looking out at unbelievable views. What's with people having to keep it in the basement? That might wear on someone after awhile.

Living in Phoenix - my worst nightmare - how do you stand it?dgangi
Nov 17, 2003 2:36 PM
Unfortunately there are millions who don't share your opinion. Over the past 10 years we had 1.1 million people move to this city. And being a Phoenix native, I don't necessarily welcome them with open arms. Yes these people bring money and jobs...but they also bring pollution, traffic jams, etc etc etc...

But if you are a ravid outdoorsman and like warm weather, it's tough to beat Phoenix. I live in the middle of the city and have a 12-mile MTB path just 1 block away from my door (Phoenix has the biggest regional parks in the nation -- South Mountain and Phoenix Preserve). I also have access to some killer road rides.

You guys can have fun on your trainers. I'll take the good 'ol outdoors anyday :)

As an expatriate of the cool northern city of Las Vegas...shawndoggy
Nov 17, 2003 3:26 PM
I don't see how you can stand it either. I grew up in Vegas and my family is still there so I visit three or four times a year. There are a few beautiful months there -- late october through november, and late february through mid April -- but the days are short when it's nice and when the days are long enough to have some time after work it's hot enough to melt tires to pavement. WTF do you do in the summer? In LV, even at 6 a.m. it's 95 in the summer; I assume Phoenix is the same. Seems like that's when you'd need the indoor trainer!
As an expatriate of the cool northern city of Las Vegas...dgangi
Nov 17, 2003 6:11 PM
Let's put it this way...

I'd rather bike at 5AM with 90 degree heat in the summer than bike with snow on the ground and 20 degree weather in the winter. I don't see how it can be fun to freeze your a&& off and slip all over the place. Even at 40 degrees (mild in most colder climates), biking is a chilly experience...

I don't know anybody in Phoenix who has a trainer, so that must be a testament to something.

And if you're really adverse to the heat, there is great biking in Flagstaff (1.5 hours north of here) where it never gets higher than 80 in the summer. So even if you don't like the heat, there are still plenty of options for biking in cool weather in the middle of the summer.

As an expatriate of the cool northern city of Las Vegas...shawndoggy
Nov 17, 2003 7:29 PM
I'm in Reno. Cold yes, but not Minnesota cold, and hot, kinda, but not Vegas hot and certainly not the midwest humidity. It's the folks the uppermidwest that I really feel for. Bitter a$$ cold AND humidity (and bugs and rain)... YUCK. This morning it was 38 on the way in and 45 on the way home. Not hot, but certainly do-able with a little clothing. There's actually kind of a guilty pleasure to wearing all of the winter gear that I'm sure at least a few folks will admit. Once you get the kinks worked out so the feet and hands can stay warm on extended rides, a ride on a sunny 40 degree day can be pretty darn nice. Don't knock it till ya try it.

But I've gotta say I'd be bummed if ALL of my summer riding were done at 5:00 a.m. (and quite a bit is, for scheduling reasons).

Do you guys have a summer race series down there? I just can't imagine doing a twilight crit when it's 125. Doing them when it's 103 in the July evenings here seems like it almost kills me!
Three words- Giro, Tour, Vuelta.CritLover
Nov 17, 2003 6:44 PM
I taped each one, with no commercials of course, and ride with them exclusively. Well, that's not true, I have Liege Bastone liege (Tyler rocks), Paris Roubaix, Tour de Swiss, and everything else that came on OLN. I LOVE watching them while on the trainer - can do up to two hours right now.

Don't get me wrong, I'd rather be out riding, but I don't dig anything below thirty five degree, and I love watching the sport (can't wait to get up to Heras winning that TT in the Vuelta!).

Besides, my coach has a spin studio and his clients have to go to 2 spin classes a week for ninety minutes each. So no matter what, I'm inside for those. According to him, he gets signicantly better workouts done indoors. He's a multiple national and world track champion, so I buy it.

And just curious, when it's over 110 in AZ, do you ride? Is there a heat limit for cyclists out there?
110 degree ridingdgangi
Nov 18, 2003 5:36 AM
Yes, there are many people you see out riding (and jogging) when it is above 100 degrees. Personally, I think they are crazy. It's not the heat that bothers me the most -- it's the sun! Even with 45 sunblock slathered all over you, you're gonna come back looking like a cooked goose after a few hours in the blistering sun. And that's what sets on heatstroke.

Most people here do their summer biking in the early AM hours (like before 7AM) or late afternoon. I prefer morning because it is the coolest part of the day.

It may sound strange, but you do get used to the heat. I don't know of a cyclist who doesn't ride in the summer.

And if you can't take the heat (as some can't), you can drive an hour north and bike in Prescott or Flagstaff where it is 80 degrees in the daytime (sun still sucks, though). So in Phoenix you can have your cake and eat it too...if you are willing to drive for it.

One thing I will say that coastal California has over Phoenix - it's mild all year long. My sister-in-law lived in Redondo Beach and it was always nice to get out and bike or run or whatever. But then you have to contend with all those people...

gotta do something7eap4a
Nov 18, 2003 6:47 AM
Living in CNY puts me inside alot. I also have an old bike that I take out for weekend rides in the winter. As cold as 15-20 can be done for a hour ride without too much trouble. Trainers suck period. TV, no volume, Godsmack CD good for about a 50 min workout. All you need is a good stereo and maybe a mirrorball...
Can easily do 2 hours on the trainer.hrv
Nov 18, 2003 8:05 AM
3, if I had to. No real reason for me to go over 2 unless I'm training for a big mile event, and 2 hours for me is like at least 3 on the road anyways.

But, for whatever reason, be it weather, scheduling, not wanting to miss the Packers, whatever, I end up riding the trainer, I do it versus not riding at all. The alternative( not riding) is infinitely more boring to me.

It's not indoors....try this in PhoenixScot_Gore
Nov 18, 2003 9:11 AM
That's a frozen lake BTW