Written By Cycling Enthusiasts
Established in 2016
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A Beginner’s Guide To Indoor Cycling Training
Whilst cycling outdoors is fun. It is not always possible, sometimes life commitments don’t allow you to cycle outside and in the winter months, it can be hard to find a time where the weather is good enough.
All of these obstacles can stop you from riding your bike but there is a solution.
Indoor cycling allows you to ride your bike and work on your cycling fitness in the comfort of your own home without having to brave the weather conditions outside.
One of the most challenging parts of winter cycling is finding the motivation to get on your bike and ride in the cold and rain.
Or maybe you just don’t feel like washing your bike every single time after cycling on muddy roads. A turbo trainer will allow you to ride your bike indoors and can be the answer to your cycling needs over the winter months. Improve your cycling by Interval cycling training.
Turbo trainers give you the freedom to cycle at a time that suits you irrespective of the weather, meaning that you can clock up all of those endurance miles without worrying about crashing in bad weather.
The solution to finding your winter cycling motivation is to create a specific indoor cycling space.
By creating a specific area for indoor cycling that never changes, you can keep yourself more accountable to your cycling goals. It could be in your garage or your spare room but you know it will always be there when you need it to be.
Once you know you have the option to cycle inside, you will stay accountable and committed to your training.
What you need for indoor cycling
General overview of what indoor cycling is and what you need for indoor cycling
If this is your first venture into the world of indoor cycling, then you may be confused as to what exactly you need to get started.
To ride your bike indoors, you’re going to need a turbo trainer. There are many different types of turbo trainers currently on the market.
However, they can all be split into two categories. The first category is “wheel on” turbo trainers. Wheel on devices are where you keep your back wheel and a metal roller drum presses up against the tyre providing resistance whilst you pedal.
The other category of turbo trainers is wheel off devices. Wheel off turbo trainers involves you removing the bike’s back wheel and placing your bike on the cassette of the turbo trainer.
One considerable advantage of wheel off devices is that they are quieter than other indoor cycling machines but can generate more resistance.
If you’re interested in virtual racing, you should consider getting a “wheel off” device. This type of device will give an immersive experience. Nutrition for long distance cycling.
Why you should use an indoor trainer year round, not just in the winter
But turbo trainers and indoor cycling shouldn’t just be for the winter months. Using an indoor trainer will minimise distractions and give you a constant level of resistance making it the ideal tool for structured interval training. Five tips for cycling long distance.
If you are a competitive cyclist, you should really be using a turbo trainer to give some focus to your workouts. A turbo trainer can dramatically change your cycling fitness for the better in a short amount of time. Common mistakes when cycling long distances.
How to use a indoor cycling to increase your cycling fitness
There are many things that a turbo trainer can be used for, from structured interval training to recovery rides to virtual racing.
So what you will use your turbo trainer for is conditional on what kind of cycling you currently do. If you compete in races, then an indoor cycling set-up will help you develop your cycling fitness.
There are many pre-made training plans that you can download for free and start using now. These training plans are usually designed to be used for 6-12 weeks and will make a significant difference to your cycling fitness and how much power you can produce on the bike.
What apps/games you can use to keep you entertained whilst cycling indoors
However, you can also subscribe to apps that will create a custom training plan for you to follow along with and will help you track your progress over time. Three of my personal favourite workout apps are listed below.
Using Zwift to gamify the indoor cycling experience
One of the most popular platforms right now is Zwift. Zwift provides a game-like experience to all indoor cyclists. With superb graphics and in-game features, this platform can easily keep you entertained for hours whilst you clock up all of those endurance miles.
Zwift does have some pre-made training plans that you can complete at your own pace. However, One of the main perks of Zwift is that you can do structured group rides and races with other Zwift users.
So, you can do your regular Sunday morning group ride virtually on those winter days when the weather is extra bad.
If you are more interested in racing than social spins, then the Zwift racing leagues will be good for you.
You can start in the lower-ranked amateur races before testing your legs out in some pro league races, alongside current professional male and female cyclists providing you with an extra sense of competition.
With all of these features and super realistic graphics, most people agree that Zwift is the best complete package for indoor cycling software and has something for everyone.
Using Trainer Road to make custom workout plans for indoor training
However, if you only want to use indoor cycling to increase your cycling fitness, then Trainer Road may be better suited for you.
Trainer road has a training plan to suit the needs of every type of cyclist out there. From completing your first sportive to winning your first race,
Trainer Road will help you achieve all of your cycling goals. If you like to analyse your power meter and pedalling data, then this platform can help you analyse your data and find and fix any weaknesses that you might have.
Real world videos to pass the time whilst on the turbo trainer
Another option that I would recommend is The Sufferfest. This platform combines real-world videos from pro races and famous international cycling routes with pre-made training workouts.
If you don’t want the video game graphics from Zwift then these real-world videos might help to keep you entertained and focused whilst you cycle indoors.
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