Indoor cycling can be a curse and a blessing. Sometimes the only option is to ride cycling indoors, and then it’s good to know how to make the most of it.
I’ve always had a bit of a difficult relationship with indoor cycling. Taking it on the bike indoors is not just the same as doing it outside, but the experience varies from person to person. I only judge this by myself. I ride because I like to go fast. I love to take off, ride sharp turns, attack steep slopes and fly down the other side of the hill. I love to feel the mountain bike slide in wet mud, roll a little in the gravel and tear up the grass. None of this happens on a trainer, or on an inner wheel. But there are many other things that come instead.
I have had to learn to put myself in a different state of mind when I aim to practice on the bike. You need to think about the purpose of this, what you want to get out of the exercise, and what you are doing over your head. I live for what I listed above, but being in good shape is something that affects my experience of it all. When I’m tired, sick, or resting for too long, I’m not feeling the same way I’m missing something. Everything works out when I’m in my best shape.
So when winter comes, and I sit and plan my goals and dreams for next year, I have to face the situation. I want to be in good shape, and to be able to do that I need to put in a lot of work on the bike. This is quickly resolved when the weather allows, and the number of hours per week becomes high, but then comes the frost, the snow, the ice, and everything turns upside down. Regular training is the key and it can go wrong with a good plan to constantly change according to the weather and winds.
The work begins with putting together a realistic exercise plan based on cycling inside, with the possibility of going out when the weather allows. What matters to me when I’m cycling inside is having a mission, a goal. Taking 2 hours of basic endurance training, without any changes in stress, seemed to be a pretty good idea for torture if I was in that business. I want to get the job done on the bike in a short amount of time, with a variety that makes each time fun enough to keep up the excitement for the next time. Mix this with a few miles of running a week, and put lifts in the plane too, and then it’s pretty solid.
I’m relatively new to indoor training, but next year’s training season began last week. In recent years, I have repeatedly made the mistake of disregarding the facilities I have for cycling inside. I have often thought that I almost always ride outside, and when it comes to cycling inside, I only find out when it comes. It always ends with me not being ready for the exercise when it comes, the ambition disappears and all the will to start the exercise over my head has gone out the window. This time, I thought a little bit more about it and started by coming across an amazing gadget from my friends in Kris. Wahoo Kickr is the first “smart trainer” I try, and after only using an old-fashioned trainer, which has no control over resistance or gives a real feeling compared to the load, I’m excited to ride inside, to say the least. And it’s not like me, it’s just like that.
Cyclist Zavvi is a fun way to make indoor cycling varied. For those unfamiliar, Zwift is a video game that creates a virtual world, where cyclists get together on their bikes. Those who play with the computer in front of the wheel at home in the shed or in the living room, are all connected together, and thus the game gives you a very real feeling, by weighing the resistance in the trainer gadget when the player in the game goes uphill and relieved when he rolls down a slope. This is amazing, and something that is hard to describe without telling others simply to try.
I look forward to a fun winter with a variety of exercises, and hopefully most days out on the bike. At the end of the day, I will always prefer outdoor bikes to cycling Indoors, and I think that’s a pretty common opinion among those I know in the sport.