Its getting darker out and colder. Whats a roadie to do? Break out the trainer and rollers. Love them or hate them trainers are a necessary part of the competitive cyclists life. Not only are trainers used in the colder months they are also used for a litany of other chores. I use mine for race warm ups, bike fits, testing and the occasional training ride during the race season.
Many of us that can’t stand trainers and rollers could see big gains in the spring by using them. Try the following it might help.
Make sure the room you set the trainer in well ventilated
If you are setting up your trainer in room with a finished floor invest in a hard rubber mat. It will keep your bike, cleats, trainer and sweat from damaging your expensive floors
Your room should have good lighting or at least well enough to see to get on the bike safely or see your bike computer. I must admit from time to time I will turn off half the lights in my office/trainer room and put on the head phones when doing certain workouts where looking at the bike computer is not important.
Make sure you are using a Trainer specific Quick Release.
Make sure when riding rollers that if you were to fall over it wont be into a piece of furniture or another bike.
Ensure that small children and pets are not it the room with you.
Make sure you have everything you need before getting on the bike. Do you have your shoes, food, water, remotes, phone…..
Warm rooms are good for trying to burn more calories or acclimate to hotter climates but make sure you have a fan on.
When I ride I wear bibs but will opt out of wearing a jersey for a looser fitting base layer.
Check your tires to ensure they are inflated to spec. You may find that on rollers higher inflation could reduce resistance.
Keep your drive train clean and freshly lubed.
Switch up your hands on your handle bars to ensure your hands don’t go numb.
On easy, long and recovery rides I will watch a movie or recorded TV show. As long as its action oriented.
On hard rides, tough intervals, tempo work, and testing I will break out the headphones and fast music.
If you start getting bored with riding in front of the TV try playing games. I like to pick a couple of words from the dialogue on TV. Every time I hear one of the words I will shift or throw in a jump or two.
Don’t waste your valuable time on the trainer make sure you do the following:
- Keep your knees in
- Hold your head up
- Breathe steadily
- Do not rock in the saddle
- Pedal smoothly
- Keep your elbows slightly bent
If you feel that your form could still be better after you have ridden using the above mentioned tips then set up a mirror in front of your trainer.
If you aren’t comfortable riding at all on the bike or getting sore joints then its time to get a bike fit. Contact your LBS to see if they can fit you.
While the trainer can be boring at least we can make our time productive when we are on them.