So you want to ride indoors.
Maybe you want to try Zwift, or maybe you are over Avatars and want to focus on pedaling and doing work and not paying another monthly subscription
I will begin this article by reminding you that you are SMART and that you always have the option of riding indoors, exactly like you do outdoors. Shift/Pedal and Use your HR/Power and FEELING (RPE) as relevant.
I will second this by asking you to re-read the above thought and keep it in mind when any program crashes, you aren’t hitting the perfect intervals (what is a perfect workout?), or you spend more time setting up and looking at screens then pedaling.
Right … So the part you are looking for. How to use your smart trainer.
1. Setup a Fan
Figure out a way to stay really cool. Remember what it is like outside when you don’t need a towel. If you need a towel constantly then you need more cooling.
2. Have your workout handy (and have a plan for the day)
- Many people have the workout email on their phone or computer to follow or use an app. to download.
- I usually have the trainingpeaks.com mobile app open and then I can quickly type or dictate (using Siri – voice dictation) into the app post-workout with notes (often while I do some stretching, or spinning easily in the final minutes of workout)
- Have a plan or else you get bored and it seems pointless. IF you need help with a plan check out pre-made plans with downloadable workouts like this one or Apply for your own 100% 3-Month Made for you plan
- Great but costs money and can distract you (this is good and bad)
- You can pay to use this service and it will SYNC WITH TRAINING PEAKS (HERE) to get all your super awesome downloadable Smart Athlete Workouts into the Zwift environment.
4. Free Software to download workouts and See your data on a big screen
If you want a free option I have been LOVING the free program -> Maximum Trainer. It has some built-in Sufferfest workouts, will pull in a variety of devices and allows you to upload training peaks workouts manually
5. Add Visualizations
- Looking up a certain hill, race or ‘Go-Pro’ on Youtube is a great and easy way to add some ‘free’ visuals for your training. Many athletes use the RedBullTV and UCI channel to motivate and visualize while doing hard work
- Phil Gaimon’s Hill TT / Strava Series is a good mix of riding and storyline
- This is an Alpe D’Huez Video I have also used (can adjust speed in Youtube Videos)
6. Isolation is not all bad – Embrace Your Context (indoors)
Work on things that make the time go by and maximize the context (ie. you are not outside so work on things that are best worked on inside on the trainer).
- One leg drills help you learn to clip out and clip in quickly and smoothly – add some hip work by not resting your foot but floating it (carefully) around the pedal
- Seated Force drills – lower rpm work and high force to build specific on-bike ‘strength’ and power
- Steady endurance and muscular endurance – this is missing for many mountain bikers and those who live in urban areas. Embrace the ability to keep a steady load on your legs.
- Combine strength/core and riding – this is so underutilized but holds such tremendous value. Don’t get so stuck in the workout average wattage or ‘zwifting’ that you don’t get off to mix up the workout and make your other muscles work
- Wattage – while more common now on all bike types and for many athletes, the ability to have power on smart trainers and even the speed-derived ‘zwift-power’ or tracking speed with a rear wheel sensor gives athletes a taste of a ‘performance metric’ for testing and progressing workouts each week.
- ‘maximum trainer’ – Free computer application for use with trainers, heart rate monitors and muscle oxygen
- Connect Trainer road to training peaks http://blog.trainerroad.com/how-to-upload-your-trainerroad-workouts-to-trainingpeaks/
- Garmin to Training Peaks -> https://home.trainingpeaks.com/garminconnect
- Zwift to Training Peaks -> https://support.zwift.com/hc/en-us/articles/207581866 and https://www.trainingpeaks.com/blog/a-quick-how-to-guide-for-trainingpeaks-zwifters/
- Use the Training Peaks Mobile App to add comments after setting up the automatic updates. Think WHO/WHAT/WHERE/When HOW
- Use HR4Training App to add daily metrics to training peaks (2 min process that gives HRV/HR/metrics + a field to write notes)
- This is another post on more ideas for commenting and enhancing our communication
Want to know what to do today to reach your goal?
Don’t want to plan around your busy schedule?
Try a 100% Made for you Training Plan!