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REDEFINING THE JOY OF INDOOR RIDING

by Equipe Enervit

 

The long days in lockdown inevitably put a strain on anyone's training plan. But for every cyclist, it's the fear of losing form that pushes them to keep up some semblance of fitness.

For those with the discipline to train at home, the turbo trainer is the ideal weapon of choice. But this old reliable companion only really shines when combined with a solid training plan.

And that's what we're here for! Indoor training isn't outdoor training, and a lot of people overlook certain aspects and go wrong behind closed doors. We've got some tips to help you review your indoor protocol to help ensure your form doesn't slowly slide away.

There was a time when the idea of pedalling on a "hamster wheel" was an uninviting prospect. Yet, with some simple and effective hacks, you can transform indoor training into a real performance session, and it may even become enjoyable too!

MIRROR, PLAYLIST, ELECTROLYTES: LET’S GO!

A garage or a well-ventilated room is the ideal place to set up indoors. Bear in mind that in most indoor locations, you’ll likely need to set up a fan to keep cool.

If being stuck indoors isn’t your thing, then if weather permits, why not set up out on the terrace or balcony? That gentle breeze will likely wick away the sweat much better than in the clammy indoor conditions.

Many never think about it, but a mirror is often invaluable for an indoor training session. It’ll help you keep an eye on pedalling technique, posture, and position as you hammer to the rhythm of the music playlist that accompanies the effort.

When it comes to staying fresh, be wary of getting too caught up in virtual racing. Consider racing no more than once per week, as too much will increase the potential risk of overtraining.

Remember to prepare an ISOTONIC DRINK before commencing. It’ll give your body the energy it needs for a vigorous session, and will also help you optimise your performance.

FROM OUTDOOR TO INDOOR TRAINING

Indoor training is often more effective than outdoor riding. But people tend to ride much more intensely indoors without ever really thinking about it. We say don’t fall into that trap. Keep your sessions to between 20 and 90 minutes, and plan for a ten-minute warm-up and cooldown for each workout. Incorporate some sprint exercises with varied speed work that’s equal to or greater than 70% of maximum heart rate.

HERE ARE SAMPLE WORKOUTS FOR YOU TO TRY

• Short duration and low-intensity sessions (up to 60 minutes) 1,50ml bottle with 30g of an ISOTONIC DRINK.
• Medium duration and medium / high-intensity sessions (up to 90 minutes) 1,750ml bottle with 45g of an ISOTONIC DRINK + 1 ISOTONIC GEL for the mid-point of the session.

 

Two sessions in one day

At the end of the first session, consume one RECOVERY DRINK.

 

Incorporating the long training rides

If a session exceeds 90 minutes despite the reduction in training volume, then plan for two sessions during the day, but respect the recovery time of a few hours in between with appropriate rehydration.

 

Honing your hydration and feeding strategy

The sweat pool that gradually forms under the trainer says it all, and maintaining hydration during an indoor training session is essential. We lose 2% of body weight through sweat and this can affect performance by up to 35% - something that becomes more significant the longer the session.

 

Don’t disrupt the training schedule

Don’t mess around your workout schedule. The advice we give is to complete the program you’ve committed to. While competition offers an important stimulus in the development of form, a quality training load can also accomplish the same. If you’ve been training effectively, then when competition does resume, you won’t be unprepared!

 

From a motivational standpoint, the uncertainty around the cycling calendar may dampen the enthusiasm and conviction with which many train. But we say that’s only a trap. Those who love their sport will continue with the same devotion regardless.

 

Alex Zanardi, former Formula 1 and CART driver and Paralympic gold medalist, once said, “I just wanted to ride!” . Be patient if all you have is the indoor trainer for now. It won’t be long before you’ll be struggling up and down the climbs and descents!