If you’ve been following along here, or having a perv on Strava, you will have noticed that I’ve been spending a bit of time training indoors, on stationary trainers(s). I am by no means an expert on indoor trainers, check out Shane Miller if you want info on that (in fact, check his you tube vids anyway, they are a veritable source of interesting cycling related stuff), but i’ll give you a run down of my experience.
The very first training session that Matt had in mind for me was to begin strength efforts. These have involved doing several sets of 10 minute intervals at or near my functional threshold power, but at a low cadence. Typically the whole session will last about an hour and I come out of them with my legs feeling 10kg heavier initially, but exceptionally powerful if I immediately afterwards ride on the road (they are not actually more powerful, it’s just that riding on the road feels easier).
An issue quickly arose in the first couple of weeks of training whereby the fluid style trainer that I’ve been using (where my rear hub is locked into a triangle-shaped frame and resistance is generated by a rubber-like roller interfaced with the rear wheel). I found that this trainer did not provide enough resistance to properly complete the efforts. Not wanting to completely waste a training session, I immediately adapted to a higher cadence for the same power. The cadence was still relatively low at around 70-75rpm, but considerably higher than the target of 60rpm. I’m happy with myself for make the most of what I had, but really wanted to get the most out of these efforts, and at times would find myself pedalling at up to 80rpm to hit my target power. Not ideal.
Luckily, Matt had an easy solution and Blue Cycles lent me a Wahoo Kickr. These smart trainers are by no means cheap, so I was stoked to have a loan, and the increased resistance immediately ripped me a new one on Thursday morning. The training session felt far more effective, and the feel of the trainer is much more road like than the fluid trainer I’d been using. It’s hard to get enjoyment out of riding indoors, but having a set up that feels closer to riding outdoors takes away the mental drudgery of sitting in an air-conditioned room in front of a lap top screen (I’d rather save these conditions for writing).
I’m bound to write some updates on the indoor side of the training. I’ll probably end up purchasing a Kicker. And I’ve found another edge that having a coach can provide – being able to adapt sessions to fit your needs, and being connected to tools that allow for more effective training.