Enjoy cycling but can’t brave the breeze? Make room for your Christmas Roast with a turbo trainer. Simply hook up your bike and carry on like you normally would, just in the comfort of indoors. Although you might miss the view, read on to find out how to make things a bit more enjoyable.
Are you sitting comfortably?
Even if you’re not trying very hard (and we hope you are!), you’ll be surprised at how much you sweat on the turbo. Without the wind to cool you down, you can quickly find yourself overheating. It’s best to ride the turbo in front of a fan to keep cool, and to make sure that you have plenty to drink.
The art of distraction
No matter how much you like to ride your bike, it can get a bit boring when all you’ve got to look at is a wall! Lots of people like to train while watching the TV, listening to some music or our personal favourite: watching some old cycling races. It can help the time pass a bit more quickly and help distract you if you’re doing a really tough session.
Stick to the program
Another tip for riding on the turbo is not to pedal aimlessly! Having an idea of what sort of session you’re going to do can help give you a bit of direction and let you mentally tick off your efforts as you go along. The most common kind of session to do on the turbo trainer is interval training, where you do a set number of high intensity efforts for a certain amount of time with periods of easy riding in between. Even if you’re not super serious, it can help to break up the time.
Measure your progress
As well as having a training session in mind when you get on the turbo, it’s really nice to be able to see how you’re getting on. Looking at things like your speed (or the speed of your rear wheel) as well as your heart rate can give you an idea of how much effort you’re putting in, as well as helping you see how your training is helping! If you want to get the best experience, you can invest in a turbo trainer that will measure your power output for a more accurate measure of your efforts and improvement.
Keep your eyes on the prize
Why are you riding on the turbo? Do you want to lose weight and get fitter? Are you riding a sportive next year? Are you a racer? Even if you’d just like to be able to ride a bit further next year, make sure that you know it! Setting a proper goal gives you something to focus on and a reason to get on the turbo to start with, and can make a big difference to your motivation.
So there you have it – our top tips for staying motivated on the turbo trainer through the winter! If you really want to mix things up, why not think about a set of rollers? You can find out more about rollers in our blog post: ‘Turbo Trainers vs. Rollers: Which one is right for you?’.