Indoor training can boost your fitness, save you time, and keep you out of the worst of the weather! But a good session on the indoor trainer can be hard to get right unless you’ve got the details all dialled in.
Here are some of our favourite tips to make indoor training even better:
FAN ANGLE ESSENTIALS
We all know a fan is an indoor trainer essential, right? Riding without the cooling effect of the air moving around you can make cycling indoors a very sweaty business.
As a result, it’s safe to say a good fan is one of the most important bits of turbo training tech you can own.
Keeping cool while you ride will not only make you a lot more comfortable, but also will help you ride harder as you avoid dehydration. But when you do have a fan, here’s our top tip: Don’t point it at your head and face!
It’s tempting to aim the cooling blast at your head as that’s where you feel the sweat the most, but that’s not the most effective option. Instead, place the fan on the floor behind and to one side of you so that the air is aimed at your core and back. This is the area where most of the heat is being generated and has the largest surface area to keep cool.
Trust us, it works!
HACK YOUR HYDRATION
Just like you need a well-positioned fan, you need to prepare plenty of fluid for even a relatively short indoor session. The extra sweat you generate when training indoors can cause you to dehydrate very fast.
Dehydration can have a massive impact on your ride, and studies have shown that a 2% drop in bodyweight due to sweat can have a huge impact on your athletic ability.
We typically recommend at least 500ml per hour of riding for a standard outdoor cycle. If you’re training inside, aim for more than 750ml per hour – that’s just a little more than one of our PRO BIKE TOOL Insulated Bottles.
If it’s going to be a particularly long session, try throwing an electrolyte tablet in there too – this will help replace some of the essential minerals lost to sweat.
PLAN FOR THE RIDE
Whatever you do, make sure you have a plan! Riding indoors without having a structure to the session can be brain-numbing. Instead, make sure you follow a pre-prepared session made by the app of your choice (Zwift, Trainer Road etc).
You can check out our guide to our favourite training apps here.
Interval sessions are particularly effective on the turbo trainer, both in terms of boosting your fitness and passing the time. Changing your ride intensity for fixed amounts of time during intervals makes the time fly! Plus, interval training can be tough on the open road due to the need to obey traffic lights, ease off the power for corners etc.
Apps like Zwift and TrainerRoad have huge libraries of interval workouts for you to choose from.
Don’t fancy intervals? Hop on Zwift and try a race! It will be over before you know it, and you’ll get the workout of your life!
There’s a whole host of gadgets and accessories that can make an indoor trainer session easier.
Here’s some of our essential suggestions:
- Trainer mat / old piece of carpet: A mat or extra piece of carpet beneath your trainer will soak the sweat, reduce the noise, and save your flooring!
- Towel: Sometimes a fan alone isn’t enough to keep the sweat at bay.... Ugh.
- Headphones: Let’s face it, good tunes make for good times.
- Chamois cream: Riding the trainer can be uncomfortable at times – make your life a little more pleasant with some chamois cream.
- Emergency snack: For a longer or tougher session, being well-fuelled can make all the difference. Keep a gel or piece of candy at hand, just in case you need it.