Setting Up a Swanky Indoor Training Space
Though we live for riding outdoors with the warm sun on our backs, at some point in the year we each find ourselves an indoor trainer in the basement, garage, or spare room. There’s no doubt you’re better off riding than sitting on the couch until the weather improves, but to maximize the benefits of your trainer time, it’s important to properly set up your indoor training space.
Step 1: Claim your space
I’ve noticed personally, and professionally as a coach, that people are more likely to get on the trainer when the environment is inviting and convenient. That means you should try to find a space where you can leave the majority of your indoor training equipment set up and ready to go at a moment’s notice. If you have to drag the trainer, TV, and bike from all over the house every time you want to ride, you’re not going to bother.
Step 2: Gather your gear
There are a few key items that make indoor training more comfortable, effective, and even enjoyable:
1. Stationary cycling trainer (Blackburn Trakstand Ultra is my first choice, followed by the fluid resistance version)
2. Front wheel block. Preferably, get one that allows for multiple wheel heights.
3. Phone book. For some workouts, you may want to simulate your climbing position on the bike by raising the front wheel even higher. And you can call in your delivery order during a recovery period.
4. Fan. One will work, two is even better.
5. Entertainment device. Variations include a TV, VCR, DVD player, laptop, stereo, iPod.
6. Bar Stool. Perfect place to put the remote where you can still reach it.
7. Towels. One small one for wiping your face, one bigger one to catch dripping sweat.
8. Bicycle. The rest of the gear won’t do you much good without it. Make sure to put two full bottles in the cages.
More indoor trainer tips:
1. Close the heater vents. When you’re in there generating a lot of heat and using fans to keep you cool, there’s nothing worse than having the furnace flood the room with more hot air.
2. Don’t forget about the drops. If you live in a snowbound area where you’ll be riding the trainer for months at a time, remember to spend some time doing intervals in the drops. If you want to be able to ride powerfully in this position outdoors next spring, you have to spend some time riding in that position now.
3. Crack a window. Some cold air from outside will help keep the room and your body cooler while you’re training.
4. Consider wireless headphones. If you’re training at night, early in the morning, or in a house with thin walls, you can avoid cranking the volume on your TV by getting some wireless headphones. Then all your family will hear is the trainer… and your agony.
5. Level the bike. Unless you’re purposely elevating your front wheel to simulate a climbing position, your bike should be level when it’s on the trainer. With a standard frame, you can check by putting a level on the top tube. With compact frames (sloping top tube), you can measure to make sure both hubs are equidistant from the floor. You should only have to do this once, as long as you’re able to leave the trainer and wheel block in place until your next indoor trainer ride.
Jim Rutberg is a Pro Coach for Carmichael Training Systems, Inc. (CTS) and co-author of five books with Chris Carmichael, including their newest release, “Five Essentials for a Winning Life”. To find out what CTS can do for you, visit www.trainright.com.