Indoor Cycling Tips from Heather Jackson
Video courtesy of Wattie Ink.
by Chris Bagg and Heather Jackson
Ed. Note: HJ is BACK in BEND, and checks in this week with some indoor training tips as many of us are inside more than we usually would be. Watch the video that she and Wattie put together, following along with the guidelines below.
1. DIAL-IN YOUR INDOOR SET-UP! Making sure that the area in which you train is neat, easily accessible, free of obstacles, and conducive to working out will make you want to get on your trainer when you have a ride on the schedule. The converse is also true: if it's dark, messy, and awkward you won't enjoy your indoor training time. Having a good trainer like a Wahoo Kickr helps a ton, but any solid stationary trainer will do.
2. GET A GOOD FAN. Again, doesn't have to be flashy (although your author adores his Kickr Headwind, which runs faster when his heart rate is higher and slows when his exertion drops), but training indoors without a fan is a recipe for blowing up and missing the goals your workout.
3. MAKE SURE THE BIKE IS LEVEL! Nothing annoys HJ more during a horrifying three-minute interval than a bike that is wobbling. This is frustrating at best and downright dangerous at worst. You can crash your trainer, hurting both yourself and your expensive bicycle.
4. BE PREPARED FOR HORRIFYING AMOUNT OF SWEAT! Have a shelf of extra towels nearby, and extra baselayers and light clothing you can change into during your ride. Most athletes hate getting off the trainer (since it means more elapsed time on the trainer), so set yourself up with everything you need ahead of time.
5. FUEL AND HYDRATE EFFECTIVELY. You're going to lose way more fluid and sodium than you would normally, so have a lot of bottles and extra food nearby. You will be happy about it later, when you're not in a dehydration-induced fog. Your friends and family will be happy about it too.
6. HAVE A PLAN. Make sure you have a workout with some structure and something specific to do. If you just climb on the trainer saying "I'll just ride for an hour" it may feel incredibly boring, and halfway through you could be dreading staying on the bike for another thirty minutes. Break it up with some spin ups, or some big gear/little gear work. Separate the work into little chunks, and you'll be surprised at how quickly it goes by.
7. KEEP IT FUN! Whatever it is you're into like music, some show you love, a podcast you enjoy, lean into it. Don't just grind away and wallow in boredom—find a way to have a blast while you're training in your garage and do that thing shamelessly!