Saturday, 11 December 2010

Turbo Training

Benefits of Indoor Cycling Training   by Coach Troy Jacobson

Indoor TrainerThe word is out.  High performance competitive cyclists and triathletes are opting for indoor training, especially for their quality work, over outdoor riding.  The trend has been on the rise over many years… but many are just now coming to realize it. Despite the potential boredom associated with indoor training, more and more athletes see that the pros outweigh the cons.  Here’s a short list of 5 key benefits, in no particular order, to indoor training for you to consider:
  • Time Efficiency:  Cold weather and shorter daylight hours make it difficult and time consuming to prepare for an outdoor ride.  By the time you don your layers, gloves, booties and balaclavas, 15 minutes of  high quality training time are out the window.  And with darkness coming at around 5 pm, getting out on the roads is next to impossible for all but the hardiest cyclists.
  • Safety: It’s all about the law of averages.  The more you expose yourself to vehicular traffic, the higher your chances are of getting in an accident. Spending time indoors on the ‘turbo’ cuts down on your exposure and reduces your risk of getting hurt.
  • Focus: Training indoors allows you absolute control of your training variables, including duration and intensity.  There are no traffic lights, hills (down or up), wind or other distractions to deal with… it’s just you, your stopwatch, your powermeter (or heart rate monitor) and your desire.
  • Effectiveness: See point number 3.  Indoor training eliminates many of the variables that are often out of our control.  It’s said that indoor training v. outdoor training, per unit of time, is anywhere from 10-30% more effective. That means that a 60 minute ride on the turbo can equal the work done in 80-90 minutes on the roads.
  • Social: Sure, road riding can be social… but the ‘selection’ that takes place after the warm-up separates the stronger riders from the not-so-strong riders. Therefore, you only develop strong bonds with people of similar riding ability. With indoor training, since you don’t go anywhere, everyone is in the same pain cave for the entire workout, regardless if someone is producing 350 watts to someone else’s 150 watts.  Indoor training is the great equalizer and offers more social connection opportunities when done as a group.

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