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indoor training question

Old 03-09-10, 09:59 PM
  #1  
benajah
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indoor training question

Probably redundant but I didn't see what I was looking for in the search.
Looks like I am going to be spending ALOT of time on an indoor trainer for awhile, as in all but weekend rides, and I have rarely relied on one as a training tool as I simply detest riding one, get so bored I want to shoot myself, etc. However, I better learn to at least tolerate it.
My real question is, realistically, I know it can't really substitute for actually riding, but is it really effective for actual improvement, or is the best I can hope for being maintenance? I honestly don't know much about training on them and there doesn't seem to be too much on the internet or training books about using them for a significant portion of your training.
Any advice?
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Old 03-09-10, 10:00 PM
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Also for that matter if anyone knows of any source of good information for structuring something around a fluid trainer I would really apprectiate that as well.
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Old 03-09-10, 10:15 PM
  #3  
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i have a spin bike at home (lemond revmaster). i like it because i can stand and pedal at full power it feels completely stable and solid. trainers are probably cheaper but i don't feel as confident on them
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Old 03-09-10, 10:41 PM
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Im on a Cycleops fluid trainer hooked to my race bike. Just don't have the expendable cash for a spin bike. Married, 1/2 a million mortgage in NorCal, that whole thing.
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Old 03-09-10, 10:50 PM
  #5  
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I can't stand using the trainer either. I find that the time passes quickly if I'm doing some kind of interval work out. The higher the intensity the faster the time goes. I'm really short on time so on the trainer I'm currently using a mixture of Carmichael's Time Crunched Cyclist and some workouts I found here: https://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0A...bmprbmQ2&hl=en.
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Old 03-09-10, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by benajah View Post
but is it really effective for actual improvement
Yes.
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Old 03-09-10, 11:13 PM
  #7  
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A friend of mine told me a story about either hunter allen/alan coogan. The basic idea behind the story was that whomever it was did all their training with power and on a computrainer. And with very specific targeted workouts and like 7-8 hrs/week they would go out and just murder every TT they entered.

So yes, it can be incredibly efficient at increasing fitness.
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Old 03-09-10, 11:18 PM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by johnybutts View Post
did all their training with power and on a computrainer. And with very specific targeted workouts and like 7-8 hrs/week they would go out and just murder .


Seriously, I get better at about the same rate doing 6-8h/week on the compuwizzer as I do training 10-12h on the road; but I can't stand the trainer enough to match 12h+ weeks.
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Old 03-09-10, 11:36 PM
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The issue with training at a set voltage on the computrainer is that you don't do anything related to surges and real race riding isn't at constant wattage. He had trouble with that at first since it didn't correlated directly in races. It was in training/racing with a PM.
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Old 03-10-10, 12:41 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by ridethecliche View Post
real race riding isn't at constant wattage.
CT workouts don't have to be at constant wattage.
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Old 03-10-10, 01:36 AM
  #11  
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I know. But the author was talking about setting the wattage to the 'perfect SST zone' or 'perfect % of FTP zone'.
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Old 03-10-10, 05:09 AM
  #12  
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I spent 50%+ of my time indoors last year and saw great gains/results until my accident. Now I'm back on. Have you considered rollers? With a resistance unit, I can do VO2s and FT workouts on it.

The nice thing about indoor workouts is that you can do targeted workouts--I can be on and off the bike doing 2x20's in less than an hour. A solid set of pacing intervals (Friel's pacing intervals also referred to as STUCI's in the Training Status thread) take me about an hour and 35 minutes. VO2s, less than an hour. When I'm doing 3+ trainer workouts a week, usually it is a combination of pacing intervals and 2x20s. If in race season, I put in VO2s. My longest time on the rollers was 2.5 hours. 1.5 on the trainer (I'd be hard pressed to go longer than that, I think).
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Old 03-10-10, 05:59 AM
  #13  
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I spend a lot of time on the trainer. Okay, I went to FL and CA this winter, a week or so each, rode about 15-17 days outside between the two. But around here I only rode outside three times since October or something. Group ride in Nov, post-sweep ride for 30 odd minutes last Saturday, raced on Sunday.

Granted, I rode a lot in CA, but I've gone out to CA to do training trips with no outdoor riding for 3-4 months. One year in CA I did an average of 5.5 hours a day for a week or something stupid.

So what works for me?

My sprint is my forte so I just work on steady stuff. I use music and video to motivate. Now and then I do a 20 min test. I like ZeCanon's 5 min at 105% of FTP.

A long time ago a friend of mine trounced the 1-2s in an early season training race. I asked him what he did. He'd just ridden a lot, not working on anything in particular (this before heart rate monitors and such), so basically just base miles stuff. But he was so strong it was unbelievable. Ever since then I've tried to do base miles. They work for me no matter what time of year it is.

I use racing and group rides for speedwork.

I ride the trainer even in the summer. I find it less exhausting than fighting the heat and humidity (and bugs and whatnot). I race more, true, usually 3x a week, with a group ride too. But on rainy days (track or training races cancelled) I'll sit on the trainer.

cdr
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Old 03-10-10, 06:07 AM
  #14  
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I used a computrainer for the first time this winter and used it in concert with my srm. While I wasn't super happy about riding indoors, I believe that it enabled me to realize better conditioning than had I been riding outside in 10/20 degree temps. Technically, we'll never know, but my reference point is last year when I did all of my riding outdoors when in Boston.

Another benefit that I've seen, possibly attributable to using the CT, is an improved stroke. About 2-3 weeks ago, I became more efficient at higher -- what many would call "normal" -- cadence. I'm not sure if this is a result of improved aerobic capacity or improved spinning, or, perhaps something that just happens over time (when one comes back to the sport after a long layoff).

In any event, I believe the CT has been beneficial for me. I'm thinking about using it for certain workouts (e.g., intervals) even when the weather is regualarly conducive for outdoor riding. In addition, I suspect that there is an interaction effect; I suspect the return/payoff of using a trainer is greater when a workout regimen includes outdoor riding as well -- that is my gut feel from my experience.
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Old 03-10-10, 06:35 AM
  #15  
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Unpossible
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Old 03-10-10, 08:03 AM
  #16  
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you can get alot done on the indoor trainer, i find it useful to break efforts down into:

threshold development:
2x or 3x20' intervals
pacing workout (use search function if you dont know it)
8x5' or 6x5' or whatever ze cannon is recommending

VO2Max development
3x8'
6x4'
8x3'
etc.

AWC efforts
10x1'
5x2'
30"on/30"off
etc.

doing harder where you need to stand and jump is kind of difficult to replicate indoors, and the big gaping hole in indoor training unless you're a cyborg like gsteinb is the long 3 to 5 hr. mixed intensity ride.
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Old 03-10-10, 08:06 AM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by benajah View Post
Im on a Cycleops fluid trainer hooked to my race bike. Just don't have the expendable cash for a spin bike. Married, 1/2 a million mortgage in NorCal, that whole thing.
They can be had pretty cheaply used. But there's no power meter.
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Old 03-10-10, 09:33 AM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
They can be had pretty cheaply used. But there's no power meter.
Nashbar sells the fluid wattmaster (wireless power display) for $319. NEW.




I regularly use their previous generation wattmaster, (wired unit) and it works great!
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Old 03-10-10, 10:02 AM
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You can definitely see improvement by using a trainer. I've been using one regularly for the first time this year in order to drop weight and enter the spring with decent fitness since I'm going to race for the first time. I've got a handful of DVD's that I use and I'm finding that if I compare recent sessions to earlier sessions with the same DVD, my pace for the same workouts has improved. I've also found, however, that I've adapted some and it takes some effort on my part to make those workouts harder as I improve, which I've failed to do a few times.

The only problem now is that after two plus months of this I am so sick of the trainer that I get tired just looking at it, so it is gradually harder to stay motivated.
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Old 03-10-10, 10:49 AM
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Last year I barely used the trainer, maybe a handful of times the entire year ... results were not so good...

This year, I have used the spin-bike (during early winter months) and the regular fluid trainer in early pre-season and the results have been considerably better.

I can't say that the results are entirely due to using the trainers, but a combination of lower body-weight and increased power due to more controllable environments allowed by the trainer and power meter display unit.

I have improved a lot by incorporating them so far, at this point I don't see any reason to completely stop using it.
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Old 03-10-10, 01:57 PM
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I find I go much deeper into the pain cave on the trainer than out on the road. I feel more secure driving myself into a state of delerium and cardiovascular-respiratory distrees
staionary in my garage rather than shooting the gap between two SUV's to maintain interval intensity.
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Old 03-10-10, 02:09 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by curiouskid55 View Post
I find I go much deeper into the pain cave on the trainer than out on the road. I feel more secure driving myself into a state of delerium and cardiovascular-respiratory distrees
staionary in my garage rather than shooting the gap between two SUV's to maintain interval intensity.
Total opposite for me.

I have no motivation on the trainer. I'd rather ride outside in the cold. I'll do easy 1.5 hr rides on the trainer while watching a movie every now and then.
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Old 03-23-10, 04:28 PM
  #23  
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I've been using the Cyclops Fluid 2 trainer every weekday in conjuction with an elliptical for the last two months. I would say it definately helps, if you can stand to be stationary. I am not training with any sort of power meter. I use cadence and my HRM. My training routine is 30-40 minutes on the trainer at 80-90% maximum heart rate, and 20-40 minutes on the elliptical at 60-80% MHR. I try to target a specific heart rate for five minutes and not let it get more than +/- 3 bpm from that target, then I move to the next target for five minutes. Monday and Friday are lighter workouts than T-W-T with Wednesday being the hardest (40 minutes on trainer with higher HR targets). I did my first comute of the season yesterday (18.5 miles each way), and it felt much easier than I had expected. I found it much easier to set the heart rate on "cruise control" and just spin. I was able to maintain a higher cadence and felt like I was moving more efficiently than I was last season. While I'm not yet able to shift into the next higher gear than I'm used to on the big hill, I am spinning faster and able to maintain a higher average speed. I credit this to all the time spent on the trainer.
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Old 03-23-10, 08:47 PM
  #24  
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IMHO, a power meter is really helpful, if not key, in making your trainer time valuable. If you're training with power indoors, you know just how many watts you're putting out, and how that translates to the road.

Training on a trainer to HR, or perceived effort, I think its easy to just not go hard enough. Ventilation, heart rate drift. etc can skew heart rate, and boredome skews perceived effort.

This is why I think a lot of people spend the winter on the trainer, and hit the road, andhurt riding outside, and say the trainer is no substitute for the road.

But ride the trainer, with discipline on a power based program, and you can make actual gains.

As a personal anecdote, this winter I did a lot of trainer time with a power meter while my wife did the same workouts on a trainer by HR. She is now behind where she was last fall, and I'm ahead of where I was. I need to buy her a power meter.
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Old 03-24-10, 12:22 PM
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update: nashbar has a sale, they just lowered the price on the wireless fluid power trainer AND they have 10% off on top of that!!


HERE is the link
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