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  1. #1
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    How do you ride a trainer?

    For those of us that ride a trainer in the winter for base mile purposes, how do you ride? and why?

    High Candence with lower resistance?
    or
    Lower Candence with higher resistance?

    The reason i ride the trainer in the winter is to lose weight and get base miles in for the spring. Any input or info would be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Yes...

    As in, it depends.

    Trainers seem to be better for either recovery (light resistance, moderate cadence) or intervals (intensity with either high resistance and low cadence or vice versa). Won't necessarily be all or none.

    In any case, more than an hour in any case is hard on the mental health. Mix it up with weights or something. I understand the hope for base miles, but do that when thevweather's good!

  3. #3
    Bro Mountainbiker
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    Just say no to riding indoors!
    Raised in a Chicken-Coop by Chickens

  4. #4
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    lots of long intervals and tempo, nothing much below, endurance outdoors

  5. #5
    spec4life???..smh...
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    I ride it just the same as I do when Im outside...cadence varies, but I base my effort on HR and PE.

    My max time on the trainer now is two hours and that is tough. In the past i have done as much as 3, but never again. Accordingly, in the winter ill do all my real long rides outside and then the shorter ones on the trainer.

  6. #6
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    I like videos from "The Sufferfest." They make indoor riding bearable and all you have to do is whatever the video tells you. I'm taking a month or so off then hitting the trainer to get me strong for next spring.

  7. #7
    Fat-tired Roadie Moderator
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    I have two ways I ride a trainer.

    Most of my trainer hours are at a computrainer center. It self-adjusts resistance to hit a certain power output. I just ride at whatever cadence. I find for the harder intervals, I do better at higher cadence. Not sure where my peak power is, but somewhere north of 100. I'll recover at a bit lower cadence.

    If I'm using my trainer at home, which I have to adjust from the resistance unit, I shift gears to change resistance. Similar pattern on cadence, though.

    In both cases, the cadence is in the range I'd use riding outdoors.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  8. #8
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    Long easy rides to build the base with the odd session that contains intervals.
    Setup in front of my big screen.
    Netflix is god's gift to indoor training.

    I would say 80% of my riding is at low intensity - spinning 80-85RPM just putting on the miles

  9. #9
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    I do the traditional base training model (zone 2, with other little stuff thrown in). I like throwing in a change every 10 minutes, whether it's a cadence change, short sprint, or high cadence interval. It makes the time seem to go faster that way.

    Looking at last year's training calendar, I only did 15 trainer/roller sessions last winter, varying from 1 to 2 hours, and one single 3 hour session. All the other days i rode outside, attended long group road rides, or cross trained (hike or XCski, but on weekends only).

    I won't do any long intervals above Tempo power indoors. i get too overheated.
    Last edited by Poncharelli; 11-01-2012 at 11:26 AM.
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  10. #10
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    In Russia, trainer rides you.

  11. #11
    Dirty South Underdog
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    I only use the trainer for intervals, and only if the conditions outside aren't tolerable- the air gets polluted here in the summer, and in the winter, I use it when it's <40 or cold & raining.
    Brickhouse Blog (most known unknown)

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  12. #12
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    erg mode

    if you want to forgo getting a new bike next year and spend the money on a computer controlled trainer (computrainer etc), then riding in erg mode, where there is power:time profile that you must match, is the best way to ride a trainer for me. you can link this type of trainer to an erg video or sufferfest power profile and watch the action as you ride. I must have a weak mind, because this kind of virtual reality actually makes it bearable!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    Not sure where my peak power is, but somewhere north of 100..
    WOAH! 100W! man you're going to break that trainer!

    I think you forgot a zero
    Something wrong with your bike? Blame it on super human strength and sleep well at night knowing you are more than a man.

  14. #14
    Fat-tired Roadie Moderator
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    ^^^
    LOL, hope I forgot a zero in regards to peak power. But I meant cadence.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckred View Post
    Yes...

    As in, it depends.

    Trainers seem to be better for either recovery (light resistance, moderate cadence) or intervals (intensity with either high resistance and low cadence or vice versa). Won't necessarily be all or none.

    In any case, more than an hour in any case is hard on the mental health. Mix it up with weights or something. I understand the hope for base miles, but do that when thevweather's good!
    you got that right

    I ride intervals and my max riding time gets to about 40mins. Then I hit the weights

  16. #16
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    I use trainer at least two times a week due to work.

    I ride in many way:
    -agility i.e some set of 90rpm-100rpm-110rpm-resto
    -recovery
    -force or specific work

  17. #17
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    I don't work for these guys but the wife and I do subscribe as it makes trainer sessions very bearable - Trainer Road

    I use a computrainer mostly and the software interfaces with the computrainer seamlessly. There is also a Beta version that lets you more easily create erg workouts so you can run the 4x12 @85% that your coach prescribed.

    all ya need is a garmin speed/cadence sensor, an ant+ stick and a reasonably new trainer. Even creates a power file for uploading to Training Peaks or Golden Cheetah. IMO its easily worth the $10/month.

    If you're just looking to create a powerfile from your trainer ride, the latest version of Golden Cheetah (might still be in beta) will do almost the same thing - but I couldn't get the video to play in the GC screen.

    ymmv but definitely worth looking at.

  18. #18
    LMN
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    I like to watch cross world cups while on the trainer. I do one lap hard, one lap easy until the race is over. A nice simple workout.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

  19. #19
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    TBH anything below L3 is a complete waste of time on the trainer IMO.

    I personnaly do a lot of L4 and micro L6 workouts during winter on my trainer. When jan-feb comes, I switch to more L4 and L5 with less L6 work. I then hit the tempo (L3) and endurance (L2) workouts once I can ride outside.

    why would anyone want to ride the trainer at endurance pace is beyond my understanding. Sure there are some adaptations from endurance riding but your time is better used at higher intensity while indoors.

  20. #20
    spec4life???..smh...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devincicx View Post
    why would anyone want to ride the trainer at endurance pace is beyond my understanding.
    You said it...(reading a book can help with that).

  21. #21
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    Then explain how riding the trainer at L2 during winter will improve fitness for a time constrained rider ?

    There are adaptations from riding at L2, but I wouldnt bother with them during winter, when all I can do is ride the trainer for 1h-1h30.

    If you have plenty of time, maybe. If you have time to loose, sure. I dont, I train smart, I train hard.

    ** reading Joel Friel of Chris Carmichael book wont make you understand how the human body works.

  22. #22
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    I don't ride one! Thats how

  23. #23
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    For me train hard every time you are on a trainer isn't good..
    Body tends to adapt to stimulus but also need recovery, so a good variance of workload is necessary.

  24. #24
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    If it's convenient and available, find an indoor group training class. I absolutely hate riding the trainer, but I've started attending indoor group classes twice a week, and it has helped a lot! I just show up with my road bike, hook it up to one of the CompuTrainer's, and follow the prescribed workout...and get yelled at by the coach leading the class! I like it because it takes the thought of coming up with my own workout out of the equation.

    Not sure about where you live, but a lot of shops here in CO offer classes...or maybe you even have a gym that offers them. I go to Carmichael Training Systems here in Colorado Springs.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devincicx View Post
    Then explain how riding the trainer at L2 during winter will improve fitness for a time constrained rider ?

    There are adaptations from riding at L2, but I wouldnt bother with them during winter, when all I can do is ride the trainer for 1h-1h30.

    If you have plenty of time, maybe. If you have time to loose, sure. I dont, I train smart, I train hard.

    ** reading Joel Friel of Chris Carmichael book wont make you understand how the human body works.
    Your statements have little to do with the effectiveness of riding a trainer for endurance and much more to do with time constraints of your personal schedule. While L2/Z2/endurance work on the trainer may have a special spot reserved in hell it is effective if you want it to be in my experience. Yes it's boring. Yes it's painful in a different manner than higher intensity work. Yes you're building aerobic base and burning fat to lean down (hopefully). If you don't have the time for a longer session, yes the value is questionable to many. But the same is true for a short L2 session outdoors.
    Quote Originally Posted by turnerbikes
    in fact for trail type bikes I am tired of QR roady ****e in general. Lets move on.

  26. #26
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    it actually depends on where you live, time available, training objectives, etc.

    But I cant see what is the benefits of riding the trainer at such low intensity. Burning fat is not a valid point, if someone wnats to lean down, the answer is simply burn more calories. Burning calories is done via workload, you're better off riding tempo intensity, that way more calories are burnt.

    I guess most people riding the trainer are time constraint people, hence why I dont find any argument in favor of L2 riding. There are specific adaptations (heart contraction, efficiency) to riding this intensity but like I said, I would not bother with these during winter time.

    Again, winter is relative. Winter here means its dark at 3h45pm, road full of snow/ice/salt and impossible to ride safely outside.

    Given the OP sound quite new and wants to loose weight/build a base, I'd recommend lots of L3-L4 intensity work. Building base with L2 is an old school outdated principle, especially for amateurs who dont have 20-30h available to train each week.

  27. #27
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    I think the better question is: "how do you avoid riding the trainer?". When sunrise and sunset times coincide with workday start and end times and riding after dark is near suicide given traffic and road conditions it becomes a bit of a necessary evil, but I'm always looking for ways to avoid it. Not to mention the contradiction of winter being the point in the season that we're supposed to be putting in longer, easier rides at the same time that there's no practical time to ride.

    I think the gloom of the impending winter is hitting me hard this year...

  28. #28
    Swimming thru the Smog
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    I do intervals on the trainer once a week, 20-30 min warm up, 45 sec sprint seperated by 2 min x3, then 5 min break, and repeat 2 more times. That is the only real workout i do on my trainer, 3 other times a week i will ride some miles on it after playing 1-3 hours of volleyball, but that is mostly high resistance low cadence to get a little extra in my work out. It is hard for me to get enthused about a trainer when i only use my road bike to go back and forth from the bar.

  29. #29
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    x2 for trainerroad.com
    $10/month....impossible to beat that

    Good base programs to choose from. They lay out each and every workout within the program. If you feel like getting frisky once in a while load up one of their integrated Sufferfest workouts.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by thedood View Post
    x2 for trainerroad.com
    $10/month....impossible to beat that

    Good base programs to choose from. They lay out each and every workout within the program. If you feel like getting frisky once in a while load up one of their integrated Sufferfest workouts.
    Hadn't heard of this, but it looks really good. I was trying to figure out how to do something similar on my own...not surprised that someone beat me to it.

  31. #31
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    There's another guy whipping up some virtual power software for use w/ trainers. Right now its in beta and the conversation is going on in a tri-dork forum...

    New Indoor Bike Training Software: PeriPedal

    PeriPedal | Bringing you closer to your bike.

    I haven't used it yet because it doesn't control the load on my computrainer but the reviews so far are positive.

  32. #32
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    I generally dedicate 2 workouts/week to interval training. These are short, high intensity workouts with TSS bellow 100 (including warmup and cool down). The other 2 workouts are endurance based and I aim for 2+ hours for those workouts. Total weekly workouts are about 8 hours.

    For me now is FTP improvement time. I will do a few blocks of true base building in Jan/Feb where I am going to shoot for 12-14 hours.
    My rides:
    Lynskey Ti Pro29 SL singlespeed
    KHS Team 29
    S-Works Roubaix SL3 Dura Ace
    KHS CX 550 cyclocross

  33. #33
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    this is my first winter using one, i am knocking on 500 miles on it and feeling pretty good about it. i normally ride 10 miles while doing intervals. is that a bad idea?

  34. #34
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    How do you ride a trainer?

    Here's how to ride on rollers.

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Q5vcf6P1jvg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/ybFvomdhW2Y" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    .

  35. #35
    mnoutain bkie rdier
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    Rollers...on rainy days in San Diego = not very often

  36. #36
    lgh
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    Fixed gear. Work on the spin. Zone 2, mostly. I can bump it up with heavier tire and/or lower pressures. I do intervals but I make sure I start with spin work. A good spin is a basic bike skill.

    Larry

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