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  1. #1
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    Thinking Of Using A Trainer In Off Season

    I'm trying to minimize the loss of cycling gains made over this summer. This has been an excellent summer but our 6mos of Michigan weather gradually takes the biking urges away as I give way to hunting season.

    How much of this conditioning can be maintained through the winter by using a roller trainer and my beloved Trek 460? I cant stomach getting on a fitness center stat bike. No way, aint gonna do it.

    My aim is to continue the fight over weight gain and roll out in the spring in decent shape. Any thoughts from the experienced?

    Current stats: I'm 53, 5'9, 178lbs. My only steady conditioning in winter is being a wrestling coach (problem is, I just eat more than I should during the winters).
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

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  2. #2
    Senior Member slims_s's Avatar
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    It's a pretty common practice to use the trainer during the winter to keep the fitness.

  3. #3
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    Endurance training on a trainer is about as exciting as watching paint dry. I would assume it would be a bit more interesting on rollers.
    I find it more useful for intervals and what not. Shorter efforts.
    However, the more options you have during winter the better off you will be but it really varies person to person on how effective it is.
    In Colorado I rarely miss riding time in winter. It is more useful for the occasional storm or when the days aren't long enough and I have commitments. I found it very useful for when my youngest son was born in Feb.

  4. #4
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DataJunkie View Post
    Endurance training on a trainer is about as exciting as watching paint dry. I would assume it would be a bit more interesting on rollers.
    I find it more useful for intervals and what not. Shorter efforts.
    However, the more options you have during winter the better off you will be but it really varies person to person on how effective it is.
    In Colorado I rarely miss riding time in winter. It is more useful for the occasional storm or when the days aren't long enough and I have commitments. I found it very useful for when my youngest son was born in Feb.
    No biking for me in the winter. Motorists are not inclined to see you, riding is too difficult to hold any interest and my tundra boots dont fit the pedals very well.

    This is why I ask about indoor training. At least my butt and upperbody will stay in tune with saddle time.
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

    '85 Trek 460 road racer

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  5. #5
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I've been using a trainer for years for winter riding ... but I also ride outside as often as possible. It's easier to ride outside now that I live in Australia, but I used to do it in Manitoba and Alberta too.

    When I lived in Manitoba, I commuted by bicycle year round, rode outside on most weekends, and then rode the trainer for an hour or so in the evenings during the winter.

    Winter is also a good time to cross train ... to take up snowshoeing, cross country skiing, weightlifting, yoga, etc. etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DataJunkie View Post
    Endurance training on a trainer is about as exciting as watching paint dry. I would assume it would be a bit more interesting on rollers.
    I kind of thought that watching paint dry was more exciting. I ride a spin bike at the gym (I like the feel of the fly wheel) and read magazines to keep from terminal boredom.

  7. #7
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    I've been using a trainer for years for winter riding ... but I also ride outside as often as possible. It's easier to ride outside now that I live in Australia, but I used to do it in Manitoba and Alberta too.

    When I lived in Manitoba, I commuted by bicycle year round, rode outside on most weekends, and then rode the trainer for an hour or so in the evenings during the winter.

    Winter is also a good time to cross train ... to take up snowshoeing, cross country skiing, weightlifting, yoga, etc. etc.
    Wrestling, weight training, wrestling, running stairs and hallways, wrestling, getting beat up by veteran wrestlers, wrestling.

    But I want to stay in biking shape. I know all about cross training........but if I dont ride my bike the springtime results are glaringly obvious.
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

    '85 Trek 460 road racer

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    Stick your trainer in front of a tv, pop in a movie, and go at it. I have friends in Minnesota who do just that.
    I'm spoiled.
    You could try spin classes as well. If you find a good one they can kick your arse and the scenery can be quite nice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
    Wrestling, weight training, wrestling, running stairs and hallways, wrestling, getting beat up by veteran wrestlers, wrestling.

    But I want to stay in biking shape. I know all about cross training........but if I dont ride my bike the springtime results are glaringly obvious.
    Those all sound pretty anaerobic. If you have cross country skiing available I'd don't think you'd lose much. I use a trainer on days when it's too rainy but only ending up using it about 10 times in the winter. I could get used to it if I had to.

    Here's a quote from Andy Coggan on how he maintained fitness in the winter:
    "Seriously, the best season I've had in recent years followed a winter during which I did the following '90/90'90' workout 3 d/wk:

    5 min w/u
    20 min @ 275 W
    5 min easy
    5 min @ 325 W
    2.5 min easy
    5 min @ 325 W
    2.5 min easy
    0.5 min at 500 W
    2 min easy
    0.5 min at 500 W
    2 min easy
    0.5 min at 500 W
    2 min easy
    0.5 min at 500 W
    2.5 min easy
    5 min warm-down

    The '90/90/90' refers to the fact that (almost by chance) the powers used were about 90% of the best that I could produce for that duration when at peak fitness. That made the session challenging enough that I didn't lose too much fitness over the winter, but not so hard that I ever dreaded the workout or burned out from doing it."

  10. #10
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
    Those all sound pretty anaerobic. If you have cross country skiing available I'd don't think you'd lose much. I use a trainer on days when it's too rainy but only ending up using it about 10 times in the winter. I could get used to it if I had to.

    Here's a quote from Andy Coggan on how he maintained fitness in the winter:
    "Seriously, the best season I've had in recent years followed a winter during which I did the following '90/90'90' workout 3 d/wk:

    5 min w/u
    20 min @ 275 W
    5 min easy
    5 min @ 325 W
    2.5 min easy
    5 min @ 325 W
    2.5 min easy
    0.5 min at 500 W
    2 min easy
    0.5 min at 500 W
    2 min easy
    0.5 min at 500 W
    2 min easy
    0.5 min at 500 W
    2.5 min easy
    5 min warm-down

    The '90/90/90' refers to the fact that (almost by chance) the powers used were about 90% of the best that I could produce for that duration when at peak fitness. That made the session challenging enough that I didn't lose too much fitness over the winter, but not so hard that I ever dreaded the workout or burned out from doing it."
    But you dont need aerobics to lose weight. I've lost 35lbs in little more than 4mos while training for national level powerlifting.

    What I'm really wanting to know is if I can stay in cycling shape to any degree using my road bike on rollers in the house when there is 4ft of snow outside

    I hate going out for that first ride and feeling like junk because the triceps, neck, rhomboids and not to mention legs, hips and back are all hurting at the 10mi mark. And yes, the added activity to help with weight loss.

    Wrestling works wonders for weight loss (cutting weight is our game remember) if I exercise my push-aways.

    I'm most likely not going to measure wattage but thanx for posting the workout...it is appreciated.
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

    '85 Trek 460 road racer

    '89 Raleigh Technium PRE

    '79 Motobecane Super Mirage

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    Trainers are definitely worth it! They provide the exercise you need during the winter months, when it's to cold to ride outside. Even if it's a nice day outside, I still find myself sometimes riding my trainer.

  12. #12
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
    What I'm really wanting to know is if I can stay in cycling shape to any degree using my road bike on rollers in the house when there is 4ft of snow outside

    I hate going out for that first ride and feeling like junk because the triceps, neck, rhomboids and not to mention legs, hips and back are all hurting at the 10mi mark. And yes, the added activity to help with weight loss.
    Yes, definitely. Trainers can help to keep you in shape for cycling. But as mentioned earlier, it does help to ride outside whenever possible through the winter too.

    Another thing that helps is joining a good spinning class. There are some that aren't so good, so that can be a bit of trial and error, but if you find a good one, you can get a really good workout a couple times a week.

    I rode a 200K early one April in BC, and from January to the end of March, most of my cycling was on my trainer and in a twice-a-week spinning class.



    I've used my trainer on summer days too, when it was pouring buckets outside and I really didn't feel like going out.

  13. #13
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    I love my trainer. I do interval stuff as well. Endurance training definitely sucks. When the season is approaching I also like to do one legged intervals to really improve before I start riding for real. Riding with one leg is way different than riding with both legs and makes you focus on the up-stroke which a lot of riders don't normally do. Try it out, see what you think.

  14. #14
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    I use rollers all winter, only riding outside one day/week. One winter I didn't train all winter, only starting in February. That was a horrible summer. I couldn't do anything. So I never did that again. I use a periodized program that takes me from October to April when I can start riding outside after work again. I do a lot of pedaling drills on my rollers - high cadence, one legged pedaling, 50-70 cadence high effort work, stuff like that. I try to do stuff that's really hard to do outside, like those pedaling drills, and spending a continuous hour at 70 cadence in zone 3. You just can't do that outside.

    I normally don't do ordinary intervals on the rollers in winter. Winter is for base. Intervals ramp up fitness very quickly, so there's really no reason to do them in winter unless you are racing seriously in February. Though when I go out on my once/week winter rides, I do a lot of hills and a fair bit of sub-LT work. I've found it important to keep that up all winter, at least 1/2 hour sub-LT total/week. If it were snowy in winter where I live, I'd have to do that on the rollers. No big deal.

    I'd go nuts riding a trainer all winter. Rollers make it interesting enough, so that if I make the sessions tough enough, I don't get bored. It's hard to be bored when you're hurting. I don't do much long endurance riding on the rollers. It's just not fun for me. I know people do ride centuries on their rollers in the winter, but not this kid. I'd have to be getting paid.

  15. #15
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    We are as gods, we might as well get good at it.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    I use rollers all winter, only riding outside one day/week. One winter I didn't train all winter, only starting in February. That was a horrible summer. I couldn't do anything. So I never did that again. I use a periodized program that takes me from October to April when I can start riding outside after work again. I do a lot of pedaling drills on my rollers - high cadence, one legged pedaling, 50-70 cadence high effort work, stuff like that. I try to do stuff that's really hard to do outside, like those pedaling drills, and spending a continuous hour at 70 cadence in zone 3. You just can't do that outside.

    I normally don't do ordinary intervals on the rollers in winter. Winter is for base. Intervals ramp up fitness very quickly, so there's really no reason to do them in winter unless you are racing seriously in February. Though when I go out on my once/week winter rides, I do a lot of hills and a fair bit of sub-LT work. I've found it important to keep that up all winter, at least 1/2 hour sub-LT total/week. If it were snowy in winter where I live, I'd have to do that on the rollers. No big deal.

    I'd go nuts riding a trainer all winter. Rollers make it interesting enough, so that if I make the sessions tough enough, I don't get bored. It's hard to be bored when you're hurting. I don't do much long endurance riding on the rollers. It's just not fun for me. I know people do ride centuries on their rollers in the winter, but not this kid. I'd have to be getting paid.
    I'm not sure I'd like to be indoor pedalling for hours. That's the perfect description of boredom unless one is totally focused on a goal. I'll keep it to the more intense workouts for shorter periods of time. Anything will be better than what I've been used to at the point.

    Great idea on the one-legged stuff, guys. Thanx.
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

    '85 Trek 460 road racer

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  17. #17
    Senior Member Scrabbler's Avatar
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    A big box fan in front of the trainer helps too. Pedaling without a breeze just seems wrong! Also, some of the CTS dvd's are very good. Kurt Kinetic makes great trainers.

  18. #18
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrabbler View Post
    A big box fan in front of the trainer helps too. Pedaling without a breeze just seems wrong! Also, some of the CTS dvd's are very good. Kurt Kinetic makes great trainers.
    Actually, just today while out on the open road in deep thought I was considering the idea of having a window fan positioned in front of me to simulate a headwind
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

    '85 Trek 460 road racer

    '89 Raleigh Technium PRE

    '79 Motobecane Super Mirage

  19. #19
    jmX
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    I use my program in my sig when on the trainer (and my version even controls a floor fan and modulates the fan speed based on my wheel speed). It keeps the boredom down, and I can even schedule the workout beforehand in the program and it'll tell me what I should be doing and when. You can also put videos into the workout incase the 3d stuff bores you, or you need some extra motivation.

    Without all that, I don't think I could stand riding a trainer all winter, and I'd consider myself a pretty motivated person.

  20. #20
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    Computrainers are the way to go. Not at all boring.

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