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Old 12-26-04, 02:14 PM   #1
CommuterKat
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Yet another trainer question

Ok, so I searched, and searched, and I just cannot find the answer to my question, so here goes...
How long on a trainer equals time outside on the bike. When you are outside, there are flats, coasting down hills, tailwinds, headwinds, etc, etc, etc. I just used my Minoura Mag trainer last night for the first time for 25 minutes and it just about killed me. I had it on the next to lowest setting, but I was in my highest gear. I was drenched in sweat and my legs were like Jello when I got off. I usually do an hour and fifteen minute commute in to work at least 3 times a week during the better weather, so shouldn't I be able to handle a half hour on the trainer?

How long on the trainer equals an hour or so ride outside, and how do you figure out the settings? I guess trial and error, but it seems like there has to be some easier way to figure out how long to stay on the thing.

Thanks for any help anyone can offer.

Kat
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Old 12-26-04, 03:54 PM   #2
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I don't have the answers to your questions except to add that when I use my trainer I for some reason go into a time space warp where time slows down by a factor of 10 or more and I end up going no where. A 1/2 hour on the trainer, regardless of setting or gear I'm in, seems like forever
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Old 12-26-04, 04:41 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boyze
I don't have the answers to your questions except to add that when I use my trainer I for some reason go into a time space warp where time slows down by a factor of 10 or more and I end up going no where. A 1/2 hour on the trainer, regardless of setting or gear I'm in, seems like forever
So, I just did my "trainer time" for tonight, and was able to stay on for 35 minutes without too much pain. The time warp definitely happens to me as well though. The 35 minutes felt like a few hours easily. Not that I was as tired as riding for two hours, just that I was bored out of my skull. I even had one of my favorite CD's in, but that didnt' help all that much. Maybe I need a book on CD...

Maybe it was just an initial "getting-used-to-it" sort of thing for the first time? I wasn't all that tired after 35 minutes, but I hurt my hip at work today and didn't want to over do it and really injure myself, so I stopped after 35 minutes. How long to get any real benefit though? Anyone?
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Old 12-26-04, 06:36 PM   #4
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I have only had a trainer for a few months. So far i have only been forced indoors to ride it a few times. What i can agree with is that it is BORING. Another thing i can tell is that an hour on the trainer, physical wise, is requires more effort than 1 hour of my normal rides.

I have ridden 1 hour on the trainer each time i have used it. I open up the garage door and stare outside. I also fired up talk radio on the garage stereo to engage the mind. I don't think i am going to be a trainer riding person. I suspect that it will likely end up being used mainly to address drivetrain problems under load on my bike. It has already helped me diagnose a bad pedal.

Last edited by Portis; 12-26-04 at 06:49 PM.
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Old 12-26-04, 07:31 PM   #5
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I either do a training DVD (Spinervals) when I use the trainer or watch an action movie or football. It is just too boring otherwise.

I also agree that it is harder than equivalent time outside - since the terrain doesn't change, the amount of effort put in on the trainer seems more constant than outside.
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Old 12-26-04, 07:48 PM   #6
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I'm thinking that it is kind of like a never ending hill... Without the benefit of the scenery...
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Old 12-26-04, 08:03 PM   #7
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I spend much more time on the trainer than on the road right now... my schedule does not allow for rides when it is light so on the trainer I go. I can kill 90 minutes on the trainer easy. I have a fluid continous resistance model and the resistance goes up huge as I upshift and go faster. I can hold 18 - 20 MPH at my Lactic acid threshold heart rate (LTHR) on a trainer while I can do 23 - 25 MPH outside at the same HR. The thing that makes a trainer hard is you can not coast (freewheel) on a trainer, the tires just stop spinning due to resistance. I have never ever wanted to equate miles on a trainer = or not to miles outside, the conditions vary so much.

Today I climbed a very long hill and I was getting anarobic many times up the hill. Now on a trainer you have to push it to 20 + MPH for that to happen on a fluid (depending on your tolerance) trainer. Assuming flat or slightly uphill it seems like the trainer is 20 - 30 percent harder than outside. I can say that I can get going on a trainer and really work my hamstrings, quads, etc better than outside on a flat road. Now for intervals hills are important.

BTW riding the trainer has allowed me to gain major strength in the muscles that are required to ride out of the saddle. On the road out of the saddle is mainly for hills and crit like accelerations so I was not developing the skill as fast.

When on the trainer I watch tv, listen to music or just think, that is right think. It can be boring, but not as much as sitting behind a desk at work doing nothing.
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Old 12-26-04, 08:47 PM   #8
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I enjoy the trainer. I have it set up so I stare at a wall - this way I can zone out easier.

I put the radio on, loud, and get going. I do a 5 minute warm up and then push it up into my cardiac zone and hold it there or above for the rest of the ride. I do five minute intervals out of the saddle. I try to time them to a cool song, but often I just stand and go if the DJ isn't cooperating. I try to do 4 sets of these during a 45 minute ride. If I feel good, I try to increase the RPMs with each one. Each set, my heart rate goes higher and when I finally sit, by gearing up and keeping the RPM high, I can easily keep my heart rate up where ever I want. Needless to say, I need to put a towel on the floor under the bike to keep the sweat puddles under control.

I do this 4 times a week. I lift 2 times a week and take one day off. Sometimes, due to schedule problems, I take 2 days off and thus the trainer sessions drop to 3 times per week.

I am having loads of fun, it's convenient for me and I look forward to seeing positive results come spring.

Oh yeah, I feel like 45 minutes of this is about equal to a decent 20 mile training ride.
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Old 12-26-04, 11:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boyze
I don't have the answers to your questions except to add that when I use my trainer I for some reason go into a time space warp where time slows down by a factor of 10 or more and I end up going no where. A 1/2 hour on the trainer, regardless of setting or gear I'm in, seems like forever
I totally agree, but now i got the 12 hr. 2003 TDF set, and i am going to take that suggestion and watch pro races while on the trainer, maybe it will give me a rush to want to train longer and harder.
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Old 12-27-04, 08:23 AM   #10
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I finally got my Christmas present- a new Kurt Kinetic fluid trainer. I rode it for the first time last night and did the Spinervals 3.0 Suffer-O-Rama DVD. After about 10 minutes I was thinking "Are you freaking kidding me?" I think the winter months have taken their toll on my fitness in a big way. Now I can't wait to get back on there and do another workout. My question is, how effictive are the trainer interval workouts for improving road speed? Will a 2x per week trainer interval workout make a noticeable differance in my speed on the road. I'm not doing "junk miles" just to be doing something. I am working pretty hard and getting my HR up.
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Old 12-27-04, 11:16 AM   #11
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I've been taking spinning classes for the past three months. Hadn't been on a real bike in ages. The other week, I went out riding with a friend. He's a tremendous athlete, although not a cyclist. Long story short, I smoked him. We had a few moderate climbs and I felt terrific. I had to keep stopping and circling around for my buddy. The guy kicks my butt at tennis and basketball, so I had no pity. On one climb, he had to get off the bike and walk, while I sailed to the top and waited. Point being, the spinning classes at the gym -- and they're taught by a real cyclist -- translated into feeling the best I've ever felt on the road.
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Old 12-27-04, 12:42 PM   #12
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Any time on the bike will halp you in on the road, manly in endurance. I use the trainer for riding standing up and spin up as well as endurance. I put about 145 miles on the bike each trainer workout but they do not get mixed in with my regular road miles.

As to the hardness... read my post above.
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Old 12-27-04, 06:50 PM   #13
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Thanks all for all of the tips. I guess I am just going to have to crank away this winter as much as I can and see where it gets me. I probably shouldn't worry too much about how much time on the trainer equals time outside on the road, as long as I am getting the time and miles in somehow. It is much better than sitting on my butt doing nothing. I am going to have to look into the spinervals DVD's, but with a name like Suffer-o-rama, I am a little scared!
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