Hi everybody. Longtime reader, first time poster looking for some advice on winter training.
I live in Indianapolis and I want to keep up with the group and maybe race a little come spring. I have been riding for about a year and a half. This summer I participated in a crit and weekly group rides; I found these experiences to be the bomb. I didn't do any special training, I just rode about 100-200 miles per week, having fun, working on bike fit, technique, and the like. At this point, I feel comfortable enough on the bike to start working on some more structured training; I spin at a pretty good cadence and have decent endurance but I lack muscular strength, speed-endurance, and my power output at higher intensities is not so good. At 5'6" and 130 lbs, I am a little guy who is trying to keep up with mostly bigger and stronger riders who can mash big gears on the flats (and it's all flats unless you go about 40 miles south). Ultimately, I would like to do some road races with some elevation and attack on a climb because it looks awesome when Thibaut Pinot and Nairo Quintana do it on TV, and, as a small man, the potential schadenfreude of making bigger riders suffer is irresistible.
OK, so these are somewhat ambitious goals and I have been basically sedentary for the past six weeks, subsisting on mostly beer and cake--I need to get going on some serious winter training to pave the way for some worthwhile spring training. My plan is to do some interval training on my indoor trainer and complement that with some weight training. Good, but the problem is in setting up an indoor trainer space.
I live in an old house ('30s? '40s?) with my girlfriend and three cats. I actually have the perfect space to ride indoors: an upstairs sunroom; it has a very tranquil atmosphere, just play some Donald Byrd or Herbie Hancock on the stereo, pedal and watch the squirrels play, count cars going down the avenue, spy on the neighbors--it is more motivating than just watching TV. The only problem is with the entire house is rattled by INSANE low frequency vibrations generated by the trainer. I have tried moving the trainer to a position closer to a wall, away from the center of the room; also I have sandwiched several rugs between two heavy pieces of particle board to try to dampen the vibrations--this has limited the vibrations somewhat in very easy gears but in anything higher than 39-16 it gets crazy again. Fortunately, I don't have neighbors to worry about but the vibrations are so intense that I fear that 5-8 hours a week of them could destroy electronics, plumbing, household appliances, etc. They also terrify the cats, Mr. Kitty hid under the neighbors' deck for hours.
Do these vibrations have the capacity to damage anything? I'd rather be safe than sorry, so I am thinking about moving my set up down to the basement--the only problem there is that it is the unfinished basement of a 60 year old house. It is fairly dry, but still kind of dank. Here are some pictures:
It is mostly just dusty, I could borrow a shop vac and clean out most of the cobwebs easily enough, but I worry about molds and other nasty stuff (radon gas?) given that I will be down there sucking air for several hours each week. On the other hand, my neighbor has a nice set of free weights in our shared garage that he said I can borrow, so there would be plenty of space in the basement for that stuff. Down here, I think I would have to alter my soundtrack a little, maybe Entombed or Ministry or something...
Does anyone have any experience trying to work with spaces like either of these? Of course I can ride outside, run, put the trainer on the porch, etc. but I think I will have the best results if I can get going on an indoor training program.