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Need advice on making trainer sessions tolerable

Old 10-28-18, 08:17 AM
  #1  
jppe
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Need advice on making trainer sessions tolerable

What has worked for you?

As background:
Bike crash with full hip replacement in mid August and recovery is going smoothly.
Surgeon has okayed riding a stationary bike but wants me to wait another month until Iím riding outdoors.
Iím NOT a riding indoors, trainer guy.
I typically ride outdoors year round even in cold weather.
The only time I normally use my trainer is warming up for time trials.
However itís probably smart to do some good ďtrainingĒ before I just jump back on the bike and head towards the sunset (which is what I feel like doing).

What routines might you suggest to make the next month more productive and tolerable (I thought about putting margaritas in my water bottle but while fun might be counter productive)?

(I donít have Zwift.....)



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Old 10-28-18, 10:04 AM
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It is all about making a game out of it. When I crashed in 2015 and had to have my hip pinned with 3 screws ( lucky not displaced fx and no AVN), I was able to start riding on the trainer 5 days after the surgery. I went according to feel at first because the dr did not want me pushing just spinning. So I would then go entirely by heart rate. I would monitor my heartrate and know that you are getting a good work out if heart rate is at least 70% of max. As I got better and healing I could push harder and faster. I was not trying to ride my bike as such except to stay in shape and work on form when I could. I would go for 60 minutes and after a week starting going 80-85 minutes.

I did not listen to music and I am a musician, no TV, just focused on sweating and getting a nice workout. Then I could drink and beer and even eat normally. Finally and I was lucky I went back to running in 14 weeks easy on the treadmill. I am a runner first and by week 17 running 20-30 miles a week. You just have to change the focus and re-adjust. For me I like a couple of beers before dinner and hate watch my weight because of inactivity so it was all about getting some activity in.
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Old 10-28-18, 10:40 AM
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making the garage less boring?

if you put your computer monitor in front of you,
may be you have old go pro videos, you made on your rides, to watch?

Or put a book, E or real, on a music stand to read?

Books on tape , borrowed from library? ( used those on a long rural commute )






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Old 10-28-18, 10:46 AM
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You already answered the question: Zwift (and a smart trainer). Don't fight it.
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Old 10-28-18, 11:04 AM
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I'm in kind of the same boat (at least dilemma as you). I'm considering a trainer for cold and rainy days. It would be in a garage like yours, but I just can't bring myself to do it. It just seems way too boring. I'm thinking that maybe our laptop on a stand and watch a movie on netflix.
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Old 10-28-18, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Riveting View Post
You already answered the question: Zwift (and a smart trainer). Don't fight it.
Before ZWIFT I could do only 15, maybe 20 minutes on the trainer. With ZWIFT I can easily do 45 to 50 minutes at a time.

The cheapest, and easiest, way to ZWIFT is with Apple TV and your current trainer. You need a HRM strap and nothing else.
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Old 10-28-18, 12:53 PM
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For me it's music. I did my first stationary training session last week in years. Without music. It was painful. I made a timed playlist and the next session was kinda fun
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Old 10-28-18, 04:01 PM
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The few times I've been able to tolerate the trainer I've used the t.v. to distract myself. Watching a game or a drama helps.
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Old 10-28-18, 10:48 PM
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I used a Cycleops trainer most of the summer, after being hit by a car in May that broke my shoulder and aggravated an old neck injury.

I planned to watch guided cycle training videos but found them incredibly boring. Gave up after a couple of videos.

Instead I binge watched Orphan Black on Amazon, a show that had been on my watch list for a couple of years. It was the perfect distraction, very entertaining show. Each episode runs about 40 minutes, and occasionally I'd ride two or three episodes worth, taking short breaks between each episode. Other times I'd do harder interval training, with 10 minute warmup, 20 minute HIIT, and 10 minute cool down -- again, the 40 minute shows were perfect. I watched all five seasons between June-August, watching only when using the indoor trainer. I got so hooked on the show it motivated me to get on the bike even when I didn't feel like it.

I don't do Zwift. I just set my smartphone app to notify me of the desired intervals. I don't use power or cadence meters or wear recording monitors. I just counted my cadence once in awhile when I was working on spinning technique. I used a wrist cuff to check my BP and HR during interval sessions, or a smartphone app to check my heart rate. I just went as hard as I could without passing out during HIIT.

Not very high tech but it kept me in shape. When I was able to ride on the road again I hadn't lost any aerobic conditioning. I did need some warm up time to get reacquainted with the bike's balance, handling on curves, etc. But I maintained the same average speed on my familiar 20-30 mile rural training route.

And I wasn't too proud to switch to my hybrid with upright handlebars for casual group rides. The busted up shoulder took much longer to heal than I'd expected. I figured I'd heal like I did when I was younger, but the shoulder ached constantly until mid-September when it finally began to get better. I had tried the road bike a few times in June-August, but always paid for it with days of pain. By August I'd switched to the hybrid with albatross bars loaned by a friend and it was so much easier on my body. I really enjoyed riding that bike and it helped ease me back into conditioning.
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Old 10-28-18, 10:55 PM
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Nothing works as well as Zwift. And if you're a Strava-junkie, the PRs (and elevation) actually count. I racked up like 600 segment PRs in less than 4 weeks. I have 432 PRs for all of 2018.

I just used my iPhone casting to a TV, and a dumb trainer (bike has a PM.) Spent $20 on the iPhone to HDMI adapter, and $10 on Zwift. Worth every cent.

Of course, once I could get back outside again, I never looked back.
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Old 10-28-18, 10:58 PM
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BTW, get yourself a lightweight folding table to hold your stuff so you can reach without leaning over. It'll be tempting to lean to reach something and that's a great way to aggravate an injury or, worse, fall off the dadgum trainer. I busted up my cheap folding table falling because I was too lazy to get off the trainer and pull the table closer. So get something that won't require leaning or reaching to fetch whatever you need.

I used the folding table to set the TV remote, smartphone, toilet paper for blowing my nose (you never realize how much snot you produce on a bike until you can't blow snot rockets in the living room), wrist BP cuff, reading glasses, etc.
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Old 10-28-18, 11:59 PM
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I rarely ride a trainer, but I spend a lot of time on its older cousin, rollers, during December. I really enjoy a couple of online programs, but the only time I ever listen/watch is when I'm on the rollers. I almost look forward to roller season just so I "can" watch/listen to these shows. Of course I could watch them any old time, but that's too much like cheating.
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Old 10-29-18, 12:41 AM
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I used to enjoy commercial intervals ... lately I've been enjoying Zwift.
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Old 10-29-18, 01:37 PM
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open the garage door?
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Old 10-29-18, 01:44 PM
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Zwift definitely makes things tolerable. If you have a PM on your bike, you can use a standard trainer; if not, maybe invest in a smart trainer. Makes a big difference.
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Old 10-29-18, 01:49 PM
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I feel your pain. I can ride a bike all day and time seems to fly, but 15 minutes on a trainer seemed to go forever.

I tried watching TV. Meh.

I tried upbeat music. That actually helped ... riding intervals along with the tunes.

Even better was TV with closed captions and the music. But the best I ever was able to do was to ride 90 minutes or so. And it still seemed like a looong time.

I'm lucky enough to live where we can ride all year round. But if I ever get injured again and need to use the trainer again, I think I'll try Zwifting.
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Old 10-29-18, 05:49 PM
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Youtube or Vimeo for cycling reviews or touring videos or cycling races or running reviews and races. There is also Rouvy and a few other training apps apart from Zwift. Watch old tv shows on Netflix. Set up a fish aquarium and put it in front of the bike and zone out watching the fish. Everyone has to find what works for them. Fly fishing videos work for me, fly tying videos, travel documentaries, rowing races, the list goes on.
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Old 10-29-18, 06:26 PM
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I have had 4 spinal surgeries, the first in 1999 and the last in 2007. Also shoulder reconstruction in 2011. Riding indoors was a big part of therapy and recovery. I spent so much time, weeks before and post surgery, just laying around being bored and going crazy that I did not need much motivation to do the indoor rides. If just felt so good being active again. I do have issues with riding indoors when healthy and physically able to ride outdoors. For me doing intervals and/or short duration rides numerous times a day helps break up the monotony.
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Old 10-29-18, 10:41 PM
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I concentrate on what's going on: cadence, HR or power, speed, position, pedaling dynamics, and while doing that, I usually do intervals. There are a lot of things you can do on the trainer that are difficult to do outdoors because of needing 1/2 hour of uninterrupted pedaling at a specific effort or some such. The trainer is a bit tough because there's never a letup, never a rest. Take advantage of that to add to the pain level. I don't use a trainer, using resistance rollers instead. They're more interesting because if they're not, I'm on the floor. So there's that.
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Old 10-30-18, 06:08 PM
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I bought a set of 'smart' rollers that I've been using with Zwift for the past few days. So far, it's been anything BUT boring! In fact I find it to be a real challenge. To keep myself from falling I've been riding in a hallway just outside my home office. I don't have the skill (or the guts) to try them out in an open space yet.

Anyway, I'm hoping the combination of Zwift along with the smart rollers will keep me interested all winter.

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Old 10-31-18, 02:28 PM
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Great ideas and suggestions! Yesterday was a beautiful day so I did my first ride outdoors since the crash on August 14!! Plus I had a great tailwind!!

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Old 10-31-18, 06:12 PM
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Mount a TV in the garage, low enough to be comfortable looking at it from the bike. The bigger the better. TV's are cheap. You might just get a small table.
Use an Apple TV setup with your home wi-fi.
Go to YouTube and find a training ride. (Wife and I train on cold Texas days with a bunch of Australians)

Also, Joe, I didn't chime in earlier about clipless pedals. I have had both knees replaced. A bit different than hip, but I highly recommend going to SPD type with MULTI-DIRECTIONAL RELEASE cleats. Much easier release than any of the road cleats. You can get nice road pedals for SPD. I have Shimano PD-A520's on my road, tandem, and tri-bike. While some road shoes can accommodate three screw cleats, a good set of MTB shoes (I use Sidi Magnum Dominators because they come in wide) will put your feet near normal when you walk. Shimano also makes an RT (Road-Touring) shoe that is very, very stable. The risk of a slip and fall just isn't worth it to me anymore.
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Old 10-31-18, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
The few times I've been able to tolerate the trainer I've used the t.v. to distract myself. Watching a game or a drama helps.
So far, this is my routine indoors as well. I did add wireless headphones to isolate the TV from trainer sounds. The TV I use is in the basement family room. I found I was turning up the volume to hear over the trainer. Might try Zwift some day, maybe this winter.
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Old 10-31-18, 06:54 PM
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Can't help you with the trainer dilemma, but I like the black Solara.

​​​​​​My wife drives a silver 06 convertible.
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Old 10-31-18, 08:39 PM
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I have spent many hours on the trainer doing rehab for various injuries. I also keep one bike on the trainer during the winter.

I like audio books. Each CD lasts about an hour and fifteen minutes. Sometimes if it is a good book, I'll do 2 CDs. We haven't had a TV for at least 30 years, so that isn't an option. Between injuries, winters, and commuting l've probably listened to a 1,000 books on tapes and CDs. Our library has an extensive collection of audio books.

it is a good time to practice one-leg pedaling. It really smooths out my pedal stroke.
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