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Indoor Cycling Advice

Posted on January 2, 2015 at 11:10 AM

 

I've been training on indoor bikes for 15 years or more. I feel like I have it down to a science! Here are my suggestions.

The Trainer or Indoor Bike

I always recommend using the bike you ride outdoors and a stationary trainer. This way your body exercises using the same geometry that you are used to. Your fitness gains will be more useful if you are training on the same bike you ride outside. You don't have to spend much money on a trainer. Just search for 'bike trainers' on eBay, Amazon or Craigslist and you'll find hundreds for under a hundred dollars. Don't buy a "wind trainer". These things use wind resistance and create as much noise as an airplane on take-off. Also, don't worry about external resistance cables unless your bike is a single speed. Shifting the gears on your bike will change the resistance anyway. External resistance cables are just one more level of complexity to malfunction and create problems. Keep it simple!

 

The bare essentials

1. water

2. towel

3. fan

 

Having a fan blowing gently upon you is the difference between overheating in a huge puddle of sweat and keeping your body cooler and a little drier. It's common to lose one liter of water per hour during indoor cycling, so you should be drinking near 32 ounces each hour that you are training indoors.

 

Training Data

 

1. Rear wheel speedometer

2. Heart Rate Monitor

 

Seek Out Cycling movies are designed to be simple, effective and dirt cheap so that you can afford to use them all! You don’t need any special equipment. The “Effort Scale” guides you how hard to work, where 100% is your Maximum Sustainable Effort, or Race Pace. You can totally use your own perceived effort to determine how hard or easy you are working. That said, technology can offer valuable training assistance.

 

I highly recommend using a speedometer/odometer that has a rear wheel sensor. On your trainer speed is a reliable measurement of power. You can determine which speed is your “100% Maximum Sustainable Effort” or lactic acid threshold (LAT) by doing a 15 minute all-out effort and measuring average speed. Seek Out Cycling’s movie, ‘100% in Cheyenne Canyon’ from the ‘Destination: Colorado Springs’ series, guides you through this process of painful discovery. You can then apply your speed percentages to the ‘Effort Scale’ in Seek Out Cycling’s movies. Knowing your virtual speed and distance can also be a valuable source of motivation.

 

Seek Out Cycling’s “Effort Scale” is most useful with a heart rate monitor (HRM). After you determine what your heart rate for your “Maximum Sustainable Effort” is, you can easily calculate what your heart rate at each level of the “Effort Scale” is. Again, you can use Seek Out Cycling’s movie, ‘100% in Cheyenne Canyon’, to find this most important piece of data: Maximum Sustainable Effort.

 

It’s important to test your Maximum Sustainable Effort every 4 to 6 weeks because you will get stronger over time and your Maximum Sustainable Effort will yield greater speed and power. Thus, you will have to occasionally change your numbers in order to maximize the effectiveness of your training.

 

 

Audio/Video Set Up

 

1. Smart phone streaming via Pivotshare

2. Tablet streaming or download via Pivotshare

3. Laptop computer either streaming/download or DVD

4. Desktop computer download or DVD

5. Projector

6. TV

7. Blu-ray disc player (plays DVDs much better than a DVD player)

 

I use computers, tablets, smart phones, projectors and televisions to watch Seek Out Cycling movies. The tablet or laptop computer is a great way to make these movies portable. I’ve seem people streaming Seek Out Cycling movies on their tablets while pedaling exercise bikes in a hotel fitness room during travel. A woman I worked with used to stream the movies on her phone while walking at full-incline on a treadmill.

 

Personally, I prefer a bigger screen. I like to immerse myself in the scenery. I conduct 4 indoor cycling classes each week using Seek Out Cycling movies. I use an LCD projector to display a 10-foot wide image on a movie screen. At this size it’s easy to forget that you’re not actually on that road or trail. When I’m at home, I use an HD TV and Blu-ray disc player.

 

This is important: your TV should have at least 120 hz refresh rate and you should use a Blu-ray disc player. The higher your TV’s refresh rate, the smoother and more crisp the movie will look. TV’s and computers commonly have 60 hz refresh rate, which leads to blurring of action footage - and Seek Out Cycling movies are completely action footage! Plasma TVs are the best because they have 600 hz refresh rate. My LED TV has a 240 hz refresh rate, and that plays a pretty smooth movie. You really should play Seek Out Cycling DVDs in a Blu-ray player. Blu-ray players have become affordably priced, at $50 or less. If you use an HDMI cable, they will up-convert your movie to a much better resolution than a normal DVD player is capable of, and a Blu-ray player will not become overwhelmed by all of the action in Seek Out Cycling movies. Older DVD players sometimes get stuck processing the high data rate that Seek Out Cycling movies use in order to play all of those rapidly moving images.

 

If you have any comments or suggestions, please email me: david@seekoutcycling.com.

 

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1 Comment

Reply JohnnieLix
3:56 AM on July 3, 2017 
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