Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Three things riding a bike trainer will improve that isn't your legs

You might think that enduring riding a bike on an indoor bike trainer apparatus is all about improving your legs strength and cardiovascular fitness. Of course these are trained, but other benefits accrue also.
  • Adapting your big tush to the little seat. Getting used to the little bike seat takes time. it can be unpleasant to say the least. Riding the trainer maintains your adaptation to this least pleasant aspect to riding a good bike. 
  • Adapting your upper body to leaning on the handlebars for extended periods of time. Your upper body needs some fitness to maintain the cycling position. And we know you aren't doing any pushups.  An enjoyable bike ride does not mean sitting up and riding hands free half the time (or... does it?) 
  • Your neck. Your neck can sometimes not be your best friend. Your neck is great at balancing that heavy brain-filled bowl of bone up top of the spinal column, and does it best when you are standing up straight. But lean over into the bike riding position (assuming your are holding on to the handlebars, which really you should be doing) and the neck get to tell you that you are causing trouble and cut it out already. So riding the trainer teaches your neck muscles to adapt to this new position, which they will if you spend a little time at it regularly, like riding your bike on the indoor trainer a few times per week. 

Ok, we hope you are convinced now and are already getting changed into the cycling clothes.

Trainer Tips

Here's a few tips to make indoor training easier, less boring and more comfy.
  • -fresh full water bottle
  • -protect your bike with a trainer towel thing
  • -lip goo because you'll be breathing hard and your lips will dry out.
  • -a fan, blowing hard, because you will be generating heat, and possibly a lot of it.
  • -eye protection, because the fan is blowing hard, and eyes are important to protect
  • -a headband, because sweating is mandatory if you are doing it right.
  • -fast music that you like a lot. If you are sitting up and pausing, the music is the wrong music.
More tips
  • Use a trainer-specific tire.  We have destroyed expensive road tires on the trainer.
  • But... You cannot use the trainer tire outside.
  • Clean the tire with alcohol before each session. Go buy a bottle of rubbing alcohol for this purpose.
  • make sure there is nothing fragile on the ground around the bike that you will step on and crush and destroy
  • always release the tire from the trainer's roller after each session.
  • Fitness doesn't improve in seven days.  12 weeks is more like it.
  • Rest/Recovery are as big a part of training as the heavy breathing and sweating are.
  • For a great full body workout, try alpine snowshoeing (with poles) in the uphill direction. Use the poles a lot to improve your upper body region to support a good bike position/form.
  • Feel your feet. Are they light inside your shoes? Can you wiggle your toes? Happy feet are important to having a happy cycling experience.
  • rinse or wash the headband and heartrate monitor strap right when you finish - no crusty stuff please!


CFM Cadence-Interval trainer workout

Here is a stimulating cadence-interval workout we like a lot.  You will be pedaling at a fast rpm (110-120 rpm) for intervals of increasing duration (30 seconds, increasing by 30 seconds each interval until 3 minutes long for the final interval.  (ten laps on the 256-step staircase at the Mont Royal Chalet/lookout is another very popular interval workout option that will improve your fitness, and that is the goal)

10 minutes - warm up (pedal easy, pedal hard, don't over do it)
Set up the resistance and make sure other details are ready (timer? water? towel? fan?)

30 seconds @ 110-120 rpm
     60 seconds recovery
1 minute @ 110-120 rpm
     60 seconds recovery
1 minute 30 seconds @ 110-120 rpm
     60 seconds recovery
2 minutes @ 110-120 rpm
     60 seconds recovery
2 minutes 30 seconds @ 110-120 rpm
     60 seconds recovery
3 minutes @ 110-120 rpm
          Recovery: easy pedaling 5 minutes

Remember: don't go into cardio overload!

Take a rest day after this workout. DO NOT do this every day. Recovery is as big a part of training as the heavy breathing and sweating are.



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