I read recently that a number of Pros like to ride the turbo for an hour or so before having breakfast in the morning to jump start the old metabolic system. Which means that now I ride the trainer for an hour in the morning before breakfast. I think the Pros probably do it to lose weight, and I do it partly for that reason but also to burn off the hangover which comes as a result of my status as a semi-professional drinker.
I used to ride an old Tacx trainer, but I found riding the device only slightly preferable to shoving bamboo shoots under my fingernails. Then I got a LeMond Revolution and now I actually look forward to my morning sessions. I’d been interested in the LeMond Revolution trainers for some time, but it wasn’t until I discovered that the device is based on a direct-drive trainer that Greg’s coach built for him in the 80′s that I decided to embark on my new morning ritual at the mercy of one. After all, if it was good enough to help LeMan become a Tour de France winner, then surly it was good enough to help me get less fat and become less of a weakling.
The first thing you notice about these little numbers that you remove the rear wheel from your bike and mount the Revolution in its place. This means no wheel slippage on the mag and what amounts to a remarkably pleasant ride feel. The second thing you notice about the trainer is that its bloody hard to spin up; I start crossed in a 53×26 and can hardly turn the pedals at first, but there is no way I’m shifting into my little ring on a trainer on account of my not being a giant sissy. The third thing you notice is that it’s actually fun to ride; I turn on some old Cycling movies and before I know it, I find my buzzer going off indicating the hour has already passed. I had no idea riding a trainer didn’t have to suck.
But lets be clear: we are road cyclists, and we ride on the road. A long ride in the cold wind and rain is preferable to even an hour on an indoor trainer. But trainers do represent an important training tool and as such should be a part of every Cyclist’s arsenal. I’m on it every morning, and as the season looms I’m looking to it more and more for intervals and power work. Not to mention that as I prepare for my Hour ride on Festum Prophetae, I’m training Obree Style on my Revolution.
Before we get too carried away with this indoor riding business, let’s review some examples of acceptable reasons to ride a trainer:
- Strength and/or interval training.
- Pedaling technique work.
- Hour Record simulation training.
- Pre-breakfast rides to help lose weight, assuming you still hit the road after breakfast.
- Recovery from injury.
Examples of unacceptable reasons to ride a trainer:
- Its raining outside and you don’t want to get wet.
- Its cold outside and you don’t want to get cold.
- Its windy outside and you don’t want to get blown around.
- Its cold and wet outside and you don’t want to get cold and wet.
- Its cold and wet and windy out and you don’t want to get blown around while getting cold and wet.