In the colder, wetter, darker months, many of us pine for warmer weather and turn our backs on our bikes. A far more sensible option is to take your cycling indoors. What could be more motivating than a bit of secret spinning that gives you the power to blow your mates away when you get back on the road?
Here are just a few of the reasons you should consider adding indoor training to your schedule.
Firstly, for those of us who are time poor, and let’s face it that’s just about everyone, with the right intensity, a 60 minute spin class can be worth up to 3 hours training on the road.
Secondly, indoor training is a great way to improve your technique. One-legged pedalling drills hone the pedalling technique in a way that nothing else can while discipline specific workouts can improve your ability to sustain high cadence and improve your hill climbing ability. Practice makes perfect so if you use your indoor training for interval workouts you’ll boost your cycling fitness in the process of perfecting your technique.
For those new to cycling, a spin class is a great way to become confident in using gears and clipless pedals before venturing out on the road. Joining a class is probably more beneficial than struggling at home alone but if you’ve got the discipline and you’ve been taught the basics then practice at home will definitely help on the road.
Indoor training classes (also known as spin classes or ergo sessions) provide a structured workout incorporating warm up, workout and cool down with stretching. Most people will find that they train at much higher intensity in a class than on their own unless they’re highly motivated so if there’s a class around its definitely worth looking into. If you find a decent class your instructor will correct your technique and provide instruction on gear selection, posture and position on the bike as well so do your homework before signing up.
A quick word on trainers to finish – if you’re ready to incorporate indoor training into your schedule and serious about obtaining benefit from it then you need to choose a good trainer (more on this another time). Not all trainers are created equal and some have more bells and whistles than others but if you are buying one make sure it is either a wind (fan) or fluid trainer as these best replicate road riding.