Seven rea­sons to get on the turbo this win­ter

Cycling Weekly - - Focus On Winter -

1 It doesn’t rain in­doors

The num­ber-one rea­son for get­ting on the turbo-trainer in win­ter is that it doesn’t rain in­doors — or snow, or hail — and you won’t punc­ture (though bits of your bike may go rusty very un­less you keep sweat off them).

Cy­clists love to use the weather as an ex­cuse for not get­ting out there and in many ways it’s a le­git­i­mate one. Un­like run­ning, which is far more dy­namic, the cy­clist’s body is static and sub­ject to sig­nif­i­cant wind chill, plus we’re out there for that much longer.

Elim­i­nate the weather ex­cuse and get your turbo set up.

2 Train more ef­fi­ciently

Since the turbo en­vi­ron­ment is com­pletely con­trolled — no stop­ping at the lights, wait­ing for a club-mate to fix a punc­ture, free­wheel­ing down a hill — you can do your in­ter­vals in ex­actly the zones you need to be in with­out in­ter­rup­tion, and since you will be tar­get­ing spe­cific ar­eas of your fit­ness, you won’t end up do­ing hours of junk miles at 15mph.

3 Do an FTP test and watch your­self im­prove

Find­ing your func­tional thresh­old power (FTP) by do­ing a 20-minute test on the turbo — ba­si­cally go­ing as hard as you can for 20 min­utes and cal­cu­lat­ing 95 per cent of your av­er­age power over that time — is a great mo­ti­va­tor. Since the con­di­tions will be ex­actly the same the next time you do an FTP test on the turbo, you’ll see ex­actly how much you’ve im­proved over the win­ter.

4 Go vir­tual rac­ing — any­where

If you’re still strug­gling for mo­ti­va­tion, smart train­ers can turn train­ing into gam­ing. Ride fa­mous Tour cols or even a vir­tual Box Hill if that’s what gets you go­ing. A rid­ing sim­u­la­tor soft­ware pack­age such as Bkool Sim­u­la­tor of­fers 500,000 rid­ing ses­sions. It’s also pos­si­ble to ride against 100 other users from all over the world, as well as cre­at­ing, shar­ing and tak­ing part in leagues, groups and rank­ings.

5 Be at home for your fam­ily

The time you spend out on a Sun­day club run, in­clud­ing a cafe stop, can add up to a quar­ter of the week­end. If you’re on the turbo in the garage you’re still at home and there­fore your con­science is clear. In ad­di­tion, (also see num­ber three) since you’ll be train­ing more ef­fi­ciently you won’t need to be rack­ing up hun­dreds of junk miles.

6 Stay safe

We are all aware of the risks that come with shar­ing the roads with mo­torists. When the roads are icy or muddy and the light is poor we can feel more vul­ner­a­ble than usual.

Of course it’s also pos­si­ble to hit a patch of ice and do plenty of dam­age to our­selves with­out a driver in sight. If you make sure you’ve done the quick-re­lease up cor­rectly, you won’t fall off the turbo and you will be able to do all your ses­sions with­out wor­ry­ing about cars.

7 Get all the gad­gets

The cy­clist’s favourite rule doesn’t have to be re­stricted to bikes. Why not make the ‘+1’ a smart trainer? If Di2 and hy­draulic brakes are dras­ti­cally re­duc­ing your tin­ker­ing time, some­thing like the Bkool Smart Pro 2 paired with the Bkool In­door app is guar­an­teed to keep you out of mis­chief.

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