5 benefits of long trainer workouts
By: Scott Larsen
With the haze still enveloping Singapore it is becoming increasingly important to continue your planned training, by taking things in-doors. Fortunately there is an excellent solution on the bike. Wind-training! The Tri Edge Team has set wind-training sessions weekly, as there are many benefits to be had. We will outline 5 of the key benefits for you to get stuck into trainer workouts through this time:
- Consistent pressure - Lets face it, riding in Singapore for the most part requires dodging cars and stopping at lights and intersections. A long ride is consistently disrupted and not optimal as we ideally would rather be out in the countryside or mountains, laying down those key miles. Fortunately a wind-trainer, or turbo-training session is the ideal place to guarantee that you will get a solid, un-inhibited ride in each week. Cycling on a trainer is not only non-stop; it also has the benefit of consistent pressure. As there is much less ‘bike speed’ that you would build up on the road and use to have dead-spots or relaxed periods of light or no peddling, a wind-trainers resistance provides an challenging and effective platform to make sure you are having to keep peddling.
- Ability to have sets – Riding on a wind-trainer is also excellent as you are able to incorporate much more sophisticated ‘sets’ than you would riding out on the road. Although these sets could be replicated on the road, by taking away almost all variables such as wind, hills, surface etc. The wind-trainer is the superior platform to get this done. If you are unsure about what sets you can do, there is a plethora of YouTube clips and other Apps that can offer a structured session written by a professional coach. Don't be surprised if you find these sets more challenging that your weekly road ride, because as mentioned earlier you simply will not get a chance to relax.
- Technique development – For many newcomers to the sport, the wind-trainer is the ideal place to develop your technique. Once again by removing all the dangers aspects of cycling on the open road, you can now focus on skill development. Here are a list of drills and skills ideal to work on while on a trainer:
- Single leg riding – this is excellent to isolate each leg to ensure there are no ‘dead-spots’ in your movement
- Picking up a drink bottle – to make this even tougher you can alternate the hands that you use to collect the drink bottle with. Also learning how to pick up a drink bottle without looking. This is important when you start to ride in larger groups and need to pay attention to the packs movement
- Practicing getting in and out of shoes while they are clipped onto the bike
- For those new to the sport, learning how to turn your ankle to take cleats on and off the peddle (without risking the humiliation of falling over at the lights)
- Making adjustments to your position. Unless you are well experienced you will need a fitter to do the job, however almost all bike fits are done on a stationary trainer. Benefits can ranged from increased power due to activation of larger muscles, to a more comfortable position that will allow for stronger off the bike running
- Social – Most would not think that a wind-training session can be a social event, however it can be one of the most fun sessions of the week. For the Tri Edge Team we meet up down at Mana Mana on Tuesday nights to do our wind-training session over-looking the ocean. Music is playing and trainers are set up side-by-side, allowing for lots of discussions while we are having a tough session. Its also common now that indoor training classes also can have a live screen that could be playing the groups favorite sporting team, or even dialed in to do a course that you will be competing in, in a few months time.
- Convenient & Safe – Finally a wind-trainer is both convenient and safe. There are no risks of falling off, hitting a pothole or crashing into another cyclist. Also, for busy inner-city athletes, getting on a wind-trainer prior to work, or over a lunch hour is an efficient use of time.
Overall, we feel that wind-trainers are a key tool all inner city based athletes should own. Its fun, tough and exactly what you need to guarantee consistency year round.