Whoa, so many hours on the trainer…
I guess building up the base miles will be critical come my 200 mile ride but it sure is boring.
At this time of year it’s critical to get your body used to spending hours in the saddle, pushing different levels of intensity. It may hurt and make you feel like Jack Nicholson in The Shining (“All spinning and no sun makes Jay a dull boy.”) but without that fitness base that you can only get from riding you start with a huge disadvantage. So I slog away hour after hour dreaming of the open road that I know is just around the corner.
The other benefit to riding the trainer at this time of year is that you get a chance to really focus on your pedal stroke. Getting that perfect full rotation pays off huge when you get outside and start hitting hills; you find that you have all kinds of additional power just by producing the proper “around the clock” pedal stroke. To practice this I like to run one-legged intervals where I will clip out my right leg and pedal for 2 mins using only my left leg, then clip back in and ride for 5 with both legs before clipping out my left leg and doing 2 mins with only my right leg. I find after an hour of these intervals my pedal stroke is solid and my legs are spent.
Another advantage that I find is the ability to fine-tune your riding position. Spinning on the trainer in that constant seated position will let you know if something isn’t quite right; you will get sore knees or back or arms and by paying attention to these pains you can adjust the bike set up to find the most comfortable riding position. If you have access to a tripod and video camera you may want to video yourself on the trainer as well to visually inspect your riding technique as you may notice something that can be adjusted to save you energy.
Well I guess I should hop back on the trainer for now.
Keep the rubber side down,