Indoor cycling offers many advantages and benefits, first of all because it allows us to improve our performance on the bike by improving power, agility and fluidity in pedaling. But also because it tones the heart, and all this without leaving home and can be practiced at any time of the day. Of course, there are several ways to do indoor cycling and one of the most popular is by using rollers -which, moreover, can be of various types, such as those you can see in our catalog of ZYCLE rollers-. That’s why in this article we’ll explain how to train with a bike trainer and in what ways you should do it to maximize your results. Read on!
How to train with a bike trainer to improve efficiency
The first thing to make clear is that there are different types of rollers and that the use of one or the other offers different sensations when riding. Therefore, it is important to know what their characteristics are, first of all, to find out which option suits you best. At ZYCLE we have different models adapted to the preferences and needs of each cyclist. These are: Smart ZDrive, ZPro and ZRoller.
Pedaling technique on the bike
One of the most important aspects when talking about how to train on a roller, cycling and cycling performance, in general, is technique. Keep in mind that the feeling may be slightly different from outdoor cycling -among others, because of the non-existence of irregularities in the terrain-. The most important thing, in any case, is to keep pedaling smoothly. Especially when pedaling at a high cadence of more than 90 rpm. This means that sudden movements from one position to another should be avoided as far as possible. The movement should therefore be continuous and fluid. It is also essential to maintain a balanced weight on both pedals in order to accelerate smoothly and maintain power – and to avoid knee, leg and back discomfort, among others.
The duration of the sessions on the trainer
One thing to remember is that a rolling session of about 60 minutes is equivalent to about 90 to 100 minutes of outdoor riding. This is because on the trainer the work is steady at all times and you’re constantly pedaling, with no traffic interruptions or recovery dips – as is the case when cycling outdoors. Therefore, you may be doing twice as much work when training with it. With this in mind, we recommend that you adjust your outdoor times and capabilities to the duration of your indoor cycling session.
Increase intensity progressively and follow a structured workout.
When answering how to train with a home trainer, it is important to keep the intensity in mind and to increase it progressively. We recommend that you follow a structured workout, as shown below:
- Phase 1: lactate threshold work (1 to 1.5 months).
- Phase 2: medium intensity effort work (1.5 months).
- Phase 3: work on high intensity effort mixed with lactate threshold maintenance (1 to 1.5 months).
It is important to know the limits of each cyclist and adapt them to the objectives and goals set for each individual, therefore, it is advisable to follow the indications of a coach in each case.
Use a cycling simulator
Keep in mind that the performance of a cyclist can decrease when cycling indoors because many of the stimuli that we can find outdoors and that motivate us to extend the training session disappear. For this reason, we recommend using a cycling simulator. With it you will considerably improve the feeling of realism and training will be more entertaining. In addition, there are many options available and several tracks to try out.
The necessary accessories for training with a trainer
Whether you want to know how to train on a smart trainer or you are wondering how to train on a roller trainer (or any other model), it is essential that you equip yourself with the necessary accessories. These have been designed primarily to improve your performance, but also to ensure your safety. We recommend the following:
- Roller mat: This accessory will help you to reduce vibrations during your cycling sessions, improving the pedaling sensation. It also helps to avoid scratches on the floor. It is also good for protecting the floor from sweat.
- ZYCLE Stand: The stand improves your position by slightly raising the front wheel. It allows you to adopt a more natural posture with your ZPro trainer, which translates into greater efficiency during workouts by reducing friction and slippage.
- Thru Axle or XDR Core: For ZPro and Smart ZDrive rollers, respectively. With them you will be able to extend the compatibility of the bike with the type of roller you are going to use.
You can also make use of other accessories such as the ZCore chest heart rate monitor that allows you to obtain very accurate measurements of your heart rate and minimize the risk of injury, among others. Keep in mind, however, that if you go by your heart rate in an indoor session, your heart rate will be higher. This is because your body temperature is usually higher and this can significantly increase your heart rate.
How to train with a smart bike trainer: a few basic tips
In addition to what has been explained so far, we recommend you consider some basic tips that, in addition to improving your performance and maximizing your results on the bike, will be very useful to improve your comfort. These are as follows:
- Set up the trainer in a safe area and check that the bike is well balanced.
- Warm up beforehand.
- Hydrate adequately and have water available during training.
- Stay focused to avoid accidents.
- Vary your workouts with high-intensity intervals and simulated climbs or sprints, among others.
- Have a towel handy to wipe off sweat.
- At the end of the session dedicate some time to cool down.