Trainer time vs. Road time



danl

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Mar 8, 2004
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Is riding an indoor trainer equivilant to riding on the road, if the time and intensity are the same? I find that spending 90 minutes in Zone 2-3 on the road is much easier (in effort and comfort) than on the trainer.

Thanks.
 

tanggoman

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Sep 22, 2003
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I stay on the indoor trainer as short as possible (1hr max) due to the boredom it brings to anyone using it. I only do my intervals on it and if I have time and weather permitting, I ride the great outdoors.
 

Cipher

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Sep 7, 2002
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Originally posted by danl
Is riding an indoor trainer equivilant to riding on the road, if the time and intensity are the same? I find that spending 90 minutes in Zone 2-3 on the road is much easier (in effort and comfort) than on the trainer.

Thanks.

My opinion is that you can never simulate a workout indoors on a trainer for the reason others mentioned in addition to a few more I would add to the list... Winter use at best affords me a minimal level of fitness, and view it as a stop-gap replacement for a training ride when the weather is to poor outside to ride in the summer.
 

scottmoroschan

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Feb 5, 2004
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Personally, I would agree that indoor traning can be a bit boring. But, you can always make it more interesting with music, cycling videos ect... And, maybe instead of focuing on boredom you should focus why you are on the trainer in the first place. These reasons will vary from person to person...For instance, it maybe just to beat the weather, or maybe you are actually trying to make specific improvements in your fitness.

Probably the best way to add focus to indoor sessions is remember your goals....That is if you have them. If not Make some!!! And, don't forget about the day-to-day short term goals like why am I exercising today and what do I hope to achieve today. Focus on these and your indoor training will most likely not seem as boring. Who knows they might actually get you excited about your long term goals, and the actual accomplishment of working toward them.

As far as indoor riding is not relevant to actual riding. I think you are losing the plot a bit. Don't forget you are riding indoors, so that you will become a better real world rider. After all this is not the world of indoor rowing competitions.

Plus, the controlled environment of riding indoors has a temendous potential to be a very specific training tool that can bring about safe, and effective training stresses that will give you the edge in your cycling discipline.

Personally, after riding so many years without any real structure. And, looking back at my wasted efforts, my injuries from overtraining and lack of adherence due to the weather, I find the introduction of indoor riding to my program as a source of hope. That is why I ride atleast twice a week on my trainer now and rarely find it boring. Overall, indoor riding isthe best for recovery spins, and great for introducing controlled/purposeful/specific and time effective workouts to my training program.

So, next time you get on your trainer...Enjoy it. Don't dread it!!!

Take care,

Scott
 

jp111

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Aug 2, 2003
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In addition to the above, the right music, makes a difference. Also, drinking something say at 15 min intervals breaks up the time. Staying at a specific heart rate, and, keeping a record of appropriate aspects of riding, such as cadence, gear combinations, trainer resistance, and, time/distance will show progress, and, is well worth the effort when you do get back out on the road, with good strength and endurance ! Goals make the difference.
 

mjh

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Feb 7, 2004
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For the past 5 years I've found it extremely difficult to get any quality training time, be it intensity or duration on the trainer. 45 minutes seemed like hours even with a video. Bought a computrainer this winter and ride regularly for 1 or 2 hours mixing it up with intervals, drills and aerobic stuff. I find that the varied courses and real time feed back keep it interesting. Still neeed a good cycling video playing. Bit pricey though.
 

edd

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Jul 8, 2003
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I love my trainer.... I'd sooner wear it out then my expensive road bike..
it is very good for quality drills such as upper threshold aerobic work and constant sustained base rides.... very productive indeed. I do with whole group of others, we kick on.. music really loud.. tell jokes.... take the p**s out of each other... stuff you could not do on the road !

Road is just as much fun if not more fun... it's different fun.. we do hills, hills and more hills... and some anaerobic threshold stuff ( found it best done on the road )

Life is fun... if your bored... meditate.. or read a cook book.... or iron pillowslips.....that get everything back into perspective
 

Sprinter_989

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Mar 2, 2003
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The longest I've ever lasted on a trainer is 2 hours, watching highlights of 1997 Tour de France , (that I've seen bout 1000 times...... LOL I can memorise most of the commentary) i don't know how anyone can do endurance training on them,
My trainer= for intervals only.
 

lischoux

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Feb 26, 2004
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Trainer time... Boring... but only if you let it get boring. As others have suggested you need distractions. I used the following workout method since December (first "trainer" off-season ever).

At this time I am on the trainer working at cadence (among other things) both in and out of saddle on average 1.5 hours a day. Also I find the trainer easy to do those 1-legged intervals. TV in front with a movie or a TDF tape/DVD in and the sound turned down, Stereo blaring in the back with LOUD music.

Reading a book or magazine works too but gets tricky when you get out of the saddle.

Recommended movies: American Flyers
Recommended music: Linkin Park, Limp Bizkit, AC/DC, KISS
Recommended reading: Uphill Battle (O. Mulholland) or any cycling mag will do.

On Saturday I did a personal record 3 hours (!) on the trainer in 1 go. I was pretty well EXHAUSTED after that.

The key for me is to keep focused on the long term goal ... and the fact that I can enter a "3-hour ride" in my cycling journal is pretty cool too :D

The trainer is cool to add an extra hour to your "outdoor" ride when it's too cold to be outside for more than 1 or 2 hours. On Sunday I rode hills for 1:15, then got inside and rode the trainer for another 1:15. I believe however that it's much more beneficial to do it this way rather than the trainer first, then outside. Otherwise it would put me at risk for catching cold going outside (right ?).

Anyway... the trainer has become a dear friend during the long cold Canadian winter.

Will post a picture of my trainer/TV/entertainment center setup here soon...
 

dot

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Apr 28, 2003
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Originally posted by danl
Is riding an indoor trainer equivilant to riding on the road, if the time and intensity are the same? I find that spending 90 minutes in Zone 2-3 on the road is much easier (in effort and comfort) than on the trainer.

Thanks.

Don't do steady pace on trainer.
I can sit on trainer for 1.5 hr doing intervals only. No matter what intervals. For endurance it can be 3 min at 65-70% of MaxHR and 3 min at 70-75%. I prefer 3-4 min at 80-90% and 2-3 min off.
Max. interval length I can do on trainer is 4-5 min. I also don't have cadence on my computer so I count my cadence for 1 min. Much easier to do 1.5 hr sessions.
 

edd

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Jul 8, 2003
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Originally posted by dot
Don't do steady pace on trainer.
I can sit on trainer for 1.5 hr doing intervals only. No matter what intervals. For endurance it can be 3 min at 65-70% of MaxHR and 3 min at 70-75%. I prefer 3-4 min at 80-90% and 2-3 min off.
Max. interval length I can do on trainer is 4-5 min. I also don't have cadence on my computer so I count my cadence for 1 min. Much easier to do 1.5 hr sessions.

Since I started doing 2 hour blocks of 70% MHR uninterupted, constant, no variation, just quality modest load work on the trainer... improvement has gone through the roof.

stop start is a mistake....

stop start with threshold work only !

and and and..... get a metronome cheapest training aid around
 

dot

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Apr 28, 2003
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Originally posted by edd
Since I started doing 2 hour blocks of 70% MHR uninterupted, constant, no variation, just quality modest load work on the trainer... improvement has gone through the roof.

stop start is a mistake....

stop start with threshold work only !

and and and..... get a metronome cheapest training aid around

I believe what you say that it works for you.
2 hours at 70% of HR is good session :)
But I just can't stand 1.5 in steady pace on trainer.
So I do 30-90 min interval sessions and it's not so boring.
And it really works for me.
 

PJ Ruddy

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Mar 16, 2004
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Originally posted by danl
Is riding an indoor trainer equivilant to riding on the road, if the time and intensity are the same? I find that spending 90 minutes in Zone 2-3 on the road is much easier (in effort and comfort) than on the trainer.

Thanks.

An hour on the trainer = 2 hours on the road
 

PJ Ruddy

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Mar 16, 2004
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Originally posted by danl
Is riding an indoor trainer equivilant to riding on the road, if the time and intensity are the same? I find that spending 90 minutes in Zone 2-3 on the road is much easier (in effort and comfort) than on the trainer.

Thanks.

An hour on the trainer = 2 hours on the road
 

scottmoroschan

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Feb 5, 2004
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That is an interseting point you have made. One hour on the trainer is equivalent to two on the road. I have heard and/or read this statement before in Cycling Plus or somewhere. And, I would agree that with no free wheeling, no stop lights, no tail winds, ect...Would help to make indoor training more time efficient. But, a 1:2 ratio seems like it may be a bit optimistic.

Has anybody ever read something from a credible source concerning this 1:2 effeicency?.That is an interesting point you have made. One hour on the trainer is equivalent to two on the road. I have heard and/or read this statement before. I would agree that with no free wheeling, no stop lights, no tail winds, ect...Helps to make indoor training more time efficient. But, a 1:2 ratio seems like it is a bit too much. Has anybody ever read something from a credible source concerning this 1:2 advantage of riding indoors?
 

ric_stern/RST

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Nov 11, 2002
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Hurstpierpoint
www.cyclecoach.com
Originally posted by scottmoroschan
That is an interseting point you have made. One hour on the trainer is equivalent to two on the road. I have heard and/or read this statement before in Cycling Plus or somewhere. And, I would agree that with no free wheeling, no stop lights, no tail winds, ect...Would help to make indoor training more time efficient. But, a 1:2 ratio seems like it may be a bit optimistic.

Has anybody ever read something from a credible source concerning this 1:2 effeicency?.That is an interesting point you have made. One hour on the trainer is equivalent to two on the road. I have heard and/or read this statement before. I would agree that with no free wheeling, no stop lights, no tail winds, ect...Helps to make indoor training more time efficient. But, a 1:2 ratio seems like it is a bit too much. Has anybody ever read something from a credible source concerning this 1:2 advantage of riding indoors?

i've never seen a 2:1 ratio for outdoors to indoors. typically, what i see, and the reply i gave in the Q&A section at www.cyclingnews.com is that about one third of most outdoor rides (outdoor track, and flat TTs excepted) are either coasting and/or riding very easy. Therefore, indoor endurance rides can be cut by ~1/3 for a comparable session. this is based on extensive power data files i have!

Additionally, i'd add, that if you were supposed to do a shortish endurance ride outdoors (e.g., ~ 90-mins), you could probably leave it as is, for indoors. I only bother reducing my indoor rides which are > 90-mins

ric
 

edd

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Jul 8, 2003
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Originally posted by PJ Ruddy
An hour on the trainer = 2 hours on the road

Let see now, that would be
T ( Trainer ) over E ( effort ) x 0 I ( Interuptions ) x 1 S ( stimulus ) =
R ( Road ) over E ( effort ) x 2 I ( Interuptions ) x 1 S ( stimulus ) x 2

so that's T/Ex0Ix1S = R/Ex2Ix1S x 2

nuh, sorry, math doesn't work ?

It is all relative.... pick your road ( hills / mountains ? ) and your training partner and stimulus becomes a significant factor....
 

Aztec

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Jul 8, 2003
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I think Charmichael goes with something like 85-90% trainer to road time.