8 Top Tips for Indoor Cycling Training with Matteo Cigala
1. Make a good indoor training environment
Based on my experience and by talking regularly with cyclists, having the right set up motivates people to ride indoor more. Ideally, if the trainer can be left set up in a dedicated room, it removes any mental obstacles that might give reasons not to train. Being indoors, it’s important to have a well-ventilated area, this prevents your body overheating during training.
2. Invest in a good turbo trainer
There are different turbo trainers on the market from basic to smart turbo trainer with extremely good road feel. As a rule, the more you invest, the better and the more realistic your experience will be.
3. Upgrade your pain cave
A big screen TV, a good music system or sport sweat-proof wireless headphones, a good fan, a stand for things you might need during your rides such as laptop, phone, food, etc are recommended equipment to make your indoor experience more enjoyable.
4. Mix up your routine
For each session, try different things, to keep yourself entertained so you don’t get bored such as watching tv, doing some intervals, listening to music or chasing a PB. For the more enthusiastic riders, consider a coach and get a structured training programme tailored to your goals, fitness level, training availability, strengths and weaknesses.
5. Keep sessions short and sharp
You want to keep your indoor rides short and sharp. 30 minutes to 1.5 hours is plenty. Spending too much time on turbo can be counterproductive.
6. Keep yourself hydrated
Make sure you keep yourself well hydrated with water or electrolytes to cope with the amount of liquids lost during the indoor sessions. Losing 2% of body weight in water is equivalent to up to 10% decrease in performance. Just remember, drink, drink, drink.
7. Dress correctly
Make sure you have good cycling shorts with high quality padding. Riding in a stationary position can be uncomfortable as there is very little movement and a lot of sweat is generated. Use a light and breathable jersey to help you stay cool.
8. Up your game
Consider one of the many Apps to make your indoor experience more realistic, social and competitive. Join online workouts, social ride, races, sportives, or ride a selection of virtual roads. Some of the most popular Apps at the time of writing are Zwift, Trainer Road, The Sufferfest, RGT Cycling, Rouvy, Bkool, Kinomap, and FulGaz.