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2013-06-25 5:16 PM

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Scottsdale, AZ
Subject: Bike Trainer Question
I'm currently training for IMAZ and have been getting some of my weekly rides in on my trainer. I've been told by some that this is not a good idea as it's not accurate training (controlled weather, no hills, etc.). I see where they're coming from but also feel that it's not that big of a deal on 60-120 minute rides. Other factors that play into this -

- I live in AZ where it's 110+ everyday. Riding any time other than 5am is near impossible.
- My long HR zone is extremely low which makes riding outdoors in the heat very difficult. I have to go extremely slow to keep my HR down which is another reason why the trainer is easier for shorter rides.

Long story short, what do you guys think of this? I will always do my Saturday long ride outside but have been leaning towards doing my other two weekly rides on the trainer. Will be interested to hear what you guys say, especially the ones who have trained both indoors and out.


2013-06-25 5:40 PM
in reply to: devilfan02

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Austin
Subject: RE: Bike Trainer Question

Only done a HIM myself and have another one this weekend, but I do a decent amount of time on the trainer. Here in central Texas it also gets hot and I understand where you are coming from. I think as long as I get some good hills in each week outside, I can still do my trainer rides.

Then again I am looking for finishes, not looking for prizes.

2013-06-25 5:51 PM
in reply to: devilfan02

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Subject: RE: Bike Trainer Question

I trained for Oceanside earlier this year (2:47), and am training for IM Canada, with 2X trainer rides (CT with power) between 1-1:30 and 1X outdoor ride of varied length or terrain.

If done right (i.e., you are working hard), the people that say training on a trainer don't know what they are talking about (assuming you have decent outdoor tri bike handling skills).  IMO, trainer riding is better than outdoor riding for the very reasons you state (controlled, etc).  I get way more fitness out of one hour on the trainer than one hour on the road

In fact, for IMAZ I'd say it's great mental training cuz you gonna be in aero all frickin day long.   And you do not need hill training for IMAZ

 

2013-06-25 6:01 PM
in reply to: devilfan02

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Subject: RE: Bike Trainer Question
Originally posted by devilfan02

- My long HR zone is extremely low which makes riding outdoors in the heat very difficult. I have to go extremely slow to keep my HR down which is another reason why the trainer is easier for shorter rides.


Even though I live in southern California and can ride outside all year round, I find that riding on the trainer can be quite effective and an efficient use of time. For me, it is best to do the shorter more intense rides (e.g., 2x20 threshold) on the trainer.

I am curious as to what short rides you do that also require you to go "extremely slow" - are these recovery rides or something?

2013-06-25 6:08 PM
in reply to: ChrisM

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Scottsdale, AZ
Subject: RE: Bike Trainer Question
Originally posted by ChrisM

I trained for Oceanside earlier this year (2:47), and am training for IM Canada, with 2X trainer rides (CT with power) between 1-1:30 and 1X outdoor ride of varied length or terrain.

If done right (i.e., you are working hard), the people that say training on a trainer don't know what they are talking about (assuming you have decent outdoor tri bike handling skills).  IMO, trainer riding is better than outdoor riding for the very reasons you state (controlled, etc).  I get way more fitness out of one hour on the trainer than one hour on the road

In fact, for IMAZ I'd say it's great mental training cuz you gonna be in aero all frickin day long.   And you do not need hill training for IMAZ

 




Thanks for the input. I agree regarding the fitness gains on the trainer... For me, it's WAY EASIER to stay in my HR zones and get a good, efficient workout in. Also, as you said, the IMAZ bike course is very flat so I won't have to worry about hills.
2013-06-25 6:12 PM
in reply to: caltrijedi

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Scottsdale, AZ
Subject: RE: Bike Trainer Question
Originally posted by caltrijedi

Originally posted by devilfan02

- My long HR zone is extremely low which makes riding outdoors in the heat very difficult. I have to go extremely slow to keep my HR down which is another reason why the trainer is easier for shorter rides.


Even though I live in southern California and can ride outside all year round, I find that riding on the trainer can be quite effective and an efficient use of time. For me, it is best to do the shorter more intense rides (e.g., 2x20 threshold) on the trainer.

I am curious as to what short rides you do that also require you to go "extremely slow" - are these recovery rides or something?




I joined a tri group that is heavy into HR training. Since I'm new to biking, my lactate threshold came back very low which resulted in my "Long" HR zone being very low as well. I'm assuming this would be Zone 1 for most peoples HR zones. We're building fitness right now so I spend a lot of time in this zone at the moment. It sucks


2013-06-25 6:44 PM
in reply to: devilfan02

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Kansas
Subject: RE: Bike Trainer Question

I've reluctantly been doing some of my rides on the trainer - due to the wind. It's outrageous this time of year (for example 30mph sustained right now) and frankly not safe for me. 

I can typically handle 100+ degree heat but combine that with dangerous winds and it's too big of a risk for me. 

I think you're okay.

2013-06-25 11:04 PM
in reply to: devilfan02

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Subject: RE: Bike Trainer Question
I live in the Seattle area where the weather is basically crap 9-10 months of the year. I could train outdoors if I chose to, but riding in the rain/cold/dark and wind is not my idea of fun. I do probably 99% of my rides on a trainer. I have successfully completed many HIMs, an IM and a challenging 150 mile/10k ft elevation gain club ride here mostly on trainer miles.

Personally, about the only thing I think I miss out a bit on in doing trainer rides is a better gut feel of effort vs. speed in a real event. For example, I know very well what it feels like to ride 3,4,5 hours at various percentages of my FTP on a trainer. What I have less idea of is just how far those hours would get me. Trainer speeds are misleading at best, so it's always a bit hard to estimate just how far I really would have gone outside. This comes in to play a bit mostly in long distance rides where nutrition and pacing become bigger issues over longer duration rides (i.e, from sprint to almost HIM I don't see an issue, IM though is something else)

For my first IM I certainly made an effort to get at least a few of my long rides outside. Purely so that I could get an idea of just how far/fast I was going in 6+ hrs so that I could better tailor nutrition, pacing etc for the race.. Personally I am a big fan of the trainer - you get a great workout for very little overhead compared to managing all of your rides outdoors. Of course, you do have to be a little crazy to deal with 4-6 hrs of riding in the exact same spot, but I passed that gate a long time ago.
2013-06-26 7:48 AM
in reply to: devilfan02

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Subject: RE: Bike Trainer Question

Originally posted by devilfan02 I'm currently training for IMAZ and have been getting some of my weekly rides in on my trainer. I've been told by some that this is not a good idea as it's not accurate training (controlled weather, no hills, etc.). I see where they're coming from but also feel that it's not that big of a deal on 60-120 minute rides. Other factors that play into this - - I live in AZ where it's 110+ everyday. Riding any time other than 5am is near impossible. - My long HR zone is extremely low which makes riding outdoors in the heat very difficult. I have to go extremely slow to keep my HR down which is another reason why the trainer is easier for shorter rides. Long story short, what do you guys think of this? I will always do my Saturday long ride outside but have been leaning towards doing my other two weekly rides on the trainer. Will be interested to hear what you guys say, especially the ones who have trained both indoors and out.

Triathlon riding is predominantly power output and managing it, and the trainer is a great way to develop more of it. You'll be fine. Many people of all abilities do it, and can do quite well with it. Do make sure to keep getting rides outside so that you are used to various aspects of being outside. The trainer doesn't really work what you use for stabilizing, or balance. It doesn't help the rest of you get used to battling the wind (which is also a mental battle). It doesn't help as much in carrying speed through varying terrain. IMAZ is flat and rather consistent, but you still want to do that.

Having said this, doing the long ride outside on a fairly regular basis will do quite well for you. That's the best ride to do it with, and you'll be ok if you do so more often than not. Particularly as race day approaches. This far out though, just get in the riding however you can. Inside or out. Power development is your primary concern. Just don't completely ignore the other aspects.

2013-06-26 8:09 AM
in reply to: brigby1


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Subject: RE: Bike Trainer Question
Originally posted by brigby1

Originally posted by devilfan02 I'm currently training for IMAZ and have been getting some of my weekly rides in on my trainer. I've been told by some that this is not a good idea as it's not accurate training (controlled weather, no hills, etc.). I see where they're coming from but also feel that it's not that big of a deal on 60-120 minute rides. Other factors that play into this - - I live in AZ where it's 110+ everyday. Riding any time other than 5am is near impossible. - My long HR zone is extremely low which makes riding outdoors in the heat very difficult. I have to go extremely slow to keep my HR down which is another reason why the trainer is easier for shorter rides. Long story short, what do you guys think of this? I will always do my Saturday long ride outside but have been leaning towards doing my other two weekly rides on the trainer. Will be interested to hear what you guys say, especially the ones who have trained both indoors and out.

Triathlon riding is predominantly power output and managing it, and the trainer is a great way to develop more of it. You'll be fine. Many people of all abilities do it, and can do quite well with it. Do make sure to keep getting rides outside so that you are used to various aspects of being outside. The trainer doesn't really work what you use for stabilizing, or balance. It doesn't help the rest of you get used to battling the wind (which is also a mental battle). It doesn't help as much in carrying speed through varying terrain. IMAZ is flat and rather consistent, but you still want to do that.

Having said this, doing the long ride outside on a fairly regular basis will do quite well for you. That's the best ride to do it with, and you'll be ok if you do so more often than not. Particularly as race day approaches. This far out though, just get in the riding however you can. Inside or out. Power development is your primary concern. Just don't completely ignore the other aspects.



Plenty of great athletes, including pros will train indoors more than outdoors. Andy Potts suggests he does 85% of his workouts on his CompuTrainer. A very informative interview here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91Uz29Bdyl4
2013-06-26 2:17 PM
in reply to: cpzone

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Scottsdale, AZ
Subject: RE: Bike Trainer Question
Originally posted by cpzone

Originally posted by brigby1

Originally posted by devilfan02 I'm currently training for IMAZ and have been getting some of my weekly rides in on my trainer. I've been told by some that this is not a good idea as it's not accurate training (controlled weather, no hills, etc.). I see where they're coming from but also feel that it's not that big of a deal on 60-120 minute rides. Other factors that play into this - - I live in AZ where it's 110+ everyday. Riding any time other than 5am is near impossible. - My long HR zone is extremely low which makes riding outdoors in the heat very difficult. I have to go extremely slow to keep my HR down which is another reason why the trainer is easier for shorter rides. Long story short, what do you guys think of this? I will always do my Saturday long ride outside but have been leaning towards doing my other two weekly rides on the trainer. Will be interested to hear what you guys say, especially the ones who have trained both indoors and out.

Triathlon riding is predominantly power output and managing it, and the trainer is a great way to develop more of it. You'll be fine. Many people of all abilities do it, and can do quite well with it. Do make sure to keep getting rides outside so that you are used to various aspects of being outside. The trainer doesn't really work what you use for stabilizing, or balance. It doesn't help the rest of you get used to battling the wind (which is also a mental battle). It doesn't help as much in carrying speed through varying terrain. IMAZ is flat and rather consistent, but you still want to do that.

Having said this, doing the long ride outside on a fairly regular basis will do quite well for you. That's the best ride to do it with, and you'll be ok if you do so more often than not. Particularly as race day approaches. This far out though, just get in the riding however you can. Inside or out. Power development is your primary concern. Just don't completely ignore the other aspects.



Plenty of great athletes, including pros will train indoors more than outdoors. Andy Potts suggests he does 85% of his workouts on his CompuTrainer. A very informative interview here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91Uz29Bdyl4


That's a great video - thanks for passing along. Pott's is actually the example I used when arguing about this subject.



2013-06-27 3:06 AM
in reply to: devilfan02

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Subject: RE: Bike Trainer Question

If you're getting in one long outdoor ride a week, I don't see a problem at all.  That should be more than sufficient for making sure your handling skills, pacing through various terrain/wind, etc are in check.

For most people, the weekday rides should be focused on high intensity intervals which is exactly what the trainer is good for.  Especially if you don't have a power meter, you can take advantage of TrainerRoad and benchmark your workouts and progress using virtual power.  That will allow you to train harder and smarter.

I have a power meter on my bike, and I live in an area where riding indoors during daylight hours should be considered a crime...so I don't use the trainer unless I absolutely need to.

2013-06-27 8:54 AM
in reply to: devilfan02

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ann arbor, michigan
Subject: RE: Bike Trainer Question
I did IMAZ last year with a 5:26 bike split and I did about 95% of my riding on the trainer, including several five hour trainer rides. Optimal? I think not. Doable? Absolutely.
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