Posts tagged training
We’ve recently switched over to Strava to keep track of our training sessions (after being firm believers of Endomondo), and have been enjoying their info and stats we compile as we cycle along our merry way.
Came across this video this morning and thought we should add it to the site, especially for those of you looking for a bit of inspiration.
We all have our own little cycling rituals, what’s yours?
We moved to Strava mainly because of Strava’s ability to track virtual training sessions, something we hope to really dig into soon!
OK, before you go and splash that hard-earned cash of yours on the first stationary bike trainer that catches your eye, we’ll have to point out that there are some serious factors that really need to be considered before you open that wallet. We’ve whittled the list down to THREE, but each of them will have some serious impact on the trainer you end up choosing…
Define Your Goals
The first thing you really need to consider is what exactly are you aiming to get from buying a stationary bike stand?
Are you looking to recover from an injury that has left you physically sidelined for a while? Do you intend to use a trainer to lose weight? Or are you simply a semi-serious/professional cyclist looking to stay in form over the winter months when you can’t squeeze those calorie-burning sessions in between snow showers?
Whatever your goals, there’s typically a stationary bike stand ideal for your purposes; check out our introduction to the different types on the market.
How Much Time Will You Be Devoting?
The next thing to consider is just how much time will you be spending on your new bike stand? Just how often will you be squeezing in a training session? If you’re looking to clock some serious mileage, then we’d highly recommend quality over cheap and cheerful any day of the week (take a look at the CycleOps Fluid 2 or the Kurt Kinetic Rock n Roll trainer as two very excellent options; see other high-end models here). If it’s a once a week thing, then you could probably get away with a more budget-friendly trainer (depending, of course, on what exactly that once a week “thing” means…).
What Is Your Budget?
The final deciding factor has to be your budget. There’s really no point in going above and beyond that budget if you’re not totally convinced by a trainer and your reasons for buying it (here are TEN reasons for buying it!)
The first two points above will have a determining factor on your budget, that’s for sure, so let them dictate the actual amount of money you’re willing to spend. Other factors like an unsupportive spouse or a hard-nosed bank manager will also play their part, but we won’t go into those for our own, ahem, reasons…
But yes, their are bike trainers for EVERY budget, you just have to make your decision and go with it, all the way!
And don’t forget our comparison table for a quick overview of prices and features, hopefully it will help!
Here are another three critical factors to look at, especially if you’re serious about your training: ride-ability, durability, and repeatability.
If you’re anything like me, then you’ll know that pigging out over the Christmas / New Year season is inevitable. It’s just too hard to resist those chocolates, that extra glass of wine, or another slice of your mother’s latest caking adventure…
But even so, there’s no reason to lose sight of the winter goal: keeping yourself in relatively good shape DESPITE all those sweets and treats. You might have woken up this New Years a little chubbier than you planned, but don’t worry, we’ve got it covered with FIVE crucial tips for staying in shape!
Don’t go nuts – eat nuts!
Nuts are everywhere over the holiday season, and could be a great answer to many of your festive slimming woes. Nuts have a lot of vitamins and minerals, but also provide a great source of protein and heart-healthy fats. Probably best of all, they actually do fill you up, unlike chewing on a carrot or lettuce leaves. Of course, you should steer clear of the more luxurious looking nuts, the ones covered in chocolate or honey-roasted, as they’ll be packed full of sugar, and hence a lot more calories.
Try and stay with the natural, raw nuts, like almonds. And once the New Year’s parties and celebrations are over, they are still a highly recommended munchie.
Watch what you eat
An obvious one this one…but seriously, watch out for those heavy, calorie-laden meals heading your way over the winter season.
Most holiday meals are based on something nutritional, like pumpkin, turkey, or sweet potatoes, but more often than not, all that nutrition goes to waste during preparation. Looking at a pumpkin pie for example, the pumpkin part is virtually fat free and good for you. It’s the sugary biscuity crust which will pile on the fat. And turkey roasts are in theory a great nutritional booster, but if they’re soaked and roasted in butter for an hour or two you can kiss that nutrition goodbye.
And once the New Year is over, keep up the good work with those weekend family visits and goodie-rich dinners!
Drink and be merry – but don’t forget to drink water!
Most of us enjoy a drink or three over the festive season, and it’s soooo easy to get half-drunk pretty much the entire holiday period. But that’s a lot of calories to work off. One of my fave tricks for keeping fairly in control is to drink as much water as possible. I always try and have a glass of water between alcoholic beverages, as the water fills me up a little and leaves less room for another beer or whatever is available. I also make sure I drink a glass of water before going to bed as this keeps me hydrated through the night, especially if I know I’ve had one or two too many.
Another little trick for you: hold a glass in your hand at all times. This should avoid friends or relatives pushing a freshly filled glass your way at all times possible…
Don’t stay at the dinner table for extra-long conversations!
When we’re eating around the table or at a buffet-like party, it’s inevitable that we’ll munch on things that are within arm’s reach. Disaster! Don’t be completely unsocial and run from the food and company, but try and steer the conversation away from the food if at all possible.
Forget those super sweet lattes from Starbucks!
There’s nothing like stopping by at your fave coffee shop or Starbucks for a seasonal coffee drink – but boy do those drinks pile on the calories! Just thinking about a pumpkin spice latte or peppermint mocha is enough to get us salivating, the only problem is we’ll be paying for it later! Just look at all those sweet drinks and the added chocolate, whipped cream, whole milk etc – that’s a ton of work on your indoor trainer to work off!
“Just how do I ride one of those roller bikes?”
Well, riding a roller bike stand isn’t the easiest thing in the world, and we know some of you (and us!) have struggled at the best of times to master these babies (here’s how NOT to ride a roller!), but a good friend of ours swears by his roller and gave us some excellent tips for success – check them out below (perfectly accompanied by even more tips in the video below).
Bear in mind that these tips are great, but rollers generally take much more getting used to – although many who ride them enthuse about the realism they offer and the extra balancing skills you gain over time.
If you’re looking for a great roller, don’t miss our review of the best FIVE rollers money can buy!
- TIP 1: Find yourself a flat surface, preferably smooth, to ensure the roller doesn’t get too wobbly and unstable.
- TIP 2: Lineup your front axle so that the front roller, when you prepare to ride the roller, goes just beyond it (or is just in front of it).
- TIP 3: Probably the most important tip this one, make sure you have something to support/hold you on either side of the bike roller, especially when getting on the bike. A door frame is perfect, as it safely ensures you’re supported on either side and you can use it to lean into with your shoulders. Otherwise get a friend or partner to hold on to you, while perhaps standing next to a wall.
- TIP 4: When you start your ride, ensure your gears are somewhere in the middle of the cog, so that you’re not in a too easy/too hard gear when starting off.
- TIP 5: Once you’re safely on your bike, look straight ahead while riding, typically focusing about a meter ahead of the bike itself. Also keep your hands firmly on the handlebars, and most importantly – don’t stop pedaling! Stop pedaling and you’ll likely lose your balance very quickly and come crashing off…
There you go – success on a roller assured!
The clip below shows you how to do it like a pro…
We know that once you’ve got your new stationary bike trainer up and running, you’ll be biting at the chomp to get those legs pumping!
And if you’re lucky enough to get some training DVDs with your trainer (which some models do come with), stick them in the DVD player and start training! However, most of you probably won’t know how to really get going with your trainer, and more importantly, how to really get more power and endurance from your training sessions.
This is where this great video comes in – we recently discovered it on YouTube, and it really does provide some great tips (here’s another of their great videos here).
Included in the video:
- How to elevate your heart rate and your overall working threshold
- How to refine your cycling technique and increase muscular endurance
- How to elevate your metabolism and energy
And yes, that’s a Kurt Kinetic Road Trainer in the video
This is a great way to enjoy your indoor bike training session – with a street video session!
This video lasts for over an hour, and features a ride through some great suburban streets, on a beautiful day. Just stick in some music on your iPod or stereo, pump it up a bit, and imagine you’re out on the open road!