Motivation for indoor cycling training

Riding in place. 🙂

Winter is seriously dragging on in Michigan. I know it’s only February but I was over winter weather in December. With a titanium rod in place of my femur and part of tibia, indoor activities are my main focus during snow and ice conditions. And there’s been a lot of those conditions in Michigan the past few weeks. But….there are options. Like my bike trainer.

I bought a Cycleops Fluid 2 bike trainer when the weather turned at the end of last year, thanks to the advice of a friend (it was a great sale price at my favorite local bike shop, Performance Bike). This allows me to set up my road bike in the living room to ride and train during the months I can’t bike outside (it was really easy to set up myself). I admit that indoor bike training is not my favorite way to ride my road bike. I’m not sure it’s any cyclists’ favorite way, but I’m happy to be able to at least somehow ride my lovely Ruby, er, road bike.

I’m hoping that staying active on my bike, learning my bike a bit better and practicing interval training will help me ease into the outdoor riding season a bit faster. I’m always cautious about my leg (with the titanium rod in it) so any training to help keep it strong and me feeling confident on my bike is a huge help and motivation. But, it admittedly can get a bit boring riding in the same spot for an hour or more. So here are some things to motivate me to keep pedaling:

Loved riding RAGBRAI across Iowa!

Fun cycling jerseys. While I often just wear a tshirt or tank top when training indoors, I also wear cycling jerseys some days (good moisture wick and comfort for moving). Some of my jerseys have special meaning, such as my LIVESTRONG and RAGBRAI jerseys, and help remind me of how far I’ve come in my cycling journey.

Binge watching television shows and movies. I deliberately set my trainer near my television so I could have some distraction and motivation while biking. There are some shows, like The Crown, that I only let myself watch while biking, which helps me stay active for at least an hour at a time. I recently shared a list of shows and movies that are getting me through the winter.

Learning about my bike. While riding on the trainer is very different than being on the road, I’m using this time on a stationary platform to better understand my bike’s gears, and see the difference as I’m shifting (I’m a big visual person so being able to see the shift into each gear is helping me). It’s much easier to look down at your shifting gears when you’re locked into a stationary trainer versus worrying about hitting a tree or car. Safety first. Ha.

5-mile marks keep me motivated!

Using sensors. I love my Garmin for tracking my mileage, route (when outdoors) and more. My cadence and speed sensors keep me on target to ensure I’m getting a good workout. I also set my Garmin to acknowledge five-mile increments (it beeps and highlights five miles), which helps me focus on short distances that all add up. This was especially helpful when I was training last year on long outdoor rides.

Riding with other cyclists  – Some of my cycling friends use on screen/online training modules to sync up with friends and other riders around the world. I haven’t used these yet but most them love these. Several local bike stores offer indoor group rides during the winter months. You take your trainer and bike to the shop. You’re still riding in one spot but at least it’s a change of scenery and opportunity to meet and engage with other cycling enthusiasts.

I also pray a lot for warm, dry weather to come soon so I can get outdoors again! 🙂 What keeps you motivated to be active when you’re stuck indoors?

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