Long Distance Cycling Indoors
Dani Buyo, CEO of Gran Fondo World Tour
Tips to survive to long distance training sessions on indoors
There are many new training platforms for cycling, which offer more variety to indoor training sessions, from the pumping music cycling studios to the large group ride events. We cannot overlook what commonly known as “spinning” group lessons and what they have done for this part of training and exposure of cycling over the years, for pro and amateur cyclists. Indoor cycling group lessons are placed inside fitness centers and is an ideal option for people who hate the 15 minutes warm up on bike or treadmill. Spinning classes offers verbal guidance and entertainment, allowing riders to do almost 45 minutes of good aerobic activity for their day to day training. These classes combine in one lesson, music, aerobic exercise and socialitzation.
The question is. How can I do long sessions on my trainer? How do I stay motivated in my head without the group around me? What is the optimum psychological strategy to tackle longer days on the (indoor) saddle?
From my personal experience, here are my top tips for long distance training indoors:
1-Stay focused on the activity, on your form and rhythm with mental image in your mind to motivate you, whatever is it. Maybe it is remembering a long climb in Alps or your favorite uphill puncher in town, try to remember and focus on details of the road that you love and have a similar time distance of the segment that you are doing.
2-Place your own Feed Zone or coffee stops. Think of friends, family, imagine them waiting you at roadside to give you a bottle or food. Say on your Saturday group ride, you usually stop at 75 minutes at the local café, well there is no reason to eliminate that in your indoor long-distance session. The only difference is you have to make the coffee! Staying hydrated indoors is so important — don’t forget the water and some isotonic drinks. Helpful hint is to set a timer for every 15 minutes, have a few drinks and then do 15 seconds out of the saddle after the drinks just to break up the time.
3-As you build up the riding time, additional amenities will be required. For breakout training sessions, within the longer ride, such as as 45 min constant or longer timed efforts or even the hour at the end easy pace, reach for your best distraction, (Netflix-HBO, YouTube videos about an interesting topic, TV or books on tape) Reading a book are useful for easy segments, because you do not need your focus. Games may work well on your mobile or even set your PlayStation nearby. I was playing lots on PlayStation on my world record attempt and it helped me pass the hours. These types of aversions are important because when you are tired after 3-4 hours, it is difficult to concentration on long segments.
4-For high intensity efforts, use mental strategies highlighted in the first point. Keep your focus on the training. Best to use only music during these to build mental strength and keep focused to give your 110%.
5-If you are searching for complementary training ideas to your general training plan, download any indoor cycling session, put in ear buds or turn on audio system and do your best to follow music pace and keep the inspiration of the instructor. This is ideal for those who have done group cycling classes. This is best way to survive 45 minutes on the bike without thinking. Just Ride to the music.
6-Stay focused, keep a routine, and you will see the results and find a new level of fitness. Whether you a seriously training or you looking for some fitness exercise, these tips are for you! No one looks forward to indoor riding, but it can be very good for all of levels of cyclists.
7-Important: The fan. A fan is a must! It provides two benefits— it will keep you cool and will provide air sensation. The air sensation is important as it simulates the feeling of being on the road and outside and will keep the mind at ease.
It is possible to stay 4-5 hours on the bike indoors and complete strong or easy sessions. Forget about the clock and use time only for intervals or series trainings. You can also do intervals to songs. First song easy second song hard. And remember, for those long rides, forget about the clock, just ride and reach for your favorite amenity at your side.
About the Writer:
Dani Buyo, current CEO of Gran Fondo World Tour ®, beat the Guinness World Record for indoor cycling on 2016, pedaling 83 hours non-stop on a challenge starting on 10:00 Wednesday and finishing at 21:00 Saturday, 4 days and 3 nights non-stop averaging 22 km / h, 1800 km non-stop.
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