Indoor cycling – how to get the best out of your ride
Virtual/Indoor cycling can be challenging but rewarding work. If you are not set up correctly, you can fatigue quickly, be uncomfortable and even get injured. The team at MyWhoosh sat down today and compared their indoor set-ups (over a coffee) and have come up with the best tips and tricks to make your ride a success.
Bike and Trainer
Correct bike set-up and position are vital indoors as you tend to be more static than outdoors. Try to find a reputable bike fitter in your area, or spend some time online to learn how to ensure you have the correct position on your bike.
Make sure your bike is correctly attached to your trainer. Is it in tightly, is it level and do my gears work are three essential checks you need to make before every ride. No one wants to suffer the embarrassment of their bike coming loose or gears jumping, causing you to fall off indoors (although most of us have done it).
The last thing is to calibrate your trainer. The calibration ensures your trainer’s power reads correctly.
Without debate, the best two things to improve comfort when riding indoors is a good quality pair of knicks and some chamois crème. Look for knicks that have a slightly thicker than usual chamois and a crème that last for at least an hour. Don’t battle with an old uncomfortable kit. Enjoy your ride with some quality indoor gear.
The most extensive debate was on headbands. A few in the team like to look like they are doing a fun run in the 1980s. Others let the sweat drip into their eyes or constantly wipe with a hand towel. Personally, go with the headband ?
Always keep a small towel handy, and a good tip is to soak half of it in water to help cool you down. Some people even freeze wet towels to keep them cool…
Riding inside is always hot. The energy you produce is heat, and heat must escape. You cannot have enough cooling when riding indoors, even in cold climates. At a minimum, we suggest a powerful fan, more than one if possible. Keeping cool will increase performance. Overheating is not good for anyone and should be avoided at all costs.
The best part of indoor cycling is we can do it any time of the day. The bad part is this can mess with our nutrition strategy. You may have just eaten or maybe just woken up. Amend your fuel to suit your day and aim for two gels an hour whilst on the trainer. The same goes for water. With the extra heat and reducing cooling, you need to drink more than usual.
Warm-up and Cooldown
You won’t hit your numbers or produce good power if you don’t warm up. Get the body moving with 5-10 minutes of easy pedaling before hitting your workout. The same goes for the cool down, don’t jump off with legs full of lactate. Spin down and keep those legs feeling good for tomorrow.