Friday, January 18, 2013

Bike Training

How to Turn Your Laundry Room into a Bike Training Center

As most know, triathlons consist of swimming, biking, and running.  This keeps things interesting and also requires you to do multiple types of workouts through out the week.  My current schedule includes 2 swims workouts, 3 bike workouts, and 3 run workouts.   

Balancing family, work, and training is a constant struggle, so anything that allows you to be more efficient with your time is beneficial.  To save some time on my bike workouts, I use a CompuTrainer and my laundry room.  This basically is bike trainer with a computer on it that allows you to program how much resistance is applied to the rear wheel and this determines the intensity of your workout.  This allows me to save time because I am not driving somewhere to ride my bike three times a week.  I just walk to our laundry room/bike training center and start peddling. 

Laundry Room / Bike Training Center

Birdseye View
As you can see the trainer holds the rear wheel stationary and you engage a the resistance device against rear tire and this determines the intensity of the work out based upon watts.  I also have a fan set up to blow against the rear tire since the resistance can build up and cause the tire to warp.  At $50 a pop for a new tire, the fan helps the tire last a little longer by reducing the heat on the tire.  The little yellow box on the handle bars is what controls the resistance.  You can push the plus or minus buttons to increase or decrease the resistance as you are working out. 

The in-the-wall ironing board makes for a nice computer/fan holder.  Glad the previous owners had that installed. 

I also use a web based program called Trainer Road that allows me to create custom workouts and then communicates with the CompuTrainer to adjust the wattage at the specified time.  (ie 150 watts for 10 mins, then 200 watts for 5 mins, etc)  The software also allows me to capture my heartrate, cadence, and distance from my Garmin devices for each workout.  These stay on my bike whether I ride on the trainer or on the road, so this is very nice.  CompuTrainer requires the use of additional equipment to get this data, so Trainer Road makes it much easier and doesn't require anything else to be plugged in or set up on the bike. 

You might be wondering how do you not go stir crazy while sitting on the bike for hours on end.  Well that's the third part of my little set up, Netflix Streaming.  TV series that I didn't catch while they were on TV are great for helping the time pass by.  I got through Firefly, Breaking Bad, and Sons of Anarchy so far.  If you have any suggestions for more, leave a comment below and I will check it out.

Starting up the workout..

Check out that focus..this is how 2/3 of my bike workout are completed.

 Once my bike workout is complete, I shutdown the computer and turn off the CompTrainer and grab a glass of chocolate milk.   I always use the laundry room for my two bike workouts during the week since they are usually run an hour or little more than that.  My long ride on Saturday's are at least two hours and this becomes more of a challenge to stay indoors.  Cold, rainy or the need to ride in non-daylight hours make it easier to stay in, but it takes a lot of focus to get it done.  The longest ride I have done is 3 hours and that was no fun at all.  

The CompuTrainer does provide a better quality workout than riding on the road since you aren't slowing down for traffic lights and you can have a very precise workout thats hard to duplicate while riding on the road.  Not to mention you eliminate the car vs. bike danger, which I have heard one to many of over the past year..  However, I am looking forward to when the weather and our schedule allows me the time to get back on the road.  There is nothing like an early morning bike on country roads..I can't remember the last time on rode on the road.  

Anyways, so there is the glimpse into how I get my bike workouts in during the week and how I am preparing for one third of Ironman Florida. 

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