The rainy season is the ideal time to structurally train indoors
It might be the rainy season once again but it doesn’t mean we need to skip training sessions. Sure, we can ride or run in the rain but oftentimes, safety is a huge concern. Aside from slippery roads, hidden potholes, and lack of visibility, spending hours wet and cold will take its toll on our immune systems. While riding or running in the rain is an important skill we should learn, we don’t have to deal with it too often. Let me share a few tips on how we can stay dry and keep fitness levels high by training indoors.
The most common mistake athletes make is to aimlessly burn time and mileage on the trainer or treadmill. Instead of enjoying the workout, most regard it as penance for not sucking it up and training outdoors. That stopwatch quickly becomes a countdown timer for when they can go back to the “real world.” It doesn’t have to be this way. By adding structure into the program (i.e. breaking the workout into sets). The workout will fly by in no time.
Bike: 20-minute warm up + 3x (10-minute ascending [increase intensity or gearing every 2mins] with 3-minute recovery between sets) + 5-minute cool down
Run: 15-minute warm up + 5x (4 minutes at 10K pace with 1.5-minute recovery between sets) + 5-minute cool down
When you ride or run outdoors, the wind has a cooling effect on your skin. This is why you sweat a lot more on the trainer or treadmill. That said, keep yourself cool by keeping a fan pointed towards you. But pay a bit more attention to hydration and electrolyte intake, especially if you’re spending more than an hour training.
Tip: Cover your bike and treadmill with towels as you train. This will help prevent corrosion and increase the longevity of your equipment.
Keep yourself entertained
YouTube, Netflix, and Spotify are your best friends whenever you train indoors. Keeping your mind off the time will help you train longer and better. On a side note, make sure you keep intensity in check even if your attention is divided.
Tip: Subscribe to GCN or GTN on YouTube for tips about training and racing. Invest in Netflix and Spotify Premium. For a minimal fee, you’ll be able to enjoy uninterrupted movies and music.
Use virtual reality
Zwift is very big because of its social aspect as well as its competitive nature. During a race, you get more motivated when you’re able to pace with different people. Thankfully, you can now do that virtually. Just sync your tablet or laptop with your speed and cadence sensors or a running pod. You’ll be able to control your avatar by increasing your speed and effort. The best part is, you can race with anyone all over the world.
Tip: Wahoo Heart Rate Monitors and Speed and Cadence Sensors are your best bet since they’re both ANT+ and Bluetooth compatible. This means they’ll be able to pair with your tablet or laptop hassle-free!
Mix it up
The biggest problem with indoor training is the monotony. Doing the same thing while looking at the same things can be mentally exhausting. To avoid this, make sure you vary your workouts by changing your routine every so often. This can be done by simply changing your sets or by alternating different workouts to keep it fresh. The different stimuli will help your body adapt faster and even break plateaus.
Tip: You can keep your workouts interesting by inserting strength training between sets. For example, as you do your steady state rides or runs, you can hop off the trainer or treadmill every 30 minutes and do lunges, squats, or core work. This will not only break down the workout into more manageable chunks, it will also help you develop more strength, stability, and torque.
Training indoors doesn’t need to be as difficult as you perceive it. With the right mindset and the appropriate tools, you can not only reap the benefits of such training but also enjoy it along the way.
Have some training questions, feedback or suggestions for future articles? Drop a note in the comments section below or on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. You can also get in touch with Don directly here.