Indoor Trainer Motivation

This is the time of the year that a lot of us are forced to ride the indoor trainer during the week.  Statistics show that over 90% of cyclists really don’t like indoor workouts (note-80% of statistics are made up).  But it’s a necessary part of your training plan.  Here are some tips on making the chore a little more bearable.

First and foremost try to get into a regular schedule for your trainer workouts.  Based on your personal situation it will probably be first thing in the morning or in the evening before or after work/school.  If possible I suggest the morning option.  This allows you to get it out of the way first thing.  Evening workouts are more prone to being pushed off due to something else coming up.  Of course this is not feasible for everyone but if you can make the effort to get up early you will always get your ride in.

Either way it’s important to have a structure to follow.  Get going with the workouts as soon as you can after waking up or getting home.  The longer you wait the easier it is to blow it off.  A quick snack and then go!  No reading the paper or checking email!  Make sure your bike is all set up on the trainer and have your clothes, water, towel, etc ready to go.  Also remember to have a big fan for cooling!

I suggest keeping the indoor workouts on the short side to avoid burnout.  1 hour is usually enough.  Try to vary things on the trainer.  A solid hour of just riding at zone 2 will seem like an eternity.  Instead be ready with a plan for each day.  Intervals, spin-ups, pedaling drills, and high and low cadence work will pass the time a lot quicker.  Remember that trainer time is generally more effective than outside riding since there is never any coasting so you will get a lot of benefit out of your trainer time.

Here’s one of my favorite early season trainer workouts.  Just enough effort to make you work but nothing that will leave you crushed:

– 5 min warmup
– 5 min at @95 cadence
– Then 10 x 1 min on/1 min off (on cadence 120 off cadence 85)
– 5 min easy
– 5 min at thershold power/HR at 100 cadence
– 5 min easy
– Then 5 x 1 min on/1 min off (on cadence 120 off cadence 85)
– 5 min warmdown
All high cadence work is done with a moderate gearing-similar to a 39×16 on the road.

A nice 1 hour workout that should leave you tired but not shattered. The 5 min block of threshold to remind us of what the effort is like. Make sure to do the threshold at 100 cadence!

If you have any questions or would like information on my custom training plans feel free to contact me at