Your heart may sink at the idea of not cycling outside for a while but it’s in the interest of everyone; friends, families, the NHS and all our communities, it’s the right thing to do. If you stick to a regular plan of indoor cycling it can help give your day some structure and purpose, which can be important for our mental health at a time of great upheaval and challenge. Of course, nothing beats being outside with the wind in your hair and the sun on your face, but indoor training will help you hold onto your fitness and improve your mental well-being at this difficult time.
Indoor training gives a lot of bang for your buck, giving you an incredibly good workout in a short amount of time. Every pedal stroke is made to count, there is no free-wheeling or stopping at traffic lights, and no tail wind assistance either! A good hard interval session only needs to last 20-minutes but can really boost your fitness. You may even surprise yourself by getting fitter during this period of indoor work outs!
Indoor cycling isn’t as relaxing or fun as being outside, we’re not even going to attempt to persuade you otherwise, but because of that it can be approached in a much more constructive way. Identify the areas of your fitness that need work and really focus on them. Keep your sessions short, but hard, to make sure you have no time to get bored. Now would be the ideal time to follow a training plan, if you haven’t before. There are loads here and here.
Practical pedalling drills such as spin-ups and one-legged cycling is good for developing a smooth pedal stroke but isn’t that easy, or safe, to do out on the road. There are some great ideas to get you started here. Use your indoor time to really hone your skills and you will reap the benefits when it’s time to head outside again.
And the light-hearted ones…
Every winter bike ride seems to generate a full load of washing, and it really mounts up quickly, especially if you are commuting to work daily. Indoor training requires a fraction of the kit, just a pair of shorts and a vest. Easy.
Less bike cleaning
No more riding in the rain, no more gritty roads, no more filthy dirty black chains. Yes, we will miss the outdoors, but we won’t miss standing outside with a bucket in the freezing cold. With your bike in the turbo trainer you will still need to be careful to wipe it free from sweat, which is highly corrosive, and keep your chain well lubricated but other than that you are free from maintenance for a while!