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Indoor Trainers Maximize Limited Training Time

When you have limited training time, it’s important that you take advantage of every minute. Let’s say you have an hour. To ride outdoors you have to make sure you have all your gear, figure out what route you’re going to use, dress for the weather, etc. And once you’re out there, you might spend 10 or more minutes just sitting still at stoplights. Over days and weeks, this adds up to huge chunks of wasted training time that could have been used to improve your fitness had you rode uninterrupted on a trainer.  

Trainers Allow For Highly-Targeted And Specific Intervals

There’s nothing worse than having your 20-minute lactate threshold effort interrupted because you misjudged how long you had before you hit a stoplight. When you have intervals that require very specific work and recovery time periods it can be difficult to find an uninterrupted road long enough or with just the right grade. Trainers eliminate the need for the perfect road and ensure you can focus your intervals without distraction every time.

Trainers Are An Effective Way To Warm-Up At Races

The pre-race warm-up is an essential part of a successful race and smart athletes – from local Cat 3’s to UCI Pro Tour riders – develop warm-up routines they know will work for them every time. You can use a standard trainer, or a smart trainer will take your warm-up to the next level. No matter where a race takes place, trainers allow athletes to run through their warm-up without worrying about riding roads in a new city or getting a flat tire minutes before your start.

Post-Workout And Post-Race Cool Downs Improve Recovery

When you want to train or race effectively day after day it is important to pay attention to post-workout recovery. After completing hard efforts in training or competitions, you want to spend 10-15 minutes spinning steadily to cool down. Even if you can’t complete this at the race site, a short recovery spin in the evening after you drive home will be helpful, too.

Smart Trainers Can Simulate The Exact Course Of Your Race

Smart trainers have changed the game when it comes to race-specific training. You can now upload the racecourse.GPX files from your ELEMNT bike computer and rides the course using your smart trainer. By examining the demands of the course you or your coach can create custom workouts to match the efforts you’ll experience on race day. Now, even if your race is 500 miles away in another city you can do hill repeats on the course’s final climb and know exactly what to expect on race day. 

You’re Not Limited By The Hours Of Sunlight

If the only time you have to train is early in the morning before dawn or after work when the sun’s already gone down you could strap on a bunch of lights and go dodge hidden potholes, but it’s not likely to be a great workout. Instead, you could stay safe and make your life easier by completing a solid training session indoors.

You Can Avoid The Energy-Sapping Heat

Just as you sometimes ride the trainer in the winter to stay warmer when it’s cold, it can be just as important to ride indoors when the summer sun is baking the ground outside. Power output is diminished when your core temperature is elevated, which is all but inevitable on hot summer days. When you have specific, high-power training to perform and can only do it during the hottest part of the day, you’ll often achieve better results doing those workouts indoors.

Great For Cadence Work

Indoor trainer workouts are great for developing a fluid pedal stroke. During high-cadence, low-resistance intervals, any roughness in your pedal stroke will quickly become apparent as your hips rock and you bounce on the saddle. Trainers can also be an effective and safe way to work on isolated leg training without worry about dangling your leg and possibly swerving out on the open road.

There Are No Distracted Drivers To Deal With While On Your Trainer

You have a family you love and a career you have worked hard to build. None of that matters to the texting teen in an SUV, the drunk office manager heading back to the cubicle farm, or the random angry guy who seethes every time he sees a cyclist on his precious road. For many cyclists, training indoors is an effective way to manage and minimize risk. A lot of pro triathletes train indoors because they can stay in an aero position safely and maintain specific power intensities targeted to their events.