1. Your Bike
Get it ready. Seems pretty obvious but there are a few things that might require a bit of consideration.
If you have a wheel on trainer, consider whether you need to swap your rear tire for a trainer tire. There was a time when trainer tires were notably less expensive than a lot of everyday road worthy tires but that it no longer a hard and fast rule. Still, it's still a good idea to make the switch. Trainer tires are made from softer rubber that will get better adherence to the resistance roller on your mag or fluid trainer. Sure, you can skip this step and ride your regular tires but be prepared to replace that tire before you hit the open road again in the spring.
Trainer tires are often a different colour so you don't mistake them with your regular road tires. These are made of a softer rubber compound and they are not intended to be ridden outside.
If your weather was anything like ours, you might have been caught in some rain or mist sometime during the last few months of riding. Clean it all off for a few reasons. For one, why bring extra dirt into the house? But, more importantly, get the grit off your chain to prevent unnecessary wear and tear.
MucOff has a few products you can use to clean your bike and protect if from sweat accumulation.
WD40 has bike wash in an easy to use spray bottle. All you need to add is a soft, lint-free cloth.
These wipe cloths are so easy to use. Just keep a few handy in your training space and use it after a ride.
We use an anti-corrosion treatment like Muc-Off Sweat Protect on the frame, bars, even your trainer. It will help repel sweat, spit and drink mix from your bike. And pay attention to the bike over the training season. If you notice spots accumulating on your bike and it's no longer wiping down cleanly, it's time for another cleaning and protection coating. (Pictured above).
2. Your Trainer
You'll need to decide what kind of trainer will best suit your needs so that might be the first thing you need to do. But if you already have a trainer, it's time to dig it out and dust it off. Like your bike, it could probably use a good cleaning and a quick application of Sweat Protect (or similar product). If you are investing in a new Smart interactive trainer, check out our September 2019 article to sort out which trainer is best for your needs You can find it here. And you can any of buy our 4 best valued trainers here. Here's a sneak peak at the two best selling options:
|Elite Suito||Tacx Flux|
3. Set Up Your Training Protocol
How are you training this year? Make a plan, set some goals and put into place the metrics you need in order to meet your goals. Here are some good options (use as many as you want):
- Zwift (I'm on it - look for me and we can ride together!)
- Sufferfest (the name scares me but in a good way)
- Rouvy (real road videos that you can ride with your virtual bike)
- BKool (features real roads and video feed, similar to Rouvy)
- Proprietary software from companies like Elite and Tacx
- Find a coach now if that's your plan for next season. Coaches can delivery workouts to you on various channels.
Most of these training platforms are available as a monthly subscription but some new trainer purchases come with some kinds of subscriptions for free for a month or more. If you find the right training platform for your goals and preferences, the right training platform can really elevate your indoor training experience. I know it's worked for me. I love the level of engagement and the challenges.
My Zwift app is loading and getting ready for my next workout. I even made my own wall decal for the training space so I'm reminded of my goal - to Ride On!
4. Your Training Space (the 'Pain Cave')
The easier it is to get your training started every session, the more likely you are to get it done. Having a dedicated space in your house, a friend's house or another designated location will give you the commitment to get started. I know that once I start a workout, I'll finish it. As with any workout, the biggest challenge is often to just get started. So, set up a training space that makes it as easy as possible to get started. An upcoming article will talk about setting up your training space to make it work.