A trainer is the ideal solution for riding your road bike indoors. You can use your own bike on a fan, fluid or magnetic trainer to control your training session and focus on specific aspects of your cycling performance. Use the trainer to work out in the off-season or as a cross-training tool.
High-intensity interval training works by changing your workout intensity frequently and regularly throughout your trainer session. These workouts improve your endurance and burn more calories than a standard workout. It can be difficult to perform intervals safely when road biking, unless you regularly bike in an area with little or no traffic. Doing HIIT indoors allows you to focus only on your intervals, without the worry of obstacles.
Begin your training session at your standard warm-up pace for 10 minutes. After your warm up, begin alternating intervals of hard riding with intervals of easy riding. Break your intervals into three to five minutes of intense riding, followed by one to two minutes of regular-paced riding. Repeat the patterned intervals throughout your workout. At first, you may be able to do just one or two intervals within a training session. Increase the number of interval cycles as you get stronger. Complete your workout with at least 10 minutes of easy riding.
It is easy to become bored riding your indoor trainer. Without any change of scenery or wind hitting your body, pedaling for a half an hour or more at a time may become a challenge. Play a video trainer DVD or run a virtual reality trainer that works with your computer to focus your workout and improve your cycling performance. Choose a workout that is challenging and appropriate for your fitness level. Set up your trainer and follow the virtual trainer down the hills of famous racecourses, up challenging inclines and along a straight road without leaving the comfort of your home.
Maintaining a consistent pedaling cadence with the right pedaling technique can make your ride more enjoyable and help you improve your speed. While on your indoor bicycle trainer, you are able to focus all your attention on your pedaling technique without watching for cars or pedestrians. One way to improve your technique is to complete a workout incorporating one-leg drills. Warm up with 10 minutes of easy riding. Once you are warmed up, unclip your right foot and place it out of the way of the right pedal. Pedal for 20 seconds using only your left leg. Practice pushing powerfully through the entire rotation of the pedal stroke for maximum power, says Steve Pyle, qualifying triathlete for Team USA for 13 seasons. After pedaling for 20 seconds with your left leg, clip both feet back in, pedal easy for one minute, and then unclip your left foot and pedal with just your right leg. Repeat the drill for 10 repetitions on each side. Cool down with at least 10 minutes of easy riding. The goal is to perfect your one-leg technique until you are able to pedal smoothly, with no "dead spots" or areas of no resistance as you cycle.
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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.