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Training & Nutrition

Turbo training rituals

We may have had one of the hottest summers in a while, but with the cooler months looming, it may be time for some of us to pull out the turbo trainer and go for a whirl in the warmth of your front room.

Kirsty’s turbo trainer set-up. Beats a gym any day.

Kirsty Ho Fat, editor of Total Women’s Cycling has a rather OCD approach to indoor training. Is it just her or are you the same?

After hearing that winter is around the corner, cheers Carol – I’ve just set-up my spare bike on the turbo trainer. Before I’m accused of being a fair-weather cyclist, I was out commuting this morning and ride in all weathers, but life has been busy the past couple of months, hectic job and all, so an hour here and there helps no-end.

I have an incredibly set way of training on my turbo trainer and was wondering what rituals other cyclists incorporate into their sessions. Little things, that if not quite right, make you lose focus and put you off your training.

1. The first for me is the area I’m training in. It has to be tidy. Not because I’m a clean freak, but because anything left out just reminds me of the chores I’ve got to do, bills to pay, life to sort out when I get out of the saddle.

2. My dining room has wooden floors so I struggled with the inevitable whirring noise and slippage. Stealing a rug from the bedroom seemed to do the trick. I now just sound like a prop plane instead of a jumbo jet taking off.

3. Other little things include, facing the bike towards my mirror, not for vanity reasons you understand, but when I get tired I tend to slump over my bars. Having a constant reminder reflecting back at me soon sorted that out.

4. Initially I started turbo training to music, this got quite monotonous and not as motivating as I thought it would be. Judge me all you like, I now watch re-runs of House on my iPhone that’s zip-tied to my stem. The hour-long episodes help to whittle away the time, and I don’t stop until the credits roll. On top of that I always have my in-ear headphones in. This prevents distractions, meaning I can ignore the world, postman, neighbour’s knocking on the door, mid session.

5. Even in the coldest of winters, I open the front and back door to create a through draft. We have halogen lights in our dining room that emit the power of a thousand suns, so ventilation is a must, otherwise I overheat and the resulting sweaty mess is unbearable.

6. Clothing is kept to a minimum, bib shorts and sports bra, anything more and I struggle. I wear my old faithful Descente bibs, even though they are thread bare in the wrong place I can get away with it because I’m alone, in the safety of my home, not offending anyone.

7. One last thing, I never ever forget a towel. Not wanting to create more mess to clear up, moping up the gallons of sweat is essential, plus my road bikes handlebars are a handy hanger.

I’m always intrigued to hear about other cyclist’s routines. My Dad for example has his turbo trainer in the garage, with all of his spare bikes/parts hung around him and photograph’s of the family.

Anyone care to share?

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