Coronavirus has us in lockdown. The first problem is everyone’s health. For cyclists this is a serious blow. Can we stay fit at home, waiting and hoping that all this will end soon? Of course, it won’t be like training outside on a road bike, but with indoor cycling, not only can we stay fit, but we can also concentrate on some training aspects that we tend to neglect.
What does Indoor Cycling mean
Usually, the term Indoor Cycling is used when referring to the simple bike roller. However, rollers have evolved a lot in recent years and it is now an understatement to call them so. There are smart trainers, simple rollers and also something in between where rollers aren’t connected to the Internet but are still capable of supporting advanced settings. However, if we analyze the word “indoor” and transform it into Indoor training for a cyclist, we must keep in mind all the athleticism behind cycling. Rollers are not everything. We must also remember to practice stretching, yoga and gym exercises in order to train our elasticity and strength.
We would immediately like to point out some aspects that are almost always overlooked but which are fundamental. First of all, pedalling on rollers, whether simple or smart, easily leads to dehydration. You must never exaggerate, never exceed 1h30 ‘ per session. It should be borne in mind that Indoor Cycling is an intensive type of training. We don’t have to look at the odometer. 1 hour of indoor cycling can equal the fatigue of 2 or 3 hours training on the road. It is therefore necessary to spread the programs out over different days so as not to push yourself to the maximum every day.
Training that involves elasticity, such as stretching, has no contraindications. The more we do, the better. We can only benefit from it. However, there are various theories on when it is best to do this type of exercise. Some important sources recommend pre and post-workout. Others recommend to do it at times that are distant from training sessions. Both theories are probably valid. It is up to you to decide
Strength training, whether carried out with or without weights, can lead to delayed muscle pain compared to outdoor training. Ergo: the day after your workout you will feel fine, you will feel “the pain” after 2 – 3 days. So respect the program and recovery times.
Let’s start with simple rollers, those that are not connected to the internet. They can be boring. This is a serious problem because our mind is the most important factor when training. If we want to train seriously, we must forget about television or headphones, and divide our training session into short sessions that alternate great effort with moments of relax. In the long run, we must alternate workouts aimed at improving aerobics with others aimed at power, interspersed with recovery sessions.
You can train for strength without a bike. Peter Sagan is a great supporter of this method. We must not exaggerate, especially if we are not used to it. It must be gradual and you mustn’t get carried away. The first results can soon be seen and this can easily lead to overtraining. If you start with a specific strength training program, it is important to be followed by a trainer. Otherwise, it is better to stick to basic and easy exercises.
How to follow the programs
Obviously the more devices we have the better. However, we have also taken into consideration those who don’t have heart rate monitors or power meters. In the following programs, we have inserted effort indications both for those who can control their heart rate and for those who can’t.