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Loving the Trainer...Or Not

All cyclists know that there will be days when it just won’t be possible to ride outdoors because either the conditions are too bad or
you ran out of daylight. That means it’s time to “break out the indoor
trainer.”

Those are often dreaded words as cycling is all about the sense of
freedom you get from riding outdoors. But sometimes in order to stay
fit, especially during the colder months, indoor workouts are a
necessity.

However, before you just plant yourself on the bike and pedal away
mindlessly for an hour, try training with a plan so that you can ride
tedium-free. That might mean breaking down the time into smaller
chunks that consist of doing intervals – efforts done at a prescribed
intensity for a timed duration.

For instance, the 2011 Amgen Tour of California Workout DVD put
together by Carmichael Training Systems (on sale here), can mentally
put you in a place where you’re more in tune with your efforts. The shifts
in intensity, race footage, and virtual coaching it employs will not
only help keep your motivation up, but it can positively influence
your performance on the road as well once weather permits.The trick to
get the most out of these workouts, however, is to make sure you don’t
do too hard of an effort before you have built your base miles.

For those willing to brave the outdoors, almost any weather conditions
are ridable with the correct clothing. For instance, most of your body
heat escapes from the top of your head so it makes sense to cover it.
If the temperatures drop below 50 degrees, look for a cap that is made
from wool and covers the ears and back of the neck as well. Wearing
something around your neck will also keep your core body heat from
escaping.

A good windproof jacket, with moisture wicking layers underneath, will
take care of your torso, but when the temperatures dip below 45
degrees ensure that your knees, toes and hands are protected. Some
cyclists tend to forget the knees, but covering the knees is very
important due to their susceptibility to the cold, which can then lead
to injury. The knees do so much work for you, it’s only right that you
take care of them.

In general a good rule of thumb is to remember to ride with more than
you think you might need. Remember, you can always remove items as you
start to warm up. After all, that’s what those back jersey pockets are
for.


The Workout