I recently read an article over at Road.cc in which the author supports the conclusion that the lowly turbo trainer is the best way to get fit.
Forgive me if I don’t jump on the CycleOps M2 right off the bat… even if the author generally makes some good points. It’s safer, yep, especially in the winter months. Less prep time, less cleanup, yep again. Easier to hit target efforts and heart rates, check. No worrying about traffic, check.
Now, it wouldn’t be a Fit Recovery post if I didn’t go a little contrarian on the article. If there’s one thing that’s wrong with the world in which we live, and I mean this seriously, it is over-the-top hyperbole.
“Indoor training can be more time efficient if you don’t have the luxury of 25 hours a week to ride your bike.”
Wait, twenty-five hours… a week?!
Okay, sparky, let’s hold on a second. I ride a ton for a working guy. I’m going to hit 10,000 miles this year (or get damn close) and I’ve only got one week the whole season where I got within sniffing distance of 25 hours. DALMAC weekend, during which I ride 380 miles with my friends in four days. I had 445 miles that week. Every other week besides that one, I was between 10 and 15 hours for the week. Even with prep and clean up, I’m not getting over 17 hours total for a normal week.
If it’s worth it, we should be able to seal the deal on the actual merits. We shouldn’t have to make $#!+ up.
Another fun point the author claimed, is that indoor training is fun. Look, the way I took the article, the author is trying to make the point that indoor training isn’t all bad – and it’s not. In the winter months, when it’s dark, cold and wet (or icy), there’s no doubt, a trainer can suffice for those few months. The new programs available, Zwift, TrainerRoad, Rouvy (etc.) go a long way to making the indoor training experience tolerable (I’m still partial to the old, Insert Star Wars movie into DVD player, crank Bose Digital 5.1 surround sound to 11 method), but let’s face reality here; compared to the great outdoors, with all of the bells and whistles, indoor training goes from soul-crushingly boring to livable… at best.
Indoor training is still what you do if you must. Outdoor training will always be preferable to knock off the rust.