As the weather gets colder, a lot of us turn to indoor cycling to keep the legs moving and the fitness up over the winter months. But the truth is, indoor cycling isn't as straightforward as it seems.
Being static, in one position without inclines, corners or reasons to brake means our bodies stay in a pretty similar position throughout the ride, and our reflexes and awareness can slow down a bit. And of course, without velocity means there is no wind to cool us down, and naturally evaporate the sweat.
To get you moving on the HIIT indoor cycling train we’ve compiled our favourite tips, tricks and hacks to make sure everything is perfect for your session.
Looking for a cool women's ride on Zwift? Be sure to join our NGNM Women Crush Weds Ride on Wednesday evenings at 7pm CET!
Here we go 10 tips and your indoor rides will be smooth & fun.
1. Three fans!
It might seem excessive to set up two fans, but to make sure you have breeze on all sides to keep you cool and dry, opt for the three fan technique. Aim one at your head / face, and one on your front side and the last one on your back side. Three smaller ones are better than a large one.
Even if you are on a smart trainer doing a ride or race, queue up some great tunes and it will make the minutes fly by. You can use the music and songs to match certain cadence work. We recommend changing the beat tempo between songs on your playlist to keep the variety going and the workout dynamic.
Check out our playlist for the turbo on Spotify here.
3. Riser block
Although most new trainers adjust for this already, some trainers are better when used with a riser block under the front wheel, and adjust it as needed to make sure your saddle is even and your position is the same as on the road. In lack of a riser block, a few books work in a pinch. Check manufacturers suggestions on this for your specific indoor training model!
4. Don’t forget to stretch!
Before and after is best, to alleviate any tightness from the static position on the trainer. You can check out some of our great yoga for cyclist poses on instagram in the highlight sections, and pay special attention to making sure to release your back muscles.
5. Ice in the water bottles
The temperature differential is great for cooling your core during hot indoor sessions. If you're not used to drinking ice-cold water, have one cold bottle and one at room temperature. You can alternate sipping between the two.
6. Warm up
Spend your first five minutes warming up - spinning the legs at a higher cadence in a high gear to loosen the muscles and in the second half, put a few power spikes in (zone 3) to open up the heart rate ahead of the session.
7. Pay attention to your fabrics!
Keep a towel on hand and know that indoor cycling can get super sweaty. A reward for a hard workout. This can make cycling in just a sports bra a bit of a mess as the sweat just rolls down. Microfiber is super absorbent, quick-dry & antibacterial. If you want an outstanding indoor top, pick the right fabric! We would highly recommend checking out our Polartec Delta indoor cycling tops - sleeveless and short sleeve - for a perfect management of moisture and temperature due to the 3D woven fabric, plus anti-bacterial and odor-resistant.
8. Essentials ready
Mix your indoor rides with women only events! Not only you'll be riding with women at your level from all over the world, but the spirit of camaraderie and the overall experience is unique. Plus chatting on Companion makes your training hour fly by quickly.
Women Crush Weds on Zwift
9. Change position often
Don’t be scared to change hand positions, from tops to hoods to drops, to take some pressure off and put some movement in the body. Which well ties in with tip n.4 above.
10. Clean up
When you are finished remember to clean your equipment! This is super important as sweat can get into any gaps, and the sodium in sweat can rust parts and damage electronics. Flip the trainer upside down once every few sessions and wash the bike down as well.
With these ten tips, indoor cycling should be a breeze, even without a breeze. See you on Zwift!
Get ready for a new blog on preparing long distance riding on Zwift, tips and hacks on how to manage 4+hrs on your trainer.
(images and product links on bottom to Delta range, towels etc)