It is all very well having a nice Tacx piece of kit but actually using it is an issue, along with managing the turbo training boredom. For the 15 months since I’ve had it, it has mostly sat unloved in the garage, ignored, derided, passed over etc. Recently I had been trying to bring myself to using it but once again I have faced a huge barrier as I’ve never enjoyed it. I even raise the issue on a cycle forum and got a couple of helpful tips.
Determined to make it work, this is how it went:
- I changed into some sporty clothing beforehand. My mistake was not wearing cycle specific shorts, I was using ordinary running shorts and this was causing some chaffing at the top of my legs. Naturally I put on my cycle shoes so I could clip them into the pedals. At least I could skip wearing a helmet!
- I made sure I had my iPhone so I could listen to some music nearby.
- I also set a time so I could see how I was doing and so I could set myself a target. Initially, I set a time for 10 minutes which was my warm-up period.
- After 10 minutes, I had worked up a real sweat. A few minutes later I could feel the sweat running from my head, my forehead and then down my nose before dripping onto the floor and to the bike. This was a sign that I was having a really good workout. People on the forum has suggested that I should protect the bike’s paintwork from my sweat. Perhaps this is because it is slightly corrosive?
- I believe my cadence during the warm-up period was about 60 per minute. During the more serious work-out it went a little higher maybe 70, 80 or more per minute.
- By the time my 35 minutes were up, I reduced the resistance and had a slower cool-down period. This allows my heart rate to return to normal, in a more gradual and managed way.
- Once or twice my wife came into the dining room while the turbo sessions in progress. Each time she said “Poooooo you really smell!” That I can tell you, is the polite way of putting it for the benefit of this politely written blog. I knew I really smelt. This will be subject of another blog post – dealing with these nasty smells from synthetic materials, as it is turning out to be quite a problem in getting rid of the residual pong.
- As for the music, I liked “Young at Heart” by the Bluebelles and “Kingston Town” by UB40. Both have the right beat and pace. By contrast I listened to a portion of Mahler’s 5th (used with the film Death in Venice). This is a beautiful and haunting piece of music which somehow reminds me of why I got into staying in good shape – it’s a way of rising above all those stresses and strains from work etc.
I am determined to make the most of the turbo trainer, especially while the weather isn’t lending itself to cycling in the evenings. It is a “means to an end” and can have its place in my training schedule.
Just a few thoughts, if I may. Any tips from YOU in dealing with the boredom involved in using a turbo trainer? Any recommended music? Overall benefits?