Tuesday, January 28, 2014

TTT: Training Tips Tuesday--Trainer Madness

It’s the end of January, still very much winter for much of the country.  Here in the PNW, we don’t really have many snow days (which I would prefer) but we do have rain, rain and well, more rain.  I personally don’t like to ride in the rain, especially cold rain.  Plenty of people do ride in the rain I just don’t think it’s worth it.  After the 2010 crash and subsequent water balloon hematoma which, btw, still exists on leg (for more on that go here or here --warning graphic photos in those posts) I don’t ride outside in the rain.  Living where I live this means, I ride the trainer, A LOT.  I’ve actually come to really like the trainer.  I wouldn’t say I loved riding 4-6 hours on it but for the 1-2 hour ride I find it a great and targeted workout.

There are many types of trainers out there and they range in price, noise levels, functionality, etc.  When Mr. Pi and I went looking for a trainer (side note: I think he has ridden the trainer MAYBE 5 times since we bought it in 2009) we wanted something that would hold up for awhile and since we were still in an apartment we wanted one that wasn’t TOO loud.  We selected the CyclOps Fluid Trainer.  It was pricey, roughly $300 I think, full disclaimer it was actually a gift from my Dad for Christmas.  I cannot say enough good things about this trainer.  It has more than held up, during my training cycle last year I rode the trainer up to 3 times a week.  My advice: do your homework, know what you want out of trainer and then shop online AND locally to find the best price.  We got ours at REI (which has an added benefit for my Dad who paid b/c of the REI dividend system based on your purchases for the year).

So, what about the workouts?  Ah yes, the trainer ride, aka the sweatfest.  Get out a towel and water bottle and be ready to have your very own spin class in your pain cave complete with your own choice of music, podcast, TV show or movie.

You don’t NEED any special equipment to do a trainer ride (other than a trainer and a bike) but it helps to have a cadence sensor and a HRM (heart rate monitor).  However, you can always used perceived effort when I list a specific HR zone or cadence RPM (revolutions per minute).

Alrighty, here are a couple of workouts for you based on workouts I’ve done during my own training.

“The West Hills Ride”—the West Hills are an area of Portland that are known for steep inclines, twisty turny downhills, amazing views on a sunny day and gorgeous real estate as you climb. {60 minutes}

WU: 10-15 minutes EZ
5x 20’ Spin up/40’ recovery {what’s a spin up?  You spin up to a high cadence for 20 seconds, then recover for 40 seconds.  They help get the legs moving and get your heart rate up}
[15-20 minutes]

Main Set:
3x {2 min 55-60 RPM, HR Z2, steady and smooth pedal strokes; 3 min 65-75 RPM, HR Z3, you’re almost to the top of the hill, it’s a little less steep and your legs are moving faster, your HR is also higher; 2 min 90+ RPM EZ, HR Z2, ahh the simu downhill, get that HR back to Z2}
[21 minutes]

CD: 5x single leg drills.  AND, you thought drills were only for swimming, you thought wrong.  Coach Laura had me do these last year and Coach Jen has already thrown in some as well.  When I first did them I thought they were silly but they really make you realize which is your “weak” side, or at least they have for me.

30’ right leg only, 30’ left leg only, 30’ both legs  (when you’re doing one leg or the other, unclip the non-working foot and rest it on the trainer or a chair, etc.  Focus on smooth pedal strokes and making an oval with your pedal stroke rather than going up and down.)

EZ Spinning to finish up the hour

“The High Cadence Ride”—This is exactly as it sounds, this ride is high cadence all the way through.  As Coach Jen has explained to me that she really likes high cadence riding b/c of the benefits it brings to being able to run off the bike.  However, for you non-triathletes out there, high cadence cycling helps with leg turnover which can help running more generally, whether it’s off the bike or not.

WU: 10 min EZ spinning, keeping cadence (RPMs) above 85
8x 30’ spin up/30’ sec recovery, at 85+ RPM
2 min EZ spin 90+ RPM
[20 minutes]

Main Set: HR should be between high Z2 and low Z3 for the whole set, if you creep up into high Z3 or Z4, concentrate on getting your HR back down without sacrificing  RPMs, to do this, you may need to adjust resistance.  When spinning at a high cadence you want to avoid bouncing in the saddle that’s what NB means.  This is difficult, or at least it is for me to keep from bouncing while maintaining high RPMs and a Z2/Z3 HR.  Practice makes perfect though!

5 min 90 RPM
3 min 95 RPM
1 min 100 RPM (NB = no bouncing in the saddle)
1 min EZ spin (85+ RPM)

3x {90 sec 90 RPM; 90 sec 100+ RPM; 2 min EZ recovery 85+ RPM} Concentrate on NB and getting the HR back down during the recovery.

3 min 90 RPM
2 min 95 RPM
1 min 100 RPM
[31 minutes]

CD: EZ spinning to finish the hour, choice cadence.

Hope you enjoy these sweatfest sessions!

*I meant to say this on the last post but if you have feedback for me, please leave a comment or send me an email ambitiousalisa@gmail.com.  Also, if you have topic ideas, send those along too.