With all the changes that have taken place in recent months, the way we train has changed. In fact, indoor cycling training has become routine throughout our planning, with many athletes who previously only trained outdoors discovering all the advantages of training at home.
So today we’re going to give you the five keys that will help you get the most out of your indoor cycling training.
Hydration is key
It may be an overlooked aspect, but it is essential to maintain adequate hydration during your training session.
“This is one of the top priorities without a doubt. The circumstances surrounding this training are a bit unfavorable in terms of thermoregulation because we don’t evaporate sweat and the environment is hotter and more humid“, recently stated Aitor Viribay, nutritionist to, among others, Kilian Jornet or cyclists on the UCI circuit.
Hydration is important at a physiological level, so even in low-medium intensity sessions lasting an hour it is also essential to drink. It all depends on the intensity and duration of the exercise, as Aitor points out that “there can be very intense one-hour sessions in which the loss of body weight can reach 1.5 kg, so it is essential to hydrate“.
The nutritionist’s advice is to drink more than one bottle per hour (about 500-700mL, or even more): “There are half-hour and 40-minute sessions in which, depending on the intensity, 300mL may be enough“. As for how often, Aitor recommends drinking about 200mL every 15-20 minutes.
Along with hydration, nutrition is also important, so Aitor Viribay recommends taking gels in a similar ratio to liquid: every 15-20 minutes. This will improve performance and facilitate early recovery.
Good air quality in the room in which we train is also one of the keys to achieving maximum performance.
Thermoregulation, as we have already said, is very different between indoors and outdoors, so it is advisable to ventilate the room and achieve an environment as similar to the street as possible.
The temperature and humidity concentrated inside the room where you train limits your aerobic endurance, so opening the window or activating a fan will help regulate these conditions.
Concentrate on the training
Sometimes, once we have connected the simulator and started training, we look for a distraction to keep us entertained during the session. A movie, a series, or even the radio are some of the pastimes.
But our recommendation for the best results is to make a training plan and focus on sticking to it.
Having small goals: by time, heart rate, watts or cadence, will motivate you to achieve them and to be focused on pursuing them. We advise you to plan your sessions well before you get on the trainer and watch your progress. Paying constant attention to training will make you give your all.
To make the experience more complete and efficient, we recommend that you visit our indoor cycling workouts section. With them you will be able to hit the target much harder.
Take advantage of the intensity
Indoor training has become a very popular alternative whose resemblance to outdoor exercise has led more and more cyclists to join this practice. For this reason, at BKOOL we have worked to improve the devices and recreate the conditions of the street more closely.
Practically all the Smart Trainers on the market are compatible with our simulator -you can check yours in our list-, and they offer an intensity very close to reality. As for the cadence, they usually reach 120 rpm, which allows you to choose a wide range of sessions. Take advantage of the training characteristics and give it your best.
From our point of view, indoor cycling allows you two very different types of workouts: on the one hand, easy rides, in which we are looking for volume and improving our aerobic zones, and on the other hand, workouts orientated for intensity. The latter can be short -perhaps with a limit of one hour is enough-, and reaching important power peaks.
Recovery after exercise is as important as training. If we do not recover well, we will not be able to perform at the same level again, or it can even lead to months of permanent fatigue known as “overtraining”.
The recovery period begins as soon as you finish pedaling. This is when the famous metabolic window begins: the time after training when the body is very receptive to absorbing of nutrients.
For this reason, during the first 45 minutes it is essential to take in quality nutrients that allow you to quickly recover everything you have lost during the session. Proteins, carbohydrates and minerals are ideal for muscle reconstruction. In addition, fast-absorbing foods help our digestive system a little more.
The combination of these five recommendations will boost your indoor cycling training, allowing you to reach the highest level of performance. Let’s train!