3 easy ways to have fun on the bike trainer indoors!

This week is the first week in a long time that I’ve been following a training plan. I have created a plan and am slowly adjusting my life around work and training. For the next 10 months my fun is going to be swimming, biking and running. Luckily, I’m very much enjoying these again and actually think of them as fun. Isn’t that what sports are all about? Having fun! I’ve had to figure out how to make this off-season training fun.

The biggest struggle I’ve had with winter training is the indoor cycling on the trainer. I’ve never minded the treadmill or track, but the trainer has felt torturous for me in the past. Last year I think I got on the trainer two or three times all winter. This past week I’ve been on it twice.

There are three things that seem to be working for me right now:

  1. Tricking myself to thinking I’m biking outside.
  2. Having a designated space for my workout area.
  3. Time flies when you’re doing intervals!

People will automatically think that watching a show or a movie on Netflix will make the trainer less annoying. Nope, not for me! It is surprising even to me, especially considering my love of binge-watching tv shows. I’ve tried this many times over the years and it just never seemed to work. Funny enough, I like watching shows when I’m on the treadmill. Not on the bike trainer, though. There doesn’t seem to be a rhyme or reason for this, but it is what it is. I’ve learned to accept it and move on to something new.

The discovery I’ve made is that listening to music and watching scenery videos gives me a sense of cycling outside, which gives me a lot of enjoyment. I mean, the best part of cycling is seeing the scenery go by! This week I found a video of some German cyclists biking outside in the mountains and they had little workouts on the screen like “10 minutes up the hill” and “1-minute break-away.” I didn’t do the workouts, but I liked watching the scenery of the mountains and blue sky. It was like I was biking with them! In the background there was electronic music, which I would not normally listen to, but it really worked for me. I’m hoping that this is a long-term solution to my bike trainer woes.

The second thing I need is a designated space for my bike and trainer – I have a blackboard to put my workout on, a table beside my bike to put incidentals like a wireless mouse, a second water bottle, a portable speaker, and a towel. It’s actually a pretty sweet little corner in the back of my basement. Not having to set up and take down the trainer every time just makes it easy! Easy is good! Easy makes me happy! Happy means more training!

It’s no secret that intervals are great on so many levels. At this time in my pre-pre-pre-season training doing some shorter workouts with intervals makes a lot of sense. I’m not doing major intervals, just little ones with elevated heart rate. The time flies by with the intervals. Intervals are just fun! Fun is what it’s all about!

Here is the video of my new cycling friends:

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