Indoor cycling: what to drink, what to eat and 3 training sessions by Tomáš Řenč
Which cyclist would not love to ride in the fresh air in pleasant temperatures and with the surrounding scenery at their back. But sometimes it's cold, sometimes it's busy, sometimes it's covid. The right home training environment can thus be the key to consistent training and maintaining fitness. Thanks to modern technologies, you can also enjoy the feeling of an outdoor experience indoors. Want some tips? We will give .
It is time efficient, independent of the weather and in a way more convenient. Not only do you not have to clean a dirty bike, but indoor cycling training can help you fine-tune your technique, endurance, speed and cardiovascular fitness. You can work on your weaknesses and get enough mileage when it's not going outside. Ideal for cycling professionals and hobbyists, but also for anyone who has, for example, joint problems, etc.
Advantages of indoor cycling training:
- You save the joints, activate the muscles
Because unlike running, the impacts are much smaller. By pedaling, you do not exert such pressure on the joints of the lower limbs, and in addition, you are spared the shocks of driving off-road in domestic conditions. Cycling improves muscle metabolism, especially in the buttocks, thighs and calves. It also strengthens the muscles in the back area - if you have the right posture.
- You power the heart and lungs
Cycling works as a good tool in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases and prevents their worsening. Indoor training with current technological options protects the heart and blood vessels by adjusting the load based on your heart rate thanks to various apps and functions. You can also learn to breathe effectively, you will strengthen the activity of the lungs and the condition of the respiratory system.
- You will improve your pedaling technique
Correct pedaling technique will make the movement more efficient and lead to more comfort, higher performance, better times and possibly less injury. Home training is ideal for picking up imperfections. Cadence training will make it possible to change the frequency, find the right one for any terrain and get a step closer to smooth and symmetrical pedaling.
- Overall it fits
Because not only pedaling, but overall incorrect posture can cause you problems. For example, a saddle height that is too high leads to strain on the thigh muscles, and when riding for a long time, it leads to overload and early fatigue. The effect of the training will then be logically lower.
So what now? Find a suitable space, get equipment, a fan and the right training program. In the beginning, it is good to pass a physical condition test, which will establish your basic values, so you will know what to focus on and, above all, see your progress. Based on your shift, you can then update your training plan and make the most of your time.
"You have to aim very high, have very low expectations, and be constantly determined."
/ buddhist saying/
Set your goals. Time, distance, intervals, length of a Netflix series or movie, whatever suits your needs. And options. Plan when and how often you will ride, set a standard to keep yourself motivated and track your progress. It is certainly better to train for 30 minutes four times a week than to rarely spend three hours in the saddle. Watch a sustainable pace, especially if you are a beginner, there is a risk of overtraining even with home cycling. As performance increases, you can increase the time and frequency of training.
Whether you start it in the morning, after lunch or in the evening depends entirely on your lifestyle - work, family, hobbies, social commitments and your preferences. However, a certain routine is good because it helps you to form a habit and maintain a regular rhythm .
Understand the zones.
Setting the right strength training zones is essential not only for the performance of (professional) cyclists.
- Active Recovery - Easy spinning, light pressure on the pedal, minimal feeling of effort and leg fatigue, or very low level exercise to induce significant physiological adaptations. It doesn't require concentration to keep pace, you can have a continuous conversation with it. It is typically used for active recovery after hard training days (or races), between intervals, or for socializing.
- Endurance - "All day" pace or classic long distance training. The feeling of effort and fatigue in the legs is usually low, but it can worsen, for example, on hills. Concentration is usually only necessary during longer training sessions. Breathing is more regular, but you can still talk continuously.
- Tempo - Typical intensity for a fartlek, "temperamental" group ride or fast pace. Here, a more frequent or greater feeling of exertion and tiredness in the legs is already typical. It already requires your concentration, breathing is deeper and more rhythmic, so the conversation is already a bit more demanding.
- Lactate Threshold – Essentially a continuous feeling of mild or even greater exertion and leg fatigue. Continuous conversation is difficult due to the depth and frequency of breathing. The effort is so high that the training is usually done as several "reps", "modules" or "blocks" of 10 to 30 minutes.
- VO2Max – Typical intensity of longer (3 to 8 minute) intervals designed to increase VO2Max. Feelings of exertion and leg fatigue really intensify, so it is usually not possible to complete a training session longer than 30 to 40 minutes. Conversation is not possible and should generally only be applied when you are sufficiently recovered from your previous training.
- Anaerobic Capacity – Short (30 s to 3 min long) high intensity intervals designed to increase anaerobic capacity. They are associated with severe feelings of exertion and tiredness in the legs and the inability to hold a conversation.
- Neuromuscular Power – Very short and intense efforts (eg, jumps, short sprints) that generally put more emphasis on the musculoskeletal system than the metabolic systems.
A nutritional window or not only good legs will bring you to the result.
Eating and adequate energy supply is a significant component of performance. In general, your diet should contain carbohydrates, fats and proteins - in proportions according to your goals, and then there should be a good load of vitamins, minerals and other beneficial substances.
Macronutrients supply energy and other protective substances needed for the proper functioning of the organism. In translation, this means for all individuals (even those who are losing weight!) - under no circumstances should you skip fats or carbohydrates for a long time. Fats provide essential fatty acids and a number of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K), regulate our hormones. Carbohydrates are the biggest supplier of energy, they support muscle regeneration, brain function and generally the overall functioning of our body. Proteins build muscle fibers and cells, but are also involved in the formation of hormones, enzymes, immune substances and essential amino acids.
Of course, a sports diet also involves a sufficient drinking regime and replenishment of lost minerals. In other words, water and ionic drinks. Sweating is a natural thing, it is related to thermoregulation of the organism, i.e. control of body temperature, which fluctuates due to physical activity and environmental conditions. When you start pedaling, the body temperature rises and the thermoregulation system returns it to "normal" through sweat. Expect to sweat much more when cycling indoors than outdoors. Therefore, pay even more attention to the amount of fluids you drink and to the selection of high-quality ionic drinks that will compensate for your losses and help with regeneration.
TIP: Snacking during training - have fun with Skratch Labs .
You're probably familiar with various energy bars and gels, you've probably tried many of them, and you've seen for yourself that regular sports supplements are full of artificial ingredients and are not good for the stomach. We have a solution - and we can recommend nothing more than Skratch Labs products. Logically, when we import them here. There's a reason for that. Less sugar, more electrolytes, no artificial colors, artificial flavors or artificial sweeteners. On the contrary, you can rely on real ingredients that supply you with the necessary nutrients and delight you with a natural taste. The menu includes ionic drinks for quick hydration . You replenish what you sweat. You will replace the electrolytes you lost during exercise. Also energy bars made from ingredients such as cherries and pistachios, peanut butter, chocolate and almonds or spicy miso. They taste good, do not burden digestion and provide energy. And thirdly, energy chews for a quick addition of carbohydrates and as a much tastier alternative to energy gels.
Liven up boredom
We won't lie, looking at the same wall in the hall for an hour every day will not be the funnest activity in life. Despite all the advantages of indoor training, motivation can often drop to zero. At first, music, podcasts or movies would be offered, but be careful here. In the event that you are purposefully driving for technique filing, it could wave with your attention. You must therefore know why you are doing it, have a set goal in mind and focus on the result. Otherwise, the "anti-boring" measures include platforms such as TrainerRoad , Zwift or Rouvy , thanks to which you can ride the most beautiful routes around the world. Group rides with friends through a shared training space, practicing indoor cycling outside (terrace, balcony, garden) or food - a snack as a reward when you ride a certain part. Yes, breaks are fine. How many cafes can a cyclist handle during a classic ride outside?
Last but not least, we asked our ambassador Tomáš Řenč to tell us something from his indoor "pain cave". And Tomáš has prepared tips for 3 training sessions for you!
Who is Tomas Renč? Holder of the Czech record in Ironman 7:54:07. Multi-champion of Europe ETU long distance triathlon. Champion of the Czech Republic in long and middle triathlon. That is, in case someone didn't know :).
Training No. 1
- starting 20 minutes - zone 2
- 5x 3 minutes - zone 3 (1 minute right leg only - 1 minute both - 1 minute left leg only)
- pause between 5 minutes - zone 1
- 20 minutes drive - zone 1
Training No. 2
- starting 30 minutes zone 2
- pyramid 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 4 + 3 + 2 + 1 min - zone 3 to 4 (race pace)
- pause between each 3 minutes - zone 1
- drive 20 minutes - zone 1
Training No. 3
- start 30 min - zone 2
- 5 x 5 min power endurance (50 - 60 rpm on heavy gear) - zone 4 to 5
- Break between 5 minutes - zone 1
- 30 min drive - zone 1
So train! And enjoy!