You’ve got your shiny new turbo trainer set up, or you want to get cracking on the exercise bike, but five minutes in and you’re bored. Here are a few ideas that might make it all a bit more tolerable and make motivating yourself a bit easier.
1 – Get a Heart Rate Monitor – as this is the best way to work out how much of a workout you just did. Distance and time are of little use, especially if you swap machines, making comparisons difficult. At least with a HRM you’ll know how hard you worked, and that should go some way to keeping you motivated.
2 -Watch some telly – set up the trainer in order that you can watch your latest shows online. The time certainly flies by, but the quality of that workout will be low as you’re concentrating on the TV. OK for a bit of cardio, but not so good for a really intense workout.
3 – Structured Training or Intervals – Rather than just get on the bike and doing an hour, you can do intervals or follow some structured turbo training in order to reach a goal such as the Workouts in a Binder – For Indoor Cycles. Similarly, you can get spinning DVDs that might be even more motivating, they don’t work for me, but are still very popular.
Or even a freebie :
4 – Turbo Training Videos – Why not pretend you’re really cycling and watch a helmet cam from youtube or even buy a training DVD that even tell you what intensity to cycle at. We’ve put a playlist together on YouTube with some of the best free ones we could find, and we’re busy working our way through them. The quality is a little ropey with some of them, and possibly due to some broadband issues at Mud and Routes HQ, the HD versions won’t run, but the pricing sure is attractive!
We’re yet to try one of the commercially available videos, but those by Sufferfest, despite the name, appear to be highly rated and cost between $9.99 and $12.99. They have onscreen prompts so you know how much effort to put in and what cadence you should be at. They have a ‘Blender’ video that looks to be more varied than their others, which are aimed at the more serious cyclists who want to improve specific areas of technique rather than just casual motivation. There are some more general DVDs available, but can be a tad expensive (rrp £34.99 )
5 – Virtual Reality Trainers – hook your bike up to a virtual reality trainer and race others online, which is the best motivation of the lot. It’s surprising that this is so expensive, considering how easy it would be to set this up using tech that’s basically a standard cycle computer connected to a PC. This might not be suited to everyone’s pockets just yet, but will certainly get cheaper and is definitely one to watch in the near future.