Rollers Vs Winter Bike

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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by boysa

With all due respect, I disagree with about 90% of what you wrote... from the definition of Tabata Intervals to VO2 interval length to necessary recovery time to flying to Southern California to train (are you serious?).

But I think now we're really getting off topic from the op.

I am doing fine, and I have a well-planned training regimen that takes me through the entire season. I appreciate your insight, but as I said I simply disagree.
"Deserve's got nothing to do with it." William Munny

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by 11.4

@Boysa, I'm glad you have a good program for yourself. I was responding more to the theme of the OP, who seemed to be struggling with motivation and needed to define better how to equip for a harsh winter of training. I'm sure you can punch 40:20 Tabatas at 100%, but most people simply can't. Of the people I see and work with, 95% do a schoolbook training workout and never do it again -- it is simply too hard to do emotionally or too hard to recover from. Most people, and I suspect most people on this forum (a few like you excepted) need to pace themselves. They also need to motivate themselves, which is what the SoCal trip was suggested for. I specifically said it was not for training as much as for motivation.

There is nothing magical about any training regimen. Tabata wrote several papers on his short HIIT intervals but even he later relented and acknowledged that they really only worked with very highly tuned athletes who only had to survive his testing regimens to prove the concept. The general idea can be replicated with longer durations and slightly lesser efforts, but few people can recover from a max workout in 20 seconds and be ready to do another, then duplicate that several times. To most, it's just one long maximal effort, even to most athletes. VO2 intervals fall into the same category -- they get "proven" in lab tests but they rarely work as well in a full season of training.

The main thrust of this thread was that one has to motivate oneself to work as hard as possible and the comments above were addressed with this perspective in mind.

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by boysa

My apologies if I misinterpreted your remarks.

You are 100% correct: MOTIVATION is the absolute key. I am certainly not special, but I do have an innate drive. Actually, it's probably closer to an addiction (which would make sense if you knew me personally). Working out indoors for me is worse than going to the dentist. It's truly painful, not only in the efforts themselves but even in the anticipation of having to do the workouts. My keys are to make sure the workouts are focused (time/intensity), short (90' or less), and consistent. One additional thing I've learned is knowing when to bail. If I get on the trainer and don't "feel" it, no sense in wasting my time half-assing the workout. Either pull the plug or simply change it up. Then commit full-speed to the next day.

I keep the workouts very simple. I've worked with a coach in the past, and I found too much complication made me want to skip. If they are basic, I can wrap my head around them and bang them out. FTP (2x20 @ 100%; 4x8 @ 105%); VO2 (4-5 x 4-5' @ 120%); Race Winners; AT (8-12 x 1' @ 150%); a few more. I'm basing the percentages off of FTP, of course. By using only a few workouts, I'm able to get through the winter without much stagnation. Hopefully, this year will be more tolerable and I can spend more time outdoors, but I have to admit there is something rewarding about the specificity of the trainer. No wasted time. No prep time, no clean-up time, no extra cash being spent on an array of cold-weather gear!! It certainly can work.

Another huge key for motivation is to have a friend. Someone who is also working out, someone to whom you must report. They can be in the house next door or halfway around the world, the important part is the accountability. The same would apply if you were working out outside, right? It's so much easier to get out there in the freezing cold with a partner than suffering by yourself. Misery certainly loves company.

Hopefully these ideas can help the OP. As for Tabatas... I certainly cannot do 40/20s! At least not with the intensity required, anyway. For me, I can do 20/10 and go full bore. I think the idea is to do what you can, but make sure they are all-out efforts. They are ridiculous. After my last Tabata workout, my comment to a friend went along the lines of: "I think Dr. Tabata probably had a hand in orchestrating the Bataan Death March." Sick bastard.
"Deserve's got nothing to do with it." William Munny

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by nathanong87

dgran wrote:1) Rollers generally simulate riding. It feels more natural but most people aren't able to achieve really hard workouts with them. That is no problem if your winter regimen is to stem the slide of fitness loss or keep from gaining weight.

maybe motion rollers, but standard ones dont 'feel' natural like riding outside at all. once your weight shifts or you attempt to get out of the saddles it's probably awkward feeling than a trainer. staying seated on rollers is ok.

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by Chader09

Yes, motion rollers are the key IMHO. With a decent resistance unit, they are more tolerable for indoor workouts and get close to the power required for some trainers. I still use my Road Machine for the max power workouts to tap my legs.

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by mattr

Tacx antares are the ones I use. very simple motion mechanism. but it works.

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by mrfish

It's nice to have a range of training equipment and a plan.

I found that turbo along doesn't cut it. I would be flying in February then dead as I'd used up all my motivation by April. So as others say you need the clothes to ride the bike when the weather is OK, mix in some focussed stuff on the turbo, then also go XC skiing, swimming or something different for part of the year to rebuild the body.

I found taking a decent break from the bike helped fix some niggly back and neck soreness. And then learning to XC ski was new and refreshing, also much more fun to do in bad weather than fearing for your life on icy roads. Now I'm planning to complete in some local ski marathons, which should make me do a bit more work over the winter than ever before, and also strengthen my arms, which will improve my swimming for triathlon. Also I will do some running this year, mainly as it's much more convenient than cycling.

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by zirxo

I would say that the optimal thing is both.
A simple trainer for the indoor intervals during weekdays and a winter bike for the weekends distance rides. To be able to actually go outside for some slower rides is golds worth for your mind. It's tough to just ride intervals on the trainer the entire winter.

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by SpeedyChix

Trainerroad is a nice plus to the winter indoor training sessions. Still like to get outside as much as I can so that I don't dread the thought of training inside. In some parts of the country riding mtb trails is a great way to get in some outside time on the weekends too.
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by sanrensho

The answer for me is rollers w/mag resistance, trainer + TrainerRoad, and dedicated trainer/winter bike. We have a lot of rain where I live so it's easy to just hop on the trainer/rollers instead of gearing up for a wet ride. This year, I am going to switch things up and try to get at least one LSD ride (2-3 hours) a week outdoors, not worrying too much about intensity.

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