One of the most common questions we get is how to train during the winter. Being from the UK, we’re more than used to training in cold conditions! That doesn’t mean you should ignore an exercise bike though. Here are 3 reasons why exercise bikes can be a great way to train.
There are a lot of cyclists who look down on exercise bikes – and they’ve got a point. What’s cycling without the sense of thrill and speed?
The problem is that limiting yourself to only training outdoors is likely to hurt your progress in the long run. There are several benefits to an exercise or stationary bike that you can’t get from road cycling. Here are three of the most important.
1. Train During the Winter
Training in wet or icy weather is always going to be riskier than during the summer. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it – but at least pick your days.
On your off days, one of the best ways to train is to get an indoor cycle. Make sure you buy one with a heavy flywheel for more intense training though.
2. More Reliable Indicators of Progress
When you’re training on an exercise bike, you know exactly how far you’ve gone and how quickly. This isn’t always the case with road training, as you could be held up by traffic lights, queues or anything else.
As an added bonus, some of the newer exercise bikes come with software to take part in online races. This is a great way of pushing yourself in a fun and safe environment.
3. Great for Recovery
Stationary bikes are great for recovering from an injury. You’re in complete control of the resistance level, and you don’t need to worry about uneven surfaces or cars that require evasive maneuvers!
In fact, athletes regularly use exercise bikes to maintain their fitness while recovering from injuries. So if you’re working your way back from a sprain or strain but don’t feel ready for outdoor cycling, an indoor cycle could be a good choice.
Of course, there are some big drawbacks too. Nothing prepares you for racing like outdoor cycling. You need to battle wind resistance, uneven roads and (unfortunately) drivers – all of which you’re likely to face during a race.
Don’t ignore indoor cycling for training though. It’s a great way to train in safety when you’re recovering from injury or in bad weather conditions.
Do you use an indoor bike as part of your training routine? Or are you purely an outdoor cyclist? Let us know!