Triathlon windtrainer biking can be a valuable component of triathlon/ironman training.
For those rainy days or days when training time is at a premium, a wind-trainer can come in pretty handy.
I remember the first time I thought I set up a wind-trainer in my living room.
I thought it would be a good bike training alternative for my Ironman races when the weather was bad, which seems to be the case about 75% of the time where I live.
As often as I could, I would load my bike on the back of my car and drive out to the countryside where there was a wide shoulder and less traffic.
Besides, there was no way on earth I would ever attempt to ride in the city. It was far too dangerous and not very productive anyway. What’s the point when you have to stop every few blocks for a traffic light.
The busier the roads became, the more my thoughts turned to the possibility of triathlon wind-trainer training as opposed to being out on the road.
TOO MUCH TRAFFIC? TRY A WIND-TRAINER
As the years passed and the city grew, my favorite training routes became busier and busier. Almost every year a cyclist was getting killed or badly injured out on the highway.
It seemed that every year that passed I was doing more and more triathlon wind-trainer biking in my apartment, logging endless miles with just the walls surrounding me as scenery.
Ultimately, something I never thought I would ever do finally happened. I did all my training for an Ironman on my wind-trainer.
EXPERIMENT WITH YOUR TRIATHLON TRAINING
First of all let me say that I was always notorious for trying training methods others might not even consider.
My theory is…how can you know how something works unless you try it for yourself? I also have this policy of not writing about something I don’t have first-hand experience with.
I decided to try the following radical triathlon wind-trainer biking way of preparing for an Ironman to see if the race results would really be that much different. I’ll let you be the judge.
I did “all” my training inside. 100%
I used a program that slowly built up my distance to “five hours”, or about two and a half movies that I watched while I cycled. I must say that there were many, many ADVANTAGES to triathlon wind-trainer biking in my own home.
1)Saved a lot of gas money getting to and from a safe place to ride my bike.
2)I could come home from work, get on the bike, and start training right away. There was no time lost to loading up the bike and driving one way for 25 minutes and then back.
3)My bike stayed REAL clean.
7)No sudden rainstorms. Or in my part of the world—snowstorms.
8)It was perfect for transition training. Bike–jump off wind-trainer–put on running shoes–be running 60 seconds later. Faster than an Ironman race-day transition and great training for what it would feel like on the big day.
9)Triathlon windtrainer biking also proved ideal for interval training. You can gauge each interval exactly. Outside you’re dealing with wind and uneven terrain, so each interval is different than the ones before or after.
10)You can get the same effect of climbing a big hill by doing low rpm’s in a big gear.
Plus with triathlon wind-trainer biking you can really concentrate while standing on the pedals without having to worry about pot-holes or traffic that’s bearing down on you from behind.
Often when people new to biking are standing on the pedals out on the open road they tend to swerve back and forth and not keep a straight line. Often they also dip there heads with the effort and lose sight of what’s coming up on the road in front of them.
11)Flat tire. Who cares? Sit on the couch and change it.
12)Nature calls? The bathroom’s never far away.
Were there DISADVANTAGES?
1)If your bike is fancy, you don’t get to show it off quite as much if you choose triathlon wind-trainer biking as your primary bike training method for your upcoming race.
2)It can be boring(unless the movie is really good).
3)You don’t get to work on the small things like drinking and eating, handling your water-bottles, and opening those frustrating gels while you ride.
4)Seriously, I believe the biggest downside to not getting road miles in is that your bike-handling skills will suffer.
However there is a solution for that and something else to consider if you are relegated to training indoors.
You can work on your balance and bike handling skills indoor as well if you are so inclined.
Bike rollers are designed just for that purpose. I won’t try and fool you though. It takes a lot of getting used to and a certain amount of skill to be able to stay upright on bike rollers, but once you learn the skill it becomes second nature.
With rollers your bike is not attached to anything and basically it is only your ability to balance the bike that keeps you upright on the rollers.
In the beginning it’s best to put the rollers near a wall so you have something to lean against if you are about to fall over.
Would I suggest adopting triathlon wind-trainer and/or bike rollers as your main method of preparing for the big race?
Well, when I did the race I was training for, I was only around 15 minutes slower than I usually was. So really, in the big scheme of things, it didn’t make any real difference to spend all that time on a triathlon windtrainer.
I would do it again. At that point in my career I was not that interested in how fast I finished. It was just great to be part of the event and reach that finish line.
I was also getting frustrated with the vehicular traffic that was taking over the roadways I often used for bike training over the years, so for me triathlon windtrainer biking was a Godsend.
People asked me how and why I did this. Why did I really do all that bike training in my living room? Well, I’ll tell you why I really did all those workouts on a triathlon windtrainer.
I did it because there was someone in some far-off country who is letting their Ironman dream slip away because they happen to live somewhere that is not that great–or perhaps even dangerous–for cycling.
I had to do it so if that person happened to be visiting Ironstruck and read this page they will know that it is quite possible to bike train indoors for the most part in preparation for an Ironman if it’s your only option.
I can tell them that with the voice of experience because I have tried it myself and successfully completed an Ironman by training this way.
So if it’s in your heart to pursue your Ironman dream, there is always, always a way to reach the finish line even if it means doing much of your bike training if front of the television on a triathlon windtrainer.