Indoor Performance Aids. What all do you use?

I was mid-workout this morning and just kind of laughed at all the steps that I go through to set myself up for success on a daily basis. Not that it always works, but thought sharing lists of these tools might give others some ideas that could help them get through the next hard workout.

On the bike:
In no specific order. Things I use regularly for intensity

  • Caffeine Pill 1-200mg (I wake up early)
  • Lactigo (Not even sure if it works)
  • Music w/ Playlist (or other entertainment, but I find music is the only one that improves my performance)
  • Air Conditioned room
  • Lasko Fans (I have 4 that I can turn on individually. Two at the front, one at the belly and one at the back)
  • Sugar in the bottle (Usually 60gs or so just to help with RPE. I workout before breakfast)
  • Zwift (Run it simultaneous with TR)
  • Rocker plate for comfort
  • 4 bottles of water within reach
  • 2 towels. one to catch sweat and one to wipe sweat. Sometimes 3 if i need a snot rag.
  • Extended warmup. I usually add 10-15 minutes to the beginning of a workout

Off the bike:

  • Diet that comes close pre-determined macros
  • Oura Ring (not that it’s actionable most of the time, but can help call out issues)
  • Weighted Blanket
  • Ooler Sleep pad
  • Set out my clothes and bottles the night before

Some others I can think of that other’s probably use:

  • Pre-workout meal
  • More fuel for a longer workout
  • Coffee for caffeine
  • Other entertainment
  • Massage guns or foam rolling
  • Other forms of recovery

Anyone else find these necessary? Any specific tools anyone use that I don’t that they find helpful? Anyone find that without one of these, such as an Air Conditioned room, that training is negatively affected?

8 Likes

I use the trainer most in the evening so I couldn’t take a caffeine pill or Id be up al night. What I use is:

  • A elite Suito DD trainer

  • Floor Mat

  • Bike Thong

  • Towel (mainly to protect my handle bars from sweat/snot

  • Head band (a sweat GutR; essential IMO)

  • A knock off Wahoo desk (for the carb drink, banana and laptop (TR/RGT/Podcast))

  • an 18inch Gym Fan

  • A remote control pedestal fan (16 inch)

  • 2 x 14 inch wall/floor fan

Off the bike fuelling with carbs or caffeine and a massage gun now to recover (I had a roller but never got on with it as I end up needing too much of a variable area which is not ideal in this tiny flat)

I do most of the same on the bike things as you (only 3 fans, no rocker plate yet but have one on order). No AC but it’s in my basement that stays around 65 degrees or lower. For Zwift racing, I use PR Lotion instead of Lactigo but will probably drop it once I’m out.

Considering adding a cooling vest.

Cool thread.

Night before:

  • Make drink (66gram Maltodextrin / 33 gram fructose) night before with hot water for mixing. Then throw in fridge.

  • Get coffee setup to come on at 4:10 AM

  • Drink protein before bed at ~2000 (8:00 PM). Asleep by 2100.

Day of:

  • Wake at 0400. Brush teeth, shave, and go downstairs.

  • Drink coffee and wake up

  • Take a gel and start my ride (I run zwift on my laptop and TR on my phone).

  • Turn on fan midway through warmup (Bike is next to window I typically open beforehand)

  • Rock out to music while I workout, eat gels if necessary and continue drinking. I rarely finish my drink.

Post workout:

  • Recovery drink in blender (Protein, frozen banana, frozen blueberries

I think for me the key to be able to do this continuously is the sleep and the nutrition. I eat healthy throughout the day. Rarely drink alcohol.

I also wear a Garmin Fenix to track the quality of my sleep, stress, etc. Seems to work.

2 Likes

I’ve never used zwift. What’s the purpose of running zwift concurrently with TR? Isn’t it another training software? Thanks

1 Like

It just gives me something else to look at. Its basically riding simulation, with segments, other people, etc. Adds a little more enjoyment and social connection than just staring at power.

4 Likes

My most successful hard indoor workouts:

  • always in the afternoon, never had a great hard workout in the morning
  • one sweat towel
  • two bottles of water with electrolytes
  • 1-3 fans (in the gym: one weak fan but room is 60F / 16C)
  • slope or resistance mode
  • Garmin 520/530 to follow the workout structure
  • mentally motivated to slay it
2 Likes

IPA is my main fuel.

9 Likes

Morning workout person here (had to do an evening the other week, and hated it, after taking a while to get used to mornings!)

  • Dedicated Turbo bike (7 speed)
  • Saris Hammer 1
  • Home made rocker plate (rockit launcher based)
  • 3 x Vacmaster Air Movers - 1 back torso, 1 front torso, 1 face/ head (normally turned on in that order)
  • 3 x Remote Sockets (off a single remote)
  • Wedge for shed door
  • 37 inch TV with Apple TV and Fire Stick
  • Bar table within reach with watch charger/ phone/ tissues (shed is paincave by weekday/ home bar by weekend)
  • Bike thong
  • Old Samsung work phone for running TR (dates back to when I ran TR on Ant+/ Zwift* on bluetooth). Kept it up as can reply to messages/ surf while not risking the workout
  • 2 x out front mounts. One with a hacked magnet to hold TR phone with a metal plate in the case, one for Garmin 530 dual recording for the first beat stuff
  • 3 x electrolyte bottles for this time of year
  • I’m not very good at fueling on the turbo, but when I try either bottle mix or a granola bar

Post workout is breakfast time, so berries/ fruit salad with yogurt and protein mixed, and nuts for the top.

*really not missing zwift at all, although haven’t ruled out a winter sub reactivation, especially during time off structured training.

For me Zwift is racing software, but I run it when training to level up (for access to faster bikes for racing). If I’m running TR, Zwift is in the background and I’m watching a bike race for entertainment.

1 Like

Heres something I feel is a bit of an aid that may not be intuitive:

If I am starting to suffer, I dont use a towel to dry off my sweat. Instead I rub the sweat across my body and face. It really makes the air from the fan seem cooler and cools me down better than wiping the sweat away with a towel. Like the towel is wasting the evaporative effect. Moderate sweat during Z2 or tempo stuff gets wiped away with the towel.

If it gets too heavy I will still use the towel, and they are always draped over my bars (kinda gross, but one is to blow my nose and the other is for sweat).

4 Likes

Oh so you’re actually doing two workouts at the same time rather than just looking at another screen. Passive income. Genius

Exactly. One minor point is that in this case Zwift is just “free riding.” You get XP either way so I don’t bother to try to find/load a similar workout on that platform.

1 Like

Similar for me: I use cotton bandanas as a headband, so they get soaked with sweat and have a cooling effect. I swap to a new one once it’s so saturated that it’s dripping. Towel across my stem for those drips and the occasional wipe. This way my bike almost never sees sweat, as well.

1 Like

Indoor performance aid:

3 Lasko fans - two in front, one on my back.

That’s it.

I usually do indoor training mid-morning, so I’m on a solid cup of coffee.

I ride in the garage in the summer (88 degrees today) - zero sweat on the floor or on the bike in spite of 25 straight minutes at 105% of FTP.

(Shameless self-promotion: Indoor Training Hack: Evaporative Cooling - YouTube … most of you guys already know this, but a lot of my club riders can’t figure out why they hate the trainer so much… invariably it’s lack of cooling) Thanks to @mcneese.chad for the idea last week in another thread, always looking for fun stuff to do videos on as I build up content.

If you’re dripping sweat, you don’t have enough cooling airflow. You shouldn’t need a bike thong, your towels shouldn’t be drenched (yes, I have a towel on the bars to wipe sweat off if I need it.)

Evaporative cooling in action!

4 Likes

yeah, I agree which is why I have 4 fans! I used to have one and it was a sweat fest. With 4, I still get a bit of moisture dripping off from my hands onto a towel and I have to dab my head, but only get any moisture on the ground around me if it’s a 2 hour ride or so.

As you can see in the pics I have two fans up front, one at the ground under my torso and one at the back. I have a dial on my stand that allows me to turn them on one by one. Front left, rear, body, then front right when things get hot.


3 Likes

Not Buckie? Stunned…

1 Like

-AC
-One big fan
-de-humidifier
-1L water bottles
-snacks or candy within reach
-stack of towels within reach
-stack of absorbent sweatbands within reach
-music (or videos for z2 or easier)
-cat sitting in the doorway glaring with disdain

2 Likes

The back fan was the game-changer on my setup. Even with the two Laskos under my torso, I’d still drip on the hottest days. Once I put the “mini-Lasko” Stanley up and got it positioned properly, I can do anything any time. I just took one of our old barstools, removed the side step/support and made the platform to put that fan right on my back above the trainer and it made a massive difference for me.

1 Like

Im from the east coast. Its just the west coasters that drink that pi##

1 Like