It wasn't pretty, but I did it

I only really started on my indoor bike seriously about 6 weeks ago. I wanted to take my fitness seriously in middle age after a seriously scary couple of years, and a recent ramp in weight that upset me. There’s some background here I already lost 20lbs.

I enjoy Zwift, but wanted something structured that would challenge me and everyone has good things to say about TR, plus the highly focused approach appealed to me.

I did the introductory FTP ramp, or should I say endured it, and looked forward to my next calendar session which would be Baxter I was apprehensive, because it was three times longer than I’d ever spent on the indoor bike, but I reckoned I could do it. I was wrong. I managed an hour before my heart rate stayed up there and I got very uncomfortable. My backside gave up before my legs did. As my wife told me it was still something as it was more than i’d ever managed before.

I have a stubborn streak and can be hard on myself, and with a two day break I resolved to get back on the bike, fuel properly with a bowl of pasta and just see if I could finish it. I did it. It wasn’t pretty, and I needed a stretch at 67 minutes because my arse was just done, and the last ten minutes were comically sloppy, but I did it.

I think I’ll get more used to the bike over a longer period, but it was also surely get easier as I lose weight. I ride a motorbike and have almost exactly the same time tolerance for the seat before needing a stretch.

As spring nears I am looking forward to more road time too.


Well done. Training your sit bones / undercarriage is just as important as your muscles and cardio. Keep at it. Also, highly recommend fueling while on the bike for anything that’s not a Z2 hour-or-less endurance ride. Listen to the Ask a Cycling Podcast and Successful Athletes Podcast for great info and tips.


Congratulations. Trainer endurance is definitely a thing, I used to be able to do 90-120min sessions with little difficulty but after a long period off the bike I’m having to get back into it with 30-45min workouts a few times a week and build from there.

I agree with the TR view that there is no need to “train to train” from a fitness perspective but there is something to be said about the mental training it provides.

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I started doing regular 30 min rides. Even that was difficult at the start but I soon got into it. The longer rides take me into territory I remember from running at school years ago, in that I need to think about pacing. I also noticed when I get tired I start to fidget and move about a lot, and this exacerbates the fatigue. The app’s hints about form have been really useful.

I also learnt to get my breathing under control and not race to spin up and slow down for the intervals but to do it slowly. At the halfway point the 2nd time I tried baxter I knew I was doing better because my heart rate was so much more controlled. On Zwift fun rides I tended to end up with my heart rate pinned around 90% because I would lose focus and start pushing where it was pointless to do so, because it’s so hard to go slow in that game. it’s one of the reasons I wanted something solitary and structured.

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I’ve since stayed on plan and completed Goddard and Monitor. I needed a break in Goddard (just a very quick stretch and tightened my seat as it had a little L/R rotation) and realised that the sitbone ache is the biggest thing bothering me, so I searched around and found the tip about periodically getting out of the saddle. I did this on ‘Monitor’ for 3-4 pedal strokes in every rest interval and got through it without a break.

I don’t find the workouts particularly easy, in fact I really have to set my mind to getting through them but the last two I finished with a bit in the tank and that feels like progress to me.

The form and ‘kick/pull’ drills work wonders for taking my mind off the effort, and in fact cause me to pop over the power target more often than not.

It’s all a learning process and I am really enjoying it. I feel like I’m accomplishing something.


I definitely recommend getting out of the saddle ever 10-15 min. I’ve done 3 hour trainer rides, so I guess you could say I have pretty well conditioned so bones, but I still get up for 30-45 seconds every 15 min or so. Otherwise it just gets unbareable.

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Great job! I’d recommend to take it easy in the beginning, it is much better to have two easy sessions a week on the trainer but be consistent than to push yourself too far. In the beginning you need to build your aerobic base, and that’s what endurance workouts do.

A good pair of bib shorts will also help alleviate saddle discomfort.

We’d be happy to give you advice in case you need it.

Remember, cycling should be fun!

That is the perfect attitude, focus on the process, not the outcome.