Things I wish I knew before I started training indoors

I remember reading a piece with tips along these lines for people starting out with cycling. Thought it would be nice to have something similar for training indoors.

I’ll start with three:

. Get the biggest and most powerful fan that fits your space and you can afford

. If you sweat a lot, get headbands. They were a game changer for me

. Trust the process. Training indoors is hard in the beginning and it gets worse really quickly, but the improvements will definitely come!


Plus one for headbands! I sweat heaps and wear glasses, so to wipe my face (which was often) I’d have to sit up and take my glasses off first. A bit of a pain. Only recently tried a headband, amazed at how effective it is. Don’t need a towel anymore. And that headband is absolutely soaked at the end of a workout. Need to get some more.




Alcohol wet wipes to prevent saddle sores and irritation (only discovered that a month ago!)


Halo headbands are great. I now have 2.


Do tell…

Headbands just make me hotter :smile:

I think you can just start indoor training without any tips really, you soon find out. My key regret was getting a poor signal from the cadence/speed sensor which put me off indoor training for a year. I’m not sure what advice could have countered that.

  • An open garage door is an open invitation for delivery guys to just walk in an interrupt your vo2max intervals with nothing more friendly than a “Can you sign for this?”

If you’re new and want it all to “just work”:

  1. Power meter pedals
  2. Dumb trainer
  3. iPhone
  4. Get on with it!

If you’re new but you can’t face hardship (unlikely to be many of you lot!):
5. Big fan
6. Two towels; one for the bike, one to wipe your face
7. Phone holder
8. Apple TV & Screen


You don’t really need alcohol wipes, just keep the area clean. Take a shower right after you ride, don’t reuse bibs without washing, and don’t lounge around in your bibs after a ride.

  • Make sure your floor is level before you spend four weeks canted ever-so-slightly to the left.
  • Put a towel under your bike if you don’t want a sweat puddle on your floor.

This is just how my paincave worked out, but I really enjoy having a comfy chair/couch nearby to collapse onto after a workout.


I know you shouldn’t, but it’s been a revelation for me this last month or two. Quick wipe morning and evening, plus after rides. Not even a pimple! By the way, of course I take a ridiculous amount of showers each day, just like all triathletes!

Is is weird that I feel happy sharing intimate news about my backside on a forum?!


Netflix and Spotify premium for sure


Always have a plan for what you’re going to have on for entertainment before you start. I get caught out a lot when an interval step starts and i’m trying to find a new video to watch.

Also it’s been covered on the podcast and by others, but what’s good entertainment during endurance rides is different from sweet spot and from v02 so plan accordingly! Nothing worse than dying through v02 max intervals cause you’ve got Bob Ross on instead of blasting music.


For smart trainers:

  • ERG mode can be harder than Resistance mode as it keeps you honest to the watts

  • Resistance mode is better on shorter intervals if you have a cheaper smart trainer (say 30 seconds or less)

For workouts in general:

  • If you’re watching TV while riding and are feeling like you’re gonna quit, switch to music, it gives you this weird ghost boost (they talked about it on the podcast, but i experienced it recently and it’s magical)

  • I don’t recommend TV shows for vo2 max or sprint intervals

  • Get your s/o to understand that you can only talk during the easy part of the interval, don’t interrupt an interval of hard work unless it’s urgent.


You can get a 10-pack of headbands off Amazon for about $10.

I also recommend getting a bulk pack of wristbands. Even if you only wear one on a single wrist it’s great for catching the drops that the headband misses.


by far, I wish I had discovered the lasko pro earlier, it’s made indoor training so much better. I had been primarily using a lasko cyclone (a big circular type) but it pales in comparison to the pro. In fact, I should probably have another but I use the cyclone as a supplemental fan. Someone should get lasko into bike shops, there’s a whole untapped market for them there!


NBC Sports Gold - watch live races and reruns


The significant other understanding your communication abilities during intervals is crucial. My pain cave is on the 3rd floor with the bonus room full of kids’ toys and a TV. I enjoy the family being upstairs playing while I’m working out. However, I can’t start discussing dinner or answering questions when buried in an interval. Plus I always end up shouting instead of talking at a normal volume when I’m going hard.


I’m lucky in that regard, mine is in an unfinished basement that we don’t use much. I can count on one hand the number of times the kids have been in there. And finally wifey will sometimes workout with me on the fluid trainer next to me on the smart (she likes to keep it ‘simple’) it’s truly after she worked out with me that she realized how hard I can be going and why she should interrupt during a hard interval lol


You can drink a cup of coffee while warming up. :slight_smile: That was a good lesson in time-management. Cut down on my bed-to-bike time significantly from riding outside. I would have started riding seriously inside sooner had I thought of this. I always have my mug on my side table.


Training indoors is hard, if you can keep everything setup so you remove any hurdles to getting started. Check everything, change batteries, update software, etc before you need it.

Rotate the shorts you use to change pressure points/seams etc.

Make sure your anti-saddle sore game is on-point and take extra care keeping everything in good shape. Get out of your kit as soon as you can post training.

Remote control for your cooling so you can adjust mid ride.

Beware that when you’re wearing earphones, others can still hear you - I’m sure my neighbours must wonder what goes on in my garage as I self-coach myself through Coach Chad’s latest punishment.


FloBikes has a lot of good races as well, most of the classics except for Roubaix and I believe their showing the Giro this year.

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