Training in a detached wooden garage in the UK - tips?

Currently I use TR in the house, but we’re about to move. The new house, in mid Wales is better in a lot of ways, but it does lack space for a dedicated turbo set-up. As such such activities are relegated to a wooden garage, ~20m away. The garage is currently single skin and uninsulated. It has power and if the wifi doesn’t work reliably I’ll put a cable across, one way or another.

I can sometimes be someone who lacks motivation a bit, so I need getting on the turbo to be as “easy” as possible… A cold, “distant” garage might be enough to dissuade me on days when I’m on the fence about doing my workout…

So, any tips? Would you bother to insulate it? Fit a heater? If so what sort? Or “man up”, start with a coat on and strip off as body temperature dictates?

I think I plan to have a “training” basket, complete with a checklist in the house. Before I go to the garage do I have my HRM, bottles of water, towels, food, tablet/phone etc. Load it all up and don’t head out into the British winter until I’m sure I have everything… I can’t imagine anything more annoying than forgetting something and having to make multiple trips :rofl:

Should I be running a dehumidifier all the time for the bikes and/or electronics? Our trainers are Neos. Or is that not much of a concern so long as the garage is watertight (it looks to be)? If so, any advice on make/model.

I figure I can easily run locks through the trainers and the bikes and leave them locked up permanently. Won’t stop a determined thief but every deterrent and all that…

I currently use a desktop PC for Zwift in tandem with TR on an old tablet, but I’m not overly enamored at the idea of leaving a PC out in the garage. Bikes and turbos more easily replaced in case of theft, etc etc. I suppose I could have a clean install of Windows so there’s no useful passwords or data etc on it if it does get nicked, and have it for nothing but Zwift. Or upgrade my aging laptop so it’s up to the job…

Currently the only window is on the side without a view, so I might add one looking over the valley for those Petit days…

What else should I be considering? Any other tips and advice?

Thank you!

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I train in something similar, in the mountains in Ireland.

I insulated the walls, but haven’t got around to the ceiling 2 plus years later! No issues with condensation, as it’s not sealed. I’ve books out there and they don’t get damp anyway. I think you’d need heat for a dehumidifier to be effective, and if it’s not sealed, would it not be sucking in outside water?

I start my sessions with coat, thermal jersey, normal jersey. I strip off as I warm up. Even in the middle of winter I end up with my cleva fan on eventually. Hands and feet are what I end up with multiple layers, but I have circulation issues anyway.

I’ve an original Hammer, so not in the price range of the neo. I have an old 7 speed beater as a permanent turbo bike. For additional security I lock the hammer to a couple of kettle bells.

I’ve blinds on one window, and net curtains on the other.

I train in the mornings - water goes out night before this weather. Carb mix in the fridge the night before, and clothes organised ready to go. I do have a few gels within arms reach.

I run TR on android. I’ve a 2 TV set up - TR on one, Firestick on the other for netflix, youtube, spotify, eurosport player etc.

Biggest convenience is a permanent turbo bike.

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Same situation as me. I have a shoebox with a Bluetooth speaker, iPad, iPhone, gloves, snack and drink that’s ready to go so it’s just a case of getting changed and off I go. I don’t think I’ve ever done a session without putting the fan on… even when it’s around zero degrees outside so wouldn’t worry about insulation. Just start with an extra top on and strip off as needed.

I run TR on my phone and use an iPad for Netflix and iplayer so no need for a PC. Those apps let you download content to watch offline so no need for a WiFi connection either.

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Not quite as distant as 20m but train in a single skin brick garage year round, tend to wear a hoody to warm up in, joggers if very cold, and usually a cup of coffee during warm up.

Use a WiFi extender plug to get netflix, not sure it’d stretch to 20m tho.

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I have a wooden shed and a dumb trainer with an old bike permanently set up. Glad I have electric power from an extension cable :wink:

I have insulated mine with some of the foil wrap stuff from Wickes stapled to the walls and then thin sheets of plywood over the top. I’m not very handy so it certainly gave me a feeling of accomplishment to see that job completed.

To escape the boredom I watch DVDs on an old laptop that is set up permanently on an old table, with a cardboard box behind for me to position an old iPad to run TR. It’s too far to connect to Wifi which I sometimes think is a good thing, but I do miss the massive range of TV options like bike races some people mention. However, it does give me an opportunity to watch boxsets like Game of Thrones and The Wire with subtitles on.

I haven’t need to use a dehumidifier but I have got an old electric heater on a timer plug which I have set to come for an hour twice a night.

I like your idea of having a box of kit ready to go so you have less excuses not to get out there. With my permanent set up I can leave most of it ready to go, so it’s only my clothing I need to sort out.

I haven’t really thought about security too much. When I put a padlock on I did use the bolts that have smooth heads so there’s nothing to unscrew from the outside, but like you said it’s not going to be a deterrent to someone who really wants to break in. that said I like the idea of curtains on the windows.

I suppose a lot of it will come down to what you want and how you use it. And you’ll fine tune things as you use it more. Maybe reward yourself, or your shed, with something nice every time you complete a training block? Enjoy!

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I’m in Scotland, training in a small detached pitch-roof brick building - an old coal house I guess. Electricity, yes, but no internet, no wifi, no 4G, no installed heating, no insulation, no windows. Lots of spiders, you have to like spiders! And a few mice.

I rarely miss a session due to motivation issues, and do the following things to help.

  1. On really cold days (say below 5 degrees) I run a fan heater for a few minutes before I start and for the first few minutes of the workout, directed on my bare legs, then switch it off by remote control once warmed up.

  2. My turbo set up is permanent. Kickr Snap with dedicated bike always set up and ready to go. Screw the roller onto the tyre by 2.25 turns, 10 min warm up, spindown and I’m off.

  3. Tech is low, not hi. A Galaxy S7 phone connected to all devices by Ant+ only, and to some wired ear buds with Spotify, playing off-line playlists. I download the TR workout once back in the house. I’ve never had a technical issue.

  4. Despite the lack of insulation, I warm up very quickly and even on sub-zero days, despite starting with a wooly hat and winter jacket, within 10 minutes I am sweating heavily with only a base layer and shorts and an industrial 18 inch fan right in my face, like less than a foot away. The trick here is that as long as my head is kept really cool, the cold ambient temperature of the brick shed keeps the rest of me cool enough.

  5. Cold feet? This is the only potential problem, so I wear winter cycling boots and thick socks. No problem at all.

  6. Cold and damp? It’s a well-ventilated building so despite lack of any heating (save for the short term use of fan heater) or insulation, the damp that accumulates during a workout soon dissipates and the buidling goes back to ambient humidity. I keep bikes hanging up in there and they don’t seem to suffer, nor does the trainer which has done three years of fairly heavy use in this scenario, including some minus 15 days during winter when it would be below zero in the brick shed. I keep meaning to stick the dehum in there occasionally but never get round to it, anyway you need a certain minimum temperature to run one and it’s a waste of electricity for me. It seems to dry out on its own anyway so I’m not worried about it.

So in summary I’d say less is more, insulation is a waste of time and money as far as I’m concerned. Do I EVER want to be in a warm room when turbo training? NO! Do I want a REALLY cold room. Hell, YES! And don’t worry about the robustness of the trainer, mine seems to have suffered no ill effects from its outdoor life!

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Cheers all, some encouraging replies.

I didn’t mention it in my opening post, but there will certainly be curtains on the windows! (And yes, I probably mean an old towel and two nails…)

I didn’t realise that you could run TR without an internet connection. Makes perfect sense, I’ve just never needed to do it hasn’t even occurred to me. That being said, while I know I can pre-download TV/music etc, I definitely like having the world at my fingertips. So whether it’s WiFi extenders, an ethernet cable or a powerline adapter, our garage WILL have internet, no ifs, no buts!

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If wifi is a problem, get a mesh solution like Google Wifi. Much better than an extender for me.

You do have to open it with a connection to update, say you change days around, update FTP etc.

I run TR on a Android TV box. TR say it’s unsupported, but Play Store allowed me to download it, and it gets updates. I hadn’t worried about leaving it out there, but actually went and brought it in after your post!

One of the reasons I went firestick is you can connect by ethernet, but I’ve better reception in the my shed than the far end of the house!

Here’s my (functional) set up. Have an old computer table where my daughters bike is in this photo now - that holds remotes, drinks, tissues, gloves etc.

image

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Main thing is to have it tidy and accessible. The cold doesn’t matter after five minutes, but wear a jersey/jacket on your way over and until you’ve warmed up. Wear bib kings for the sessions and sock.

Yep!

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All good replieds and I’m often also in a very cold garage with no heating. The only motivation I need is that I’m getting better and it’s doing me good.
As others have said make sure everything is ready to - get your kit and drinks ready the night before and layer up. I used to get it wrong but never came back into the house - just made a mental note for next time.
Yes it’s hard leaving a nice warm bed at silly o’clock in the morning for a sub zero garage at times but look at the positives you get. It also means you’re less likely to bail on actual rides and events if it gets a bit chilly.
The other thing is that no matter how bad it is the house is only 20m away - that’s never the case on a ride.

Were cyclists and we enjoy "suffering":rofl: :rofl:

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I run TR on my phone, if you could do the same and use the tablet for your entertainment then wouldn’t need the PC?

I would say : insulate. I did this with my similar double garage. I used 40mm Celotex and plasterboard. If you wanted to keep in simple and didn’t mind it a bit rough looking, do the walls, but don’t plasterboard the ceiling, which was a real pain.
It makes the room more functional as a space, and you can happily tinker with bike and other stuff in the winter.
Def cable the internet in there as the insulation is foil backed and will disrupt wifi.

TR training in a cold garage 2019

Have an attached but cold garage I have to wander through the garden to get into…got myself one of those cheap chinese diesel heaters. So when I get back from work on the motorbike, first thing I do before opening the garage is hit the remote key fob and the heater turns on. Once I’ve got motorbike put away, back in house, sorted stuff, got ready, it’s around 25 minutes later before I return to the garage, which has gone from 5’c up to around 12 'c… I can also use the remote to turn it off when I get as warm as I want to be.

Weekends whilst sat in the house I’ll hit the remote some half hour before doing my session. It’s just nice to go into a warm place to train, one less reason to skip a workout!

Yes I could easily go into a cold garage and train and I use too, remove the layers as I warm up… but having a warm garage to go into makes it far more appealing…thinking back, the times it was just above freezing, yes the body would warm up but then mix in a good sweat half way through an intense workout, freezing air and then blasted at you with the fan… I’d rather air that is warm than freezing blasted at me when I full on sweating… I’ll stick to my heated garage now!

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Like others I also train all yr round in an unheated garage with an outside walk to get to. The only suggestions I would add is;

  • Add at least 5 mins to the warm up every workout.
  • Have some gloves handy for the first 10 mins
  • Sometimes I’ll make a coffee whilst getitng changed inside to take with me.
  • Definately agree with the comment of a dedicated trainer bike (I use an old steel mtb frame permanently on the trainer)

Honestly, if you get practised at going out fully dressed and strip off during the warm up you’ll be glad of the cold garage. (I’m usually down to just shorts after the first 15mins.)

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Covered already - just be fully prepared and ready for session before you go out there.

Very similar situation. I have gotten used to allowing for an extra 5-10 minutes of warmup (using the ‘extend’ button) where i can really let myself come up to temperature and enjoy my coffee sitting up. Finish my coffee, coat off and go

Leave your shoes in the house so they are warm when you put them on. Costs nothing to do this. Then I would insulate as you have the $$.

Our attached garage is insulated but got down to freezing the first winter we lived here. I since have put a small oil-style electric heater in the garage. Set it almost as low as it would go. HUGE difference in the garage. Not always warm – but I prefer 10C to 0C for a 5am ride.

As you continue on, if you run a cable out there for internet, be sure to do it in a conduit to protect from things.

I’m impressed by you guys training in an out building. I seem to remember reading that Bradley Wiggins had a similar setup and enjoyed the spartan workout. I prefer the kitchen myself and although the majority of the bikes are in a shed, I need to be indoors to do my TR sufferring.

yep…10’c is a huge difference to 0’c, especially when that fan turns on and you’re sweating…