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Re: Trainer tips - How to keep the stoke high this winter?

Hey everyone!

With the days getting shorter and colder weather moving in, I wanted to start a conversation about a somewhat dreaded topic…riding indoors!

Towards the end of last season I suffered a back injury that left me needing to rebuild my fitness over the winter. Paired with an epic snow year, this meant riding indoors was my only option more often than not. Having been a cyclist that prided himself on riding outside throughout the year, this was a huge shift for me. Here are some things I learned along the way. I am interested to hear your tips/tricks for staying motivated and active riding the trainer this season.

  • Invest in software – Zwift, Trainer Road, Sufferfest…etc are well worth the investment. I chose Zwift for the interactive nature and ease of use. I really enjoyed using their pre-loaded workouts as well as creating my own. Add in the fact that you can ride virtually with your friends all over the world and I found a level of engagement never before experienced on a trainer.
  • Avoid the marathon sessions – Keeping my sessions to an hour really kept the motivation high. You can get a lot of really effective work done in an hour that puts down a solid foundation of fitness for the year to come. High intensity training 2-3 sessions a week, with a few easier days to keep the legs spinning seemed to be my sweet spot. For me, two hour rides did more to kill my motivation than keep me stoked. I saved the longer rides for those coveted warm fronts and got outside!
  • Dial in your setup – I carved out a space in my basement that my wife was ok with my trainer, fan, and laptop being setup all winter. This made it easy to jump on the trainer and ensured I was comfortable. I can’t stress the importance of a fan to keep you cool enough. One with a remote is even better!

I am happy to report that come March, I had done enough work to shift my inside training to outside rides with ease. By May, I was in full swing and ready to rock. What have I missed? How can I make my time riding inside even better this year?

At REI, we believe a life outdoors is a life well-lived.
1 Reply


it is Greg over here in cold snowy Michigan. As I am staring down a dark and dangerous riding season I am trying to find my stoke for indoor training.  I have been an indoor rider for a few off seasons with mixed results. Some years I am really dedicated and some years I am sporadic at best. I have been using Trainerroad the past few years. This year I switched to Zwift.  For some reason I am just having a hard time getting motivated. In years past I find it motivating to have a big ride early in the season to train for or having another person to computer with. 

I have the trainer all set up with fans, a Wahoo Kickr Core and a tv but I am struggling with getting going. Any advice for re-kindling the stoke?  my big ride for the year 2020 is in August so no big incentive to get my butt in gear. 

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.