triathlon and family can mix

To Ride or Not to Ride

That is the question.


Being from Canada, where we live in igloos right, training on the road year round is next to impossible. So the indoor stationary is essential to the ‘Northern Triathlete’.

As I pedal, I read, I listen, and this morning I began to think about the pros and cons of riding the stationary bike.

So here is my top five reasons why to stay on and get off the stationary trainer.

Stay On the Trainer

1 Safety – The reason I started this blog, Where it all begins, the environmental factors such as cars, crosswinds, pedestrians, and stupidity are removed from your training session.

2 Convenience – With a swim/bike or bike/run brick, you can change quickly and hop on the bike. No need to worry about the logistics of securing your bike while you are swiming or running.

3 Train with a Plan – Looking for specific intervals or maybe a hill climb?  With the trainer, you can simulate any resistance for any length of time, hill repeats anyone?

4 Train with Numbers – A very special few can afford to install a power meter on their road bike, with most stationaries, they are included. This allows you to precisley dial in your intervals ensuring that you are in the specified ‘zone’ for each workout.

5 Weather – There is a saying in Calgary, “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes”. I have been lucky (knock on wood) and never been stuck 40km from home in a rain storm. The weather is always 22 degrees and sunny in my basement and the gym.

Get off the Trainer

1 Train on Actual Terrain – No road is flat and you can’t decide that you have had enough of the hill.  Being on the actual road forces me to mash when I need to and for as long as I need to.

2 Real Life – Have you changed a flat tire in the ditch of the Trans Canada Highway?  I have, and now I will be able to calmly and confidently change a flat in a race in about 3 minutes.

3 Safety – The only way to learn to be safe on the road is to be on the road.  Sure you may make mistakes, broken collar bone maybe, but you will be better off in the future.

4 Weather – In my mind, nothing beats fresh air. Traveling at 39km/hr, you get plenty of that and a bunch of Vitamin D to boot.

5 Share with Friends – We Triathletes are a lonely bunch, at least I am.  With a group you have the ability to meet like minded individuals who share the same passion as you do.

So in my opinion, even though the trainer has great training benefits, I would choose a road ride vs the trainer every day of the week and twice on Saturday.

Question: Is your conclusion the same?  Is there anything else that you would add to either category?


2 responses

  1. Sounds like you need to get a Surly Necromancer or Surly Moonlander — riding a Fat Bike through the snow when the temperature is well below zero (F) is a blast!

    July 23, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    • That does sound like a blast. The tires are just a little wider than I am used too……

      July 24, 2012 at 8:05 am

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