I know the temptation is there, that once the warm weather hits the trainer is put away, and the treadmill starts gathering dust. However, there are huge gains to be had by keeping the odd trainer ride, and treadmill workout in your schedule.
The most obvious benefit is the unrelenting nature of the treadmill. Once you set a pace, it keeps it until you adjust it. In many hard workouts you will unknowingly slow down or speed up slightly. This can affect the quality of the workout.
A good example of a treadmill workout that you may keep doing during the summer is :
15 min. W-up: Some fast 20s. repeats near the end.
5 x 1km (or mile) at or slightly above 5km race pace on 2min. slow jog recovery.
15min. cool down.
This is a hard workout, but the speed benefits can be huge! It also helps train your body to deal with the pain you will encounter during a race.
Another benefit of the trainer and treadmill is the repeatability of the workouts. The conditions will be the same every time you complete a particular workout. This is great for the testing phases of your training plans. You can accurately compare results and gauge your progress.
Testing is a very important part of any training plan. It allows you to see how effective your training has been. If you plateau, then maybe you need to make some changes. It can also inspire you by actually seeing the results of those months of training.
Also, the tready puts a lot less impact on your muscles, bones, and joints. It may be a good idea that if you are doing to days runs in a row, that one be on the trainer. If you are recovering from an injury it is usually a good idea to start with the trainer, and then move to the road.
A little on the benefits of trainer rides.
If you are one of the lucky ones with multiple bikes, it might be an idea to keep one on the trainer. Otherwise, I would swap the rear tire out when you put your bike on the trainer. You don’t want to wear out the expensive slicks!
It is sometimes hard to motivate yourself to gear up for a bike ride. If you just want a quick 40-60 min ride without the hassle, the trainer may be worth it. It is also a good way to get your mandatory Tour De France hours in, in July, without turning into a coach potato!
My favorite TDF workout is to cruise the TV broadcast, and go hard during commercials. Unless it is a mountain stage, and then I try and climb with them! Good painless(relatively) way to get in a couple of hours.
By the way, it is said that an hour on the trainer is worth 11/2 on the road!
So this summer, don’t escape the basement completely. Throw in a few indoor workouts, and you will reap the benefits come race day. Just ask Simon Whitfield. He regularly puts in many hours indoors for these reasons! He can run a sub 31:00 ten km in a OLY triathlon.
By Syd Trefiak
Syd is training to compete in IM Florida this Fall.
He runs a Triathlon forum www.canadiantriathletes.co.nr