Trainer time

With just over eight weeks until Ironman Coeur d’Alene (wow- typing that just gave me heart palpitations), I’m pretty pleased with how many training is going considering my late start and a few bumps along the way.

I’ve been spending a lot of time in the saddle (although it’s an indoor saddle), my swimming is steady, and I’m hoping to slowly increase running mileage (since five miles is nowhere near 26.2).

Over the last three weekends, I’ve pedaled away on my trainer for just under 16 hours. Here are some interesting numbers:

  • I watched five movies, five tv episodes, and parts of two pro bike races (Paris-Roubaix and Amstel Gold).
  • I tested two chamois butters (dznuts bliss and  chamois butt’r).
  • I sweated buckets.
  • I drank 5.5 litres of liquid (water and Nuun).
  • And I ate a lot.
  • My dog came down for kisses no less than a dozen times.
  • I broke a new record: five hours straight on a trainer.
  • I rode two bikes and love the fit and feel of my new one.

On Saturday I rode on my trainer for five hours. It definitely took some mental toughness, but overall I’m not struggling with riding inside yet.


I think I’m enjoying it for a few reasons:

  1. I know it needs to get done. Living in Alberta and signing up for a June Ironman may not be the best idea since our weather isn’t conducive to long outdoor biking before mid-April, if we’re lucky. If I want to make it 180km on June 23, I need time in the saddle regardless of whether it’s inside or outside.
  2. I feel safe. Sometimes I get pretty scared riding on the highway. Every fall, I thank my lucky stars that my husband and I had another safe riding season. Riding inside is cutting down on the dangers of the highway.
  3. I enjoyed a nice physical and mental break. When we were in Asia, I had five weeks off of biking (minus our fun day riding cruisers in the hutongs of Beijing). Training wasn’t a priority. I felt fresh coming home and have been looking forward to training sessions.

There are also cons:

  1. No wind or other natural elements to work through.
  2. Chafing seems to be worse inside without wind to dry sweat!
  3. I miss the fresh air, farmers’ fields, and actually riding somewhere!

I’ve said it a few times before, but hopefully I can get out on the road soon. Technically I could ride outside right now, but when it’s barely above freezing on the weekends, I just can’t make myself get out there and freeze for hours.

I went out for an hour last Thursday and plan to ride outside for an hour this evening. We’ll see what the weekend has in store!

What’s your drink of choice for fuel? Do you prefer indoor (trainer, treadmill) training or outdoor? 

43 responses to “Trainer time

  1. Five hours! You are my hero. The longest I’ve ever spent on the trainer is 2.5. It’s funny, I don’t mind it as much as the treadmill, but I do mind it. I’ll always take the outdoors over indoors when possible. That said, I don’t blame you for not getting out when temps are near freezing…it’s just no fun on a bike like that.

    Good luck finishing out the next 8 weeks–hoping it all goes smoothly for you!

  2. OMG – FIVE HOURS?!?!?!?!? And I can’t believe it’s 8 weeks away! AHHHHH!!!

  3. Five hours? You’re a machine! I’ve only been on my trainer a couple of times, and even with the novelty of something new, I was bored after 30 minutes! Hope you enjoy the rest of your training.

  4. 5 hours inside? Way to go! You’re such an inspiration!

  5. Wow! 5 hours, that is amazing!! Keep it up!

  6. 5 hours is so amazing!! what movies/tv shows do you watch while you’re doing it?

    • Any and all! I usually watch one romantic comedy and one action for movies. For tv, it’s usually 24 or Sex and the City!
      For the 5 hour weekend, I watched Unbreakable, a documentary about the Western States 100 miler; Magic Mike; and part of the first Transformers.

  7. I typically only drink water, although I have recently started to try out those pineapple flavored coconut waters

  8. 5 hours is insanely impressive to a nonbiker! I really want a bike… Your new haircut is adorable!

  9. Amen! Wow, your reasons for enjoying the indoors are refreshing. It’s like the treadmill vs outdoor. Do what you have to do.

    I am still uber impressed at your Ironman status – you need a tattoo!

    And I watch reality TV all the time when cycling:)

  10. GAH the next 8 weeks are going to FLY by!! I think that an indoor bike trainer would be much more enjoyable for me than the treadmill. I struggle so hard with the treadmill. While nothing beats outdoor air, I like your reasons for wanting to be inside!

  11. I really do like riding the trainer, and will do trainer workouts in the summer sometimes when I want to get a focused, specific workout in (I don’t just sit and spin on a trainer). I don’t watch tv or movies though, as I can’t focus on intervals properly when I’m trying to follow a plot! I also have a lot of the Sufferfest and Spinervals videos, and they are waaaayyyy harder workouts than just riding while watching tv. If I’m going to ride indoors and sacrifice being outside (which I love) I need to make sure I’m doing it properly (for me)! The longest trainer workout I’ve done was 5.5 hours, and honestly it didn’t seem that bad… but you definitely have to work up that!

  12. You’re so dedicated, it’s really impressive. Well done. I hear ya on the safety thing. Since moving to Brighton, I really hesitate getting out on the bike, even just my regular commuter bike. I’ve just now learned to appreciate how safe Cambridge was for cyclists compared to here. I don’t know why, but even having G with me makes me feel a lot better. And like you, we’re just now waiting for the weather to get better, at last. Happy riding!

  13. Holy smokes!! Just keeps getting longer!! Way to go!! I have read a lot the pros ride trainers and ONLY ride outside during races.
    My fuel of choice is EFS a mix of coffee and vanilla flavor. It is so funny cause I have no problems drinking when I am outside but I have the hardest time drinking indoors. I would rather be outdoors for long rides but if I am just riding an hour or 2 and its a focused ride it works great.
    I guess if you are chafing more it is a good thing you finally decided to try chamois butter. 🙂

  14. WOW! First – 8 weeks – holy cow! And 2nd – you are a machine for 5 hours on the trainer! I do have to admit it makes me happy you are in there because I agree that it is much safer! Just reading this made me think that maybe I could do another half ironman if I rode mostly indoors. I’m getting very scared of riding outside (a cyclist was just killed on the road I commute to work on) and this is a good solution! Keep up the training rides! 🙂

    • So scary about the cyclist. You have to be so careful.
      You could definitely train for a half mostly on a trainer! Then head out a few weekends with a group. I didn’t think your tri retirement would last very long!

  15. runnerbydefault

    I hear you on the safety factor! That is why I am a chicken when it comes to biking. I don’t trust the traffic (or myself at times). I am definitely an indoor runner. I love to watch my shows while I run. Although with the weather warming up here, the outdoors is calling my name. It sounds like you are going into this race well prepared!! I can’t wait to hear all about it.

  16. I am so impressed with your mental and physical toughness. You are inspiring me to get on my trainer and watch a movie. ( I haven’t been on my bike since the MS150 ride last August, oops!)

    For fuel I use the EFS liquid shot and it seems to agree alright with my picky stomach.

  17. Wow, you’ve been crushing it! You’re going to do great. It’ll be here before you know it but not before you’re ready. 🙂

  18. Wow that’s some serious trainer time! Good for you!!

  19. My husband is doing Couer D’Alene! I’ll be out there with Gentry! We will have to meet up! I don’t know how y’all do it. Much respect for you. I’ll keep checking back to see how training is going!
    Emma @

  20. Pingback: My weekend: three highlights | Change of Pace

  21. Pingback: Ironman journey – Coeur d’Alene | Change of Pace

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