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Why is Riding on a Trainer Harder?

This time of year, a lot of athletes are indoors on bike trainers due to weather. One very common question I am asked is "why does it seem so much harder to ride on a trainer than ride outside? "The reason is simple: it is!Why is Rdiding on a Trainer Hard?From a physiology perspective, the trainer is more energetically demanding than the road.

The main reasons for this are as follows:

1. Rolling resistance is different
The flywheel will decelerate your bike a lot more quickly than the road. This requires constant pedaling, which requires constant pedaling, which is an increased level of muscle activation.

2. Reduced rate of convective cooling
On a trainer, the usual source of convective cooling is provided by a fan. When riding outside, the athlete is generating "wind" that is equal to their speed moving forward. This overall reduction in your ability to shed body heat (reduce core temperature) will increase the RPE of any session.

3. Lack of "moving" or "shifting" around on the bike
While riding outside, we are constantly shifting in position for various reason (comfort, change of intensity, terrain, traffic, etc...). When we are on the trainer, those small and often subtle shifts are not required, leaving "comfort" as the main reason to change body position. As discomfort in the seat area increases, so does RPE.

4. Lack of "moving" or "rocking" the bike
When we are outside, we move the bike underneath us. Not only in a forward fashion by pedaling, but from side-to-side. When we do this outside, it changes the recruitment pattern of the muscles being used, to include activating additional muscles that are not used while "sitting" on the trainer.

FTP Challenge: 5-week cycling program that will increase your FTP!

3 Swim Training Tips

Today, we have three pretty solid swim training tips for you to checkout! Hopefully they will provide some interesting things for you to think about when it comes to your swim training.



These swim tips were originally posted in the Tower 26 blog by swim coach Gerry Rodrigues. The full article can be found here:


Doing More Than the Bare Minimum?

JJ WattI saw an interesting interview a few weeks ago on Sportscenter with JJ Watt, a defensive end for the Houston Texans. I've typed up the most important part of the interview below, it lays out the roadmap to high performance. While he is a football player, playing a team sport, he was talking about himself as an athlete and trying to become the best athlete he/she possibly can. His words apply to anyone wants to be great at what they are doing, whether it be in sports, business or your personal life.

"The only way you're going to get better is if you put in the work. And if you do the bare minimum, you just go out the practice, you just do what you told to do and that's it, you're going to get bare minimum results. If you want to be great, you have to go above and beyond, and do whatever it takes to be great." - JJ Watt

In triathlon terms, this is referring to the "extra" work that must be put in to get the most out of your athletic ability. This doesn't necessarily mean adding additional workouts, it could, but that is not the main point of this post.

In triathlon and endurance sports, it also means doing the small things that your body needs to fully recover between sessions. Activities such as foam rolling, active stretching, supplemental strength exercises, proper nutrition and enough sleep are a few examples for the extra work that would account for extra work.

Do you make time in your busy schedule to get in the extra work or are you just doing the bare minimum?

Coach Ryan