The above looks like algebra to most people, heck it made no sense to me till I did a bit of research. Yes this is where my training is now at, it involves research. The chart refers to heart rate zones during my exercising with Z1 which corresponds to zone 1 or the lowest level of exertion to Z5 or zone 5 which is an all out lung busting effort. As you can see above I spent 8 minutes in zone 5 with most of this particular session in zone 4 which is still a fairly strenuous zone. I am posting this for my benefit as well as yours because it corresponds with my first session on my newly acquired turbo trainer.
Now forgive the state of my bike which was filthy but I was in such a hurry to use the new elite trainer that I didn’t even clean the bike. Turbo trainers essentially allow you to use your own bike for training sessions without leaving the house which is a serious bonus when the winter weather is as wet and cold as it has been lately. This is a cheaper version of many trainers out there where you simply fasten your bike onto the roller at the back of the trainer which once rolling has a decent inertia. If you have speed and cadence sensors you can monitor these metric as you cycle. I obviously have a watch which measures heart rate which is also very useful.
Now its has to be said trainers like these can range in price from 50 euro to 1500 euro and above. The more you pay the greater the number of features and the greater the accuracy. I have to say my main concern was the level of noise that anecdotally can be quite loud when using these trainers but this has an elastogel roller which means it is very quiet. My trainer isn’t a smart trainer so cant communicate with my computer as the more expensive versions can. This means when using an online application like the incredibly popular Zwift the resistance doesn’t automatically change. This feature have been very useful but it would have involved another 200 euros of an outlay and I couldn’t justify it at this time.
When used in concert with my garmin 735XT watch which has a heart rate monitor and the speed and cadence sensors, the ride looks something like this above. Its interesting to see how over the course of the 20 km cycle my heart rate steadily increases over the first ten minutes and then maintains a peak of 160 plus over the remainder of the ride. This ride felt intense but judging by my average heart rate it was less intense than the last equivalent indoor bike ride in the gym so I’ll have to tweak things as I go. the good news is I still had more gears to go on my bike so a ramping up of intensity is possible. (The gears on your bike are what adds intensity and difficulty to your cycle).
Overall I was very pleased with the performance of the trainer, which will absolutely become an invaluable part of my training arsenal. I bought my for 133 euro which was really a steal. The benefit of using any kind of trainer is that it enables you to train more efficiently. Instead of having to suit up and head out into the traffic which invariably slows you down while enduring the cold, dark evenings, all I have to do now is hop on the bike once I’ve installed it in the trainer. I complete mysession and then its straight into the shower. There is simply no lost time and no stoppages for traffic lights and the obvious dangers that come with traffic. Now, I’m not saying I will forgo all outdoor cycling, not at all, but this trainer will allow me to complete focused targeted sessions which should bring me along as a cyclist.
Even if you aren’t especially a cycling or a triathlon enthusiast turbo trainers are a great way to stay in shape because you’ll find that fairly quickly you’ll work up a serious sweat and all in the comfort of your own abode. Actually that reminds me, I must buy a fan to help me cool down during a session.