When you think of indoor training, what's the first word that comes to mind? Chances are it's the dreaded “B-word” that rhymes with "snoring."
Since the first indoor bike trainer was invented in 1884, athletes have hunkered away in pain caves to pedal themselves into shape. These training spaces often provided minimum stimulation, rendering each workout as mentally grueling as physically. In recent years, the perception of indoor training has changed for the better, thanks in large part to the following:
1. Tech-Savvy Trainers
From cell phones to bicycle trainers, these days – everything is smarter than it used to be. This technological advancement is the driving force behind the renewed interest in indoor training. New smart trainers easily connect to a wide variety of training apps and devices for a training session like never before.
Since our early roots in trainers, we've been committed to making the best possible indoor training experience. Our newest smart trainers, the Hammer and Magnus, elevated the entertainment factor by imitating the outdoors and keeping riders better engaged thanks to a cutting-edge rapid response system and road-like feel. Plus, the Hammer and Magnus easily pair to virtual training software so that all you have to do is login, hop on and pedal.
Thanks to the seamless connectivity between bike trainer, training app and device of choice, you can kiss boredom good-bye.
Not ready to spring for a smart trainer? You can still ride with your favorite virtual training software with a non-smart trainer. All you need is a speed sensor, heart rate monitor or bike power meter to get started.
2. Training Applications
Just like bike trainer innovation, training software has vastly improved since its introduction. It used to be that the only training application available would be the one associated with the shiny new indoor trainer you just purchased. Now trainer manufacturers and software developers alike embrace an open ecosystem.
Zwift. VirtualTraining. TrainerRoad. Kinomap. The Sufferfest. Sound familiar? These are all examples of virtual training applications for cycling, each of which offers a unique approach on the sport.
Want to ride real-life routes around the world? Tag along with VirtualTraining. How about a cycling game where you can bike around volcanoes? Ride on with Zwift. Do you feel like no training ride is complete without screaming legs? Try one of The Sufferfest's videos. Prepping for a specific event? TrainerRoad's got a program for that.
No matter your choice, today's smart trainers, with integrated wireless protocols (ANT+ and/or Bluetooth), are ready to help you ride with the software you want. Grab your device of choice (iOS or Android) and get ready to be entertained.
3. Game On!
Whether you're competing against yourself or another athlete, competition makes everything more interesting. Today's virtual training applications make it easy to compete the way you want, when you want. Chase your own virtual pacer in VirtualTraining or push for the best Watopia Strava segment in Zwift. Whatever your goal, there's an app out there to help – and make it fun along the way.
With gamified features, such as the VirtualTraining Career or the virtual group ride feel of Zwift, there's an option to fit every need. Smart bicycle trainers enhance the experience by controlling the resistance you feel on the bike, so you can focus on laying down the hammer to crush the competition. Plus, integration with Strava and Training Peaks adds a social element. Because what competition is complete without some friendly trash-talk?
With a plethora of trainer-to-app combinations, simply pair your bike trainer of choice to your favorite software to yield a set-up that works best for you and your training needs. And don't forget to have a little fun. #SacrificeNothing