By Nick Kleban, elite cyclist // Team Skyline
The winter months, for me at least, are synonymous with the indoor trainer. Trainer riding is super convenient for busy schedules (less prep and mess) and nowadays, platforms such as Zwift integrated with fancy smart trainers make indoor riding more and more similar to riding outdoors. One thing I feel is generally overlooked during indoor riding is proper fuelling, possibly because the consequences of bonking are nowhere as dire as out on the road. Nonetheless here a few tips to help you on your next trainer ride!
Tip #1: Hydrate!
Riding inside usually means you miss out on the cooling effect of the wind, outside which leads to increased sweating and water loss. Therefore, having lots of fluids on hand is a great idea! I try to aim for over a bottle per hour of riding on the trainer. Furthermore, I like to have electro2 tablets in my bottles to help counteract the salt lost in sweat.
Tip #2: Eat
Most trainer rides are short (45 minutes to 1.5 hrs) and in those cases, you’re normally able to get away without eating if you properly fuel before and after the rides. But for longer rides and for more intense sessions, I try to replicate how I fuel outdoors. This is approximately in the range of 0.6 -1g of carbs per hour of riding per kg of body weight. I also tend to get the necessary carbs from things I normally would eat when out riding (granola bars, Fruit2’s, bananas etc) even if I have the opportunity to eat whatever is in the fridge to better replicate outdoor riding. I also have all my food and bottles on hand so I can still eat “on-the go”.
Tip #3: Meal Prep
It’s really easy to finish up your tough session in Watopia and then immediately either raid your fridge clean of all it’s food since or stare at an open fridge wondering what to eat. To combat this, I like to have a protein shake ready to go for afterwards that I sip first before preparing a real food recovery meal.