It’s that time of year when outdoor rides are calling your name and trainer sessions seem slightly less desirable.

Trainer rides are definitely a good value when time is of the essence and you need to keep your training flexible to meet the demands of your family and career.  Here are some tips if you are riding inside:

  • With the convenience of training indoors, sometimes we forget to fuel properly.  Studies have shown that some athletes training indoors chronically underfuel, forgetting to pre-load with a balanced meal 3 to 4 hours out or topping up with a hit of Glyco-Durance before hopping on the trainer and underestimating the length of time or intensity of the session.  Make sure you dial in an adequate amount grams of carbohydrates per hour needed for your session to maximize every minute spent training.
  • Also in the “What to do before category” – make sure you are taking in enough electrolytes throughout the day and day prior to a long trainer session.  Electrolytes are needed for proper energy balance, regulate nerve and muscle function, balance pH levels and help rebuild damaged tissue.  Regardless of your sweat rate and composition, it is important to supplement – especially for endurance athletes who through training, lose more than they can maintain via their diet.  Adding some Electro-Durance or Hydra-Durance in a water bottle will do the trick ro keep you balanced.
  • Pro-Tip – add a fan to your indoor training space so you can decrease the humidity, heat, lower your sweat rate and core temperature! With less airflow, your core temperature increases, your sweat pools and doesn’t evaporate which leads to overheating and a decrease in performance.  Drinking Glyco-Durance or Hydra-Durance during the session can help combat these effects.  You should aim for at least one 750 ml water bottle per hour and even more if you are riding with intensity.
  • Vitamin D! Training indoors means lack of sunlight, lack of sunlight equals a lack of Vitamin D.  There are a host of studies that show the impact of a Vitamin D deficiency. We know that Vitamin D regulates calcium in the body and that there is a strong relationship between Vitamin D and bone health, but did you know that Vitamin D concentrations are associated with muscle function, immune response and overall absorption of nutrients?  While recommended supplemental daily amounts vary with age, gender and athletic pursuits, for athletes it is recommended to take 1000-2000 IU per day.  Consult with your medical professional to find the daily amount that it right for you.
  • Don’t delay your recovery! It is easy to hop off your trainer and get busy with hous ehold duties, rushing off to work or tend to family matters.  Have your Rehab 3:1 recovery drink ready to go in the fridge so it is icy cold and delish!

As you ramp up the volume and begin to train outside, the duration of sessions increases and so does the energy expenditure. Here’s some things to be mindful of so you can have a smoother transition as you head outside:

  • Faster evaporation due to increased air flow means more sweat! Cold air is much dryer and it just can’t hang on to moisture like warm air. So the colder the temperature, the more quickly water in the environment evaporates.
  • Increased respiration leads to being dehydrated. When you breathe out, moisture from these tissues is expelled and every breath in brings in drying air. This makes the simple act of breathing a contributing factor to fluid loss during the colder months and colder temps. So even if you don’t feel thirsty or your core temp isn’t elevated, it is important to stay hydrated!
  • Higher cognitive load means your brain needs more fuel to make split second decisions. Never underestimate the amount of energy your brain expends when riding outside. Indoors you don’t need to worry about external factors like cars, hidden driveways, being door’d, dogs..etc.
  • Bring extra Glyco-Durance or Hydra-Durance with you in a small ziplock in the event that your ride ends up being longer than anticipated. You can get water from almost anywhere and last thing you want is to bonk with 20km to go. Never get behind on your fuel strategy.
  • Have your Rehab 3:1 recovery drink ready to go as you walk in the door, get into dry clothes right away and begin your recovery process.

Regardless of your training preference, whether you are a dedicated indoor pilot or prefer the brisk, wind-in-your-face outdoors, make sure you are fueling to your potential!  Happy training!

Did you know? All Triathlon BC members receive an INSTANT 15% discount across the entire F2C Nutrition range when they use code TRIBC2023. Hit the link below to start your journey with the F2C Nutrition family.