Fed up of getting home late from work and having to pick between Netflix and training? Ultra-endurance cyclist, Laura Scott, explains why indoor training is the best way to get fit, especially when you are stretched for time.
I have personally always struggled with balancing work and training, add family, friends and other commitments into the equation, and some days it can feel impossible to get out and ride. On weekdays I would often get up at 4:45am to try and do a few laps of a local park before work, but to be honest I never felt like I was getting quality training in, and by the time 7pm rolled around I was usually ready for bed.
There are lots of different schools of thought on training; my approach as an endurance cyclist was always to ride as much as possible. This was obviously not sustainable, especially as I travel a lot for work and 14+ hour days are the norm. It was frustrating that even with the best intentions, I was finding it hard to stick to any kind of training plan.
Eventually, I admitted defeat and turned to indoor training. I had resisted for ages because I believed it would be boring and didn’t see how it would benefit endurance, but the first time I tried the Wattbike Atom, I realised my preconceptions had been wrong.
So here are the 4 reasons why you should use a Wattbike to train if you have a busy schedule.
It’s time-efficient If you don’t have the luxury of 25 hours a week to ride your bike, indoor training can help you make the most out of the odd hour here and there that you do have. With a Wattbike, you can simply jump straight on the trainer and spend more time actually pedalling, minimising the wasted time. For example, you can get in a warm-up, 20 to 30 minutes of intervals, and a cool-down without worrying about getting out to an open road.
It’s better quality Through the Wattbike hub app, there are loads of training programs to pick from. They cover everything from riding your first sportive, to training for Haute Route one of the toughest amateur cycling events. They make sure you have no junk miles… or in other words, it allows you to spend more time in key heart rate or power zones, with no time lost to stopping at junctions or freewheeling down the hills. It is all about quality over quantity.
It’s smarter One of the most impressive things about the Atom is its ability to measure hundreds of data points every second. These get uploaded into your personal Wattbike Hub page - where you can evaluate your performance and track your cycling goals. As an amateur cyclist, I don’t take the data too seriously, but get a lot of enjoyment out of seeing how I am improving and what I need to improve. Other than heart rate, power and the usual stats, the Atom also measures PES otherwise known as your Pedal Effectiveness Score. This measures your net force and predicts your gross force alongside a sliding scale for each leg. The colour-coded breakdown acts as a guide, to stay within green for the most effective use of power. This real-time data makes it possible to tweak your pedal technique ‘live’ until efficient cycling becomes second nature overall helping you to become a better cyclist.
It’s fun Despite what people would have you believe, indoor training can be fun! After a long day at work, I find nothing helps me to clear my head better than 45-60 minutes on the Wattbike. There is a wide variety of training plans to pick from, so I rarely find myself doing the same thing twice. From cadence drills, hill reps, speed intervals, over-unders… all which will help enhance your cycling fitness, and make the time fly by. Plus it certainly beats riding around a park by yourself in the freezing cold, dark and rain.
About the author:
Laura Scott is a Canadian ultra-endurance cyclist based in London. She picked up cycling six years ago after deciding to do a charity ride from Paris to London. She immediately fell in love with endurance cycling and became a bit obsessed with the idea of cycling across countries. In 2016 she took part in the Trans America bike race and rode over 2200 miles unsupported after fracturing her collarbone and dislocating her shoulder after being hit by a car. She has since taken part in a number of endurance events including The TransAtlantic Way, LEJOG, and North Coast 500 amongst others.