Growing up, our mother's cry was "take it outside" as we wrestled and played as rambunctious boys. Luckily for her, the brothers have all grown and fled the coop, because these days it has become quite the thing to take it inside. Inside to the indoor trainer that is. Hook up the smart trainer - there are some great choices on the marketplace and they are clever little beasties these days - connect your screen into the internet and select your platform of choice, be it Fulgaz, Zwift or the like, and join people from all over the world in a virtual battle.
If the atmosphere and motivation of a room full of people is more your thing, and it is for many of us, then the spin class or ergo session options abound as well. Special mention goes to Melbourne locals Rob Crowe and the crew at Ridewiser who offer a super tough training session but also skills sessions and epic adventures on the road to build on that fitness.
As lives and roads get busier, if we are injured or if the weather is unkind, then it is fantastic to have so many good options to encourage and support us to get in the saddle. There is plenty of evidence that the specificity and focus of indoor training can also be hugely beneficial to fitness, and anyone who has done interval work indoors will attest to this. And to the online platforms for helping make long sessions indoors enjoyable instead of excruciating.
Notable too, are the pro riders using these systems for fitness or when injured. Watching Matt Hayman win the 2016 Paris Roubaix on the back of six weeks of indoor training post injury was not only one of the great moments in sport, but testament to the efficacy of indoor trainers for fitness .
So while there is nothing quite like the great outdoors and the coffee stop with the peloton afterwards, it is wonderful to have some real options for when circumstances dictate the need.
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