Professional athlete and 3-time Ironman champion

Compu Trainer City Season

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It was bound to happen sooner or later. Of course, I’d hoped for later. But this morning? November 5? It snowed in Metro Boston. Not much, mind you. But some. Enough to make the morning news. Enough to make me realize that winter is all but here. Enough to make me just a little bit sad.

With winter around the corner, we took to doing some of the things that winter requires of us; we brought out the winter coats from storage. DaveyG made a batch of his famous, award winning chili, and Riley the Wonderdog slept (which, come to think of it, is no different that her summer afternoons.....)

As we head toward winter, the nights get longer, the days get shorter and the thermometer drops. It’s right around this time of year where the split between indoor and outdoor bike miles starts to tip toward the direction of the former, with limited opportunity for the latter.

This is a tragedy for some. But not for me. I often get made fun of by my fellow pro triathletes, “You and your Compu Trainer.....”

Yes, it’s true, and I am proud to admit it....I love my Compu Trainer. Even in the summer months when we have nearly unlimited access to outdoor riding, I will do at least one, if not 2 or more of my bike sessions on the Compu Trainer. I believe it is one of the most functional cycling tools I have at my disposal.

Versatile in the workouts you can create.

Safe from traffic and distractions of the road.

Educational in giving you instant feedback about your technique.

Controlled and easy to replicate workout after workout to compare results and chart progress.

Still many an athlete will roll their eyes at the idea of spending more than 20 minutes on a trainer. So I thought it would be educational to offer a tour of what I refer to as “Compu Trainer City”; the essentials to make indoor bike miles not only tolerable, but actually enjoyable!

So, you have your basic set up.

setup

 

I prefer a well-­‐lit room with reasonable ventilation. A mat of sorts; preferably rubber based (as opposed to a towel or other absorbent material) is essential, not only for basic hygiene purposes, but to keep you from inching around when you are throwing down monster wattage. If banished by your spouse to the basement, just be sure the air quality is good, and be sure to add a few “creature comforts” to make the space your own.

I have my Compu Trainer set up next to a window.

window 

The purpose of this is 3-­‐fold.

  1. 1)  I have the best access to good air-­‐flow, if need be. Sure, there are the days I close the window and door and turn the heat up, but most days, I want some nice, fresh O2, so proximity to the window is paramount.

  2. 2)  Scenery. Let’s face it....being trapped in a windowless room is boring as hell. Some people say it “makes you strong”, but the fact is, if your space is not someplace that is appealing to you....you won’t get the job done, so don’t torture yourself! So I am positioned by the window where I can watch passers by on the sidewalks, and even see flights take off from Logan Airport (depending on the flight pattern that day).

  3. 3)  And third, a window provides the all important nutrition shelf:

 nutritionledge

 

The nutrition shelf is key. For longer rides, I plan out how many bottles I’ll need, and I can chart my progress my seeing ‘how many bottles down....how many bottles to go’. Silly? Maybe. But it’s the little things.

Not every workout is the same on the Compu Trainer. Some require use of the computer, but some are done with use of just the handheld.

 handheldsetup

 

My DaveyG, being the nifty, handy husband he is build me a little stand for my handheld. Right at eye level, and easy to reach. Pretty crafty there DaveyG!

For the long rides, there’s the all-­‐important media center.

 

 

 mediasetup

 

TV (complete with over 900 channels....and still sometimes nothing's on), computer for rides where the Compu Trainer course video is essential, and the iPod doc.

And if you have the media center, you absolutely must have the Remote Control Stool.

 

 

 remotestool

 

Easy access. The R.C.S. also doubles and nutrition shelf spillover space. You know....just in case. It’s also a handy spot for the cell phone. While focus is always on the workout, it’s nice to be able to check in with Ironman.com on race days or with Facebook when the hours tick past 5 in Compu Trainer City!

People often ask....what do you THINK ABOUT on the Compu Trainer for that long. Don’t you get BORED?

Well....sure. Sometimes. But it’s an endurance sport. You need to be a little resilient....to dig deep....to battle against some of the mental demons that tell you to stop. To quit. That what you’ve done is good enough. But race day toughness starts here. In Compu Trainer City. In November. When there’s no one to chase. No crowds to cheer. No finish line to get to. With no one looking....it all starts here.

So the special sauce that makes it all come together? A little inspiration.......

 inspiration

 

Go get ‘um this year. You AND your Compu Trainer! 

Persistence. Determination. Love. The Journey!

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