Many of us continue indoor cycling during the long winter months. Some people spin in their living room, while others train in their garage. Some people even cycle in their unheated backyard shack. That’s the case for at least one Cycling Avenue employee. During those many hours pedaling away in the saddle, daydreaming about warm weather and moving forward like our Zwift character, we give our 110% effort (or 60%, depending on the energy level) and sometimes adopt behaviors which may have unknown consequences. To avoid unpleasant surprises, here are three tips to restart your outdoor season on the right foot.
When riding indoors, it’s important to maintain the same neck angle as when riding outdoors. Placing your tablet, laptop, or monitor at eye level will help you avoid a lot of neck pain in the spring.
Many people make the mistake of putting their devices on a table below their typical field of vision outdoors and end up with discomfort on the first few outings because the neck muscles aren’t used to supporting the head in this position.
Several solutions are available to remedy the situation; there are tablet supports that can be attached to your handlebars, or opt for a good old-fashioned music lectern that will support your tablet as well.
To ensure an efficient return without any aches and pains, it’s important to devote part of your training time to strengthening your muscles. Climbing a hill on Zwift doesn’t stimulate the same muscles as when you’re actually climbing a hill outdoors.
Outside, you can feel your abdominal muscles contracting, along with your lower back, biceps and triceps flexing as you climb. You’ll likely experience less of that when you’re climbing in front of your screen. Therefore, it’s important to keep these muscles activated. Don’t neglect to strengthen your buttocks and legs in order to get back on the road as smoothly as possible.
If you have access to a personal trainer, follow their advice based on your established goals. Alternatively, here are some exercises that can easily be integrated into your routine;