Indoor training by the pro's!

Winter has arrived, and for some, that means hibernating on their indoor trainers whilst the bad weather passes. We caught up with Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling rider Damien Clayton, to find out why his indoor sessions are just as important as those outdoors.

The turbo has and will remain a key part of my training going forward into the 2021 season. It's been especially important during the 2020 season with lockdown restrictions and also staying connected with the team and all our partners.

I enjoy the turbo because of the physical training benefits and efficiency it delivers. There are absolute physiological benefits to doing back to back turbo rides too, so I like to do a block of training on the turbo when it suits my plan. I also like the fact that there’s a constant pedal inertia so there’s no time to free wheel. I'm certain this has developed my pedalling efficiency and technique. As well as all the training benefits, I enjoy the simplicity of the turbo, I put bibs on, chamois cream, shoes and my heart rate monitor on and I’m ready to go! There’s normally no need to wash the bike and that cassette keeps cleaner for longer! So all in all, less washing, which is always good. It's sometimes just quicker and easier to hit the turbo, even when the weather is decent.

It is a super focused way to train, there is much less going on when compared to the road. It’s so easy to clock watch all the way through and see every second and 3-second power reading which makes you over concentrate sometimes, but it really does help me focus. I can focus and deliver intervals down to the second and don’t have to worry about road conditions or potential dangers on the road. You can go full gas with every fibre in your body and not risk falling over at the side of the road post effort; which I have done before.

I took part in the Zwift Academy workouts/races and segment rides recently and I’ve clocked up a lot of hours and virtual miles on the turbo. Part of my pre ride ritual is to apply the chamois cream by veloskin, it’s as important to me as any other piece of clothing or piece of equipment. That being said, I have not had one saddle sore or experienced any discomfort or chaffing on the road or on the turbo. This was something I thought I’d never say as saddle sores were a constant reality as part of my training and sometimes hurt more than the efforts I had to do. Post ride I normally apply the soothing gel too, in order to aid a little recovery and help cool down the muscles after some hard efforts. It’s definitely vanity but I’ve also been keeping up the shaved leg look as no one can deny how good freshly shaven legs are under the sheets at night!

I was sceptical when the guys at veloskin informed me that the shaving balm could stem the re-growth of hair a little, but this really is the case. I use the shaving cream in the shower and post shave lotion after and I only have to do this every week instead or every other day when not using the products.

For me, the turbo is a necessity, and it suits me, being able to hone in and focus on the efforts, I can numb out the pain and monotony of indoor training quite easily, but I know for others it can be a really dull and boring way to train. Here's a few things I like to do to keep indoor training fun:

1. Use a platform like zwift and explore every route it has to offer this keeps the training fresh and more interesting when passing the animals of each zwift world.

2. Combine the turbo with your favourite podcasts/music or Netflix series! I do all three depending on the workout.

3. Mix up what you wear on the turbo. This sounds rudimentary, but having a fresh luft on a newly bought cap can provide the necessary morale for that z2 ride.

4. Join a community and your friends for the virtual rides. This can be using zoom/video calling and or the group rides on Zwift. It’s always nice to catch up with friends and that’s a good way to remain connected. Also try your hand at some of the races with friends, there’s a lot of motivation with the prospect of beating one of your friends to the KOM line.

5. No one is finding something fun if they aren’t comfortable. Keep your environment cool to limit sweat overload and make sure you're siting comfortably on the saddle and connected to the bars. I can definitely recommend using the veloskin chamois cream, especially when you're seated and sweating for so long!