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This polar vortex that has been hitting so much of the U.S. has really been messing with my workout grove. I have been on some short walks outside, but mostly my outside time consists of saying a prayer as I do a weird shuffle run from whatever building I’m at to my car. My new bike trainer has been a cardio lifesaver this winter as I’ve been able to get solid workouts in no matter what the weather outside is.

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I set the trainer up in my living room (right in front of the doors to my porch so I can look outside as I bike!) so I can watch TV as I ride. I’ve found that Criminal Minds and NCIS make excellent viewing while on the trainer, as the intensity of that show is naturally in flux. In the calm moments my legs slow down a bit, and when the show hits really intense moments, my legs fly! Those shows provide a great interval workout!

I’ve done a mix of shorter (30-40 minute) rides, along with some long rides (my longest so far has been a 1 hour 50 minute ride a few hours after getting home from Ecuador). This is what I tend to do:

  • Shorter rides: Interval workouts. I either let it happen naturally if I’m watching a show that is likely to guide the workout, or I’ll watch the clock and “sprint” for a minute or two, then go lighter for a minute, and continue to rotate between the sprint and slower rotations for 30ish minutes.
  • Longer rides: I do these just like my long rides outside. Slow and steady…

Once or twice I’ve read on the bike for part of the time, and that has helped. If I am trying to catch up with a friend or family member, I’ll sometimes call on one of my longer rides (and warn them that I’m biking so that if I’m out of breath a bit they don’t wonder what I’m up to!). Between reading, talking, and watching TV, the time flies by surprisingly quickly!

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Riding on the trainer is certainly not as good as the real deal, but it’s allowed me to keep my bike fitness so far this winter when riding outside wouldn’t happen. It’s also allowed me to work on fueling for rides in the comfort of my own home. I’m hoping to get in some longer rides this winter as I continue to train for my half marathon!

Now it’s your turn to share! Have you ever tried a bike trainer or a stationary bike? What’s one of your favorite at home & indoor workouts for the winter? 

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