Indoor Training Special Edition | Ask GCN Anything



Chris and James are back with another special edition Ask GCN Anything, this week focusing on your questions around indoor training. Many of us hit the turbo trainer for our winter riding and we answer your most common questions here…

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For us in the northern hemisphere winter is definitely setting in! Lots of us will be taking our cycling training indoors now, be that a spinning class or riding on a turbo trainer/rollers. In this special edition Ask GCN Anything, we cover everything you need to know about indoor training and we answer your submitted questions.

Remember to get your questions in for next week’s edition of Ask GCN. Any questions you would like answered about life on two wheels. Use #torqueback or #AskGCNTraining for your chance to win a 3-month free Zwift subscription.👇

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43 thoughts on “Indoor Training Special Edition | Ask GCN Anything

  • August 9, 2019 at 5:43 am
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    hey GCN, I have a question? does it matter if I use a compact set during my indoor training, and my actual bike for outdoor has a semi-compact set?

  • August 9, 2019 at 5:43 am
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    What is the best training for an 8+ hour event with the last 25 miles being a long climb. Most of this training will need to be done indoors due to bad weather. Any ideas

  • August 9, 2019 at 5:43 am
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    #torqueback GCN…I am utterly frustrated with cycling shorts and bibs. I've purchased several different sizes, brands, styles and the chamois doesn't sit where its supposed to be. the pads when I sit down are moving away from the sit bones forward of where they should be. I can manually adjust them but once I stand up I have to do it all over again. Is there something that I can do to fix this or am I doing something wrong?

  • August 9, 2019 at 5:43 am
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    #askgcnanything unrelated question to training. I notice Emma Pooley has a custom bond bike and that in that video she commented on suitability of 650 wheels for short riders. The Canyon ultimate has a woman’s frame with 650 wheels in the 3xs and 2xs size. Yet she no longer rides that bike and I notice she is now riding a trek in videos, is this for any particular reason?

  • August 9, 2019 at 5:43 am
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    #torqueback Hi, GCN! I tried to verify my powermeter against my indoor tranier: as 30s power my Favero Assioma Duo shows 270 watts whilst my Tacx Flux shows 250 watts. Is it ok and it's just drivetrain losses or one of powermeters lies?

  • August 9, 2019 at 5:43 am
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    #AskGCNTraining my weaknesses are sprinting and short explosive efforts. The kind of high intensity work that helps those is generally done during the build training phase closer to the racing season. Is there anything that I can do over the winter to help me to improve on the shorter efforts this early in the season? Thanks

  • August 9, 2019 at 5:43 am
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    Hi GCN. It's been a long time you guys didn't do a GCN Presenter Challenge,don't you agree? I think you should consider to do a sprint and leadout challenge among the presenters. Cheers. #AskGCNAnything

  • August 9, 2019 at 5:43 am
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    #askgcntraining for those of us who to not have the time to go out for longer rides, we can simulate the effects of a long ride through building up fatigue by going on shorter hard rides over a few days, as the legendary Matt Stephens did during his career. Can you also use a reduction of sleep in a similar manner to build up the fatigue over a few days?

  • August 9, 2019 at 5:43 am
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    If you use a non-disk wheel in a turbo, I would recommend putting a spacer into the calliper in case you accidentally pull the brake lever.

  • August 9, 2019 at 5:43 am
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    I'm new to cycling as of 2 months ago, and I'm learning a TON from the channel! Thanks! I'm also new to spin classes at my local gym (not a dedicated cycling gym). Some instructors will have 3- to 5-minute blocks throughout the class where we "go up hills" at 40-60 rpm. Is that worthwhile, or should I stay above a minimum cadence? #torqueback #AskGCNTraining

  • August 9, 2019 at 5:43 am
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    Hi. I've just bought a semi-smart turbo trainer for winter to use with Zwift. It comes with speed and cadence sensors, plus I have a heart rate monitor. My question is with these type of trainers that don't automatically change the resistance when climbing hills and use a small switch attached to handlebars, how do you know when to to use it and how to use it properly e.g. how many clicks (out of 10) for the different levels of climbs. #askGCNanything #GCNrocks

  • August 9, 2019 at 5:43 am
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    A friend I ride with has Shimano 105 5800 shift levers on his road bike, and is perpetually breaking cables inside the hood. This seems like a really strange place to have persistent cable failures, but what could be causing this issue and what can we do to extend cable life beyond half a season? #torqueback

  • August 9, 2019 at 5:43 am
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    #AskGCNTraining – I hear a lot of people talking about timing their training so they reach their 'peak' at the right time (for a race or event for example). This idea confuses me as I work under the principle that so long as I'm training (and sufficiently resting) every week, I should just get stronger and stronger, rather than fitness/form dropping off at some 'capacity' point regardless of what training I do. It's relevant to me now as I'm about to start training for a 205 mile event next summer, and if there is some sort of 'peak and trough' effect regardless of my consistent training schedule, it'd be handy to know about it! What's the deal?

  • August 9, 2019 at 5:43 am
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    #askgcntraining #torqueback hi fellas.. entertaining stuff, specially the Polish pronunciations! I have a Zwift related question: I love riding on the Wahoo, my friends aren’t so keen. Following a summer feeling really fit outdoors, I began training again indoors around the end of Sept. After a week with perhaps 4 indoor sessions my tendons and glutes became really tight.. I’ve been having physio and not ridden since then. Any tips for overcoming this repetitive tendon strain so I can enjoy Zwift without fear of further injury? I don’t suffer with this the problem outdoors. Cheers!

  • August 9, 2019 at 5:43 am
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    Hi all there. A long time mtber and 9 months roadie here. I love running and cycling, any kind, but hate going to gym. By looking your videos I learnt that playing with saddle, steam, bars and so height/length impacts a lot which muscle groups are more involved. I'm kinda fit (run marathons on 3hrs average) but my weak point is my core (posture while running goes miserable by end of race). Any advice on bike setup to focus the effort so it helps to work the core area? Would rather spend hours on the saddle than minutes in a gym. Thanks for your great videos #AskGCNTraining #torqueback

  • August 9, 2019 at 5:43 am
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    #torqueback #AskGCNTraining Are you guys from GCN organizing some Zwift events? I am more or less riding alone as not many friends owned zwift compatible trainers… feel bit alone in there even though there is 5k+ riders sometimes… I have also spotted GCN jersey passing by me in Zwift world (obviously faster then I can ever be) but watching your videos made me feel I am part of the GCN pack so how can I unlock the Zwift GCN look? Thx.

  • August 9, 2019 at 5:43 am
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    #AskGCNTraining
    I am a return road cyclist from a long 15yr spell from cycling. I bought a nice road bike by trek and been riding for about a month .. Just bought a trainer(Wahoo Kickr, not received yet) for those really rainy cold days in Houston. My question is on the cold days and warm dry days should I warm up on the trainer before I go out for a long ride.

  • August 9, 2019 at 5:43 am
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    Team gcn i am wondering is there a way to be able to get better of climbing while doing indoor training, I am wondering this question as we have started up a new team and were trying to get better at the climbing #askgcntraining

  • August 9, 2019 at 5:43 am
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    #AskGCNTraining #Torqueback
    Hi GCN. I’m attending the sportive “la Marmotte” (174 km and 5000 hm) next summer, and I’m planning to use Zwift the first 3 months next year to get my training startet. My question is, what kind of training should I focus on? I’m built like a sprinter(184 cm and 90 kg), and okay at climbing, but slow. So can you mention any specific workouts sessions/group rides/races I can do.
    Best regards Peter.

  • August 9, 2019 at 5:43 am
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    I'm thinking of taking a break from racing as I didn't enjoy it a whole lot this year. I enjoy identifying as a cyclist though…Do you think I could still consider myself a cyclist if I am just riding but not racing? #torqueback

  • August 9, 2019 at 5:43 am
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    #ASKGCNTRAINING
    I'm getting ready to buy my first road bike. I'm currently riding my old mountain bike. Is it beneficial to train on the substantially heavier bike or just hurry up and get the road bike? I love everything GCN does keep up the good work.

  • August 9, 2019 at 5:43 am
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    #torqueback Hi guys, now that the winter nights are here I keep on swapping the rear wheel tyre to a trainer tyre to use on my indoor trainer during the week and swapping back to a normal tyre for the weekend rides outside. I do struggle, though, to get the rear wheel perfectly aligned on QR skewers? The rear wheel looks to be off by a couple of mm. Should I be worried about this? ANy tips on making sure it's perfectly aligned?

  • August 9, 2019 at 5:43 am
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    I know GCN dare not suggest another training platform but for track riding use Bkool velodrome sessions and the hour record

  • August 9, 2019 at 5:43 am
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    #AskGCNTraining If I'm off the bike for two weeks my HR tends to be higher by about 10 BPM than it had been even though the perceived effort is the same. Should I pull back a bit or stay with the power and perceived effort and let the HR catch up on it's own.

  • August 9, 2019 at 5:43 am
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    #torqueback #AskGCNTraining I find that when I train inside, I become desensitized to the feeling of riding up a hill. My body gets used to riding with my bike on level ground. How often should I raise my front wheel in my wheel block above parallel, and how high is too high?

  • August 9, 2019 at 5:43 am
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    #torqueback Hi GCN, I'm 50yrs old and have a max heart rate of 189bpm (this was tested during a recent VO2 max bike medical). Although I am currently healthy and not placing my heart under undue stress, are there any training techniques to help lower my heart rate / help make it stronger or more efficient?

  • August 9, 2019 at 5:43 am
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    #torqueback I have been getting knee pain. Physio and bike fit have been regularly checked but it is from too much riding. I want to maintain and even improve my form. What exercises and activities can I do off the bike which will help the muscles and fitness needed for when I am on the bike?

  • August 9, 2019 at 5:43 am
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    #AskGCNTraining #torqueback Do you need to do crazy long rides to train for a long race, i.e. 200 miles. I just can't seem to find motivation to do training rides over 60-70 miles. Of course this is even worse during winter months on the trainer, even with the miracle of #Zwift.

  • August 9, 2019 at 5:43 am
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    Hey Chris & James – you got the wrong answer on the very first question – the one about lower out-of-the-saddle sprint power on the indoor trainer vs power on the real road. But don't feel bad – I have never read the actual reason anywhere – I only just solved it myself! 😉 First the tl;dr: this will always be the case and it is actually impossible for any trainer to duplicate the conditions of real on the road sprinting. Sorry. Blame physics. Actually "GCN does Science" should have caught this at some point! Maybe Emma could solve it if she thought about it – she' s some kind of engineer, isn't she? Anyway, I just got my first smart trainer, a Tacx Neo Smart about a month ago and I'm loving it. FTP is up 12% so far! However, I find it really hard to stand and put down power – it's awkward to stand or to sit back down when the slope goes from +10 to -8 in two pedal strokes. winnetou93's question got me thinking about it. I thought why should this be – it's the same frame so my position is the same, but there is a difference – I don't have an on-bike power meter but I don't need one to know something is going on here. So the bike's the same – what's different? What are the forces acting on the bike and me? There's gravity … vertical force, but that seems to be the same in both cases. There's (AHA!) acceleration on the road; there's NONE on the trainer!! I think I'm onto something here … So outdoors when I stand and stomp, the bike accelerates on each pedal stroke. In my moving frame of reference, I experience this as a force pulling me backwards. I counter this by pulling with my arms, holding myself relatively stationary to the bike, but the arms pulling down gives the legs more to press against and I can make make bunches of power. On good days, I call this "Endless Power Syndrome" !! Now when I put my Cervelo on my Tacx and ride Zwiftly and try to sprint, there's no relative force pulling me backwards when I try to pull with my arms so if I keep pulling, I end up with my nose on the stem. Before this happens, of course, I and everyone else on a trainer backs off and makes LESS power. THIS is the DEFINITIVE ANSWER to this MYSTERY !! Instead of your power at the pedals propelling the bike forward, you remain stationary while 32 neodymium magnets warm up while dumping your power as heat into the atmosphere. This lack of relative force pulling you backward on the bike that a trainer can never replicate is also why it feels so awkward to stand and pedal and sit again. And it's why INDOOR out of the saddle power is always lower. Seated power is affected much less since on a trainer you still have the saddle to press against. 😉 You're welcome!!

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