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bike trainer time vs road time
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 Just picked up the Feb issue of Triathlete Mag. So I found an interesting "rule of Thumb" when it comes to time spent riding on a stationary trainer vs time spend riding on the road.

The bike stationary trainer is worth 1.5 times the time spend biking on the road. Of course you don't get the climbing or bike handling skills on the trainer.

The example given in the article (Trainer Time pg 106) 3:20 Trainer time is = 5 hours of road time.

I feel better already.
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Re: bike trainer time vs road time [tri-ski] [ In reply to ]
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I find spending time on my trainer a ton harder than riding outdoors, the same goes for treadmill running.

Nothing is as hard as the "year end review" and self evaluation for work that I'm supposed to be doing right now though. I hate this crap.
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Re: bike trainer time vs road time [tri-ski] [ In reply to ]
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I also read this article and read something similar in the past that equated every hour on the trainer to 1 1/2 hours on the road. Just curious, as I've been doing 5-6 hours of trainer rides a week, does this mean I can log in 7.5 to 9 hours on my training log? Does anyone here on the twitch make it a practice to give themselves the conversion hours in their log?



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Re: bike trainer time vs road time [tri-ski] [ In reply to ]
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My time on my computrainer has much more quality than riding on the road. You get more data (watts, rpm, HR etc) that you can watch so your training is more efficient and effective.


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Re: bike trainer time vs road time [tri-ski] [ In reply to ]
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Wow, so my many 7hr trainer rides were actually more like 10.5hrs? SWEET ;-) AP

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"How bad could it be?" - SimpleS
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Re: bike trainer time vs road time [Orcaman] [ In reply to ]
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I have to agree with every word you said Orcaman. I live in Florida where I can virtually ride all year long outdoors but I choose to do very focused quality type workouts on my CompuTrainer. Most of my friends don't understand but I think it's definitely made me stronger and has helped speed up my recovery from being hit last April. Furthermore, my wife and kids love that dads at home riding rather than out possibly being hit again. Everyone wins in my household and everyone's happy at the end of the day.



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Re: bike trainer time vs road time [QuintanaRooster] [ In reply to ]
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while I do believe that trainer time is more efficient than time on the road, I log it the same. 1:1.

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Re: bike trainer time vs road time [QRgirl] [ In reply to ]
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It would nice if this ratio is accurate....I know its mentally harder to ride a trainer but always wondered if the ratio is accurate....i.e. if my plan says ride 4 hrs am I going to prepared for my race as well if I only ride 3 hrs on the trainer and still be prepared as if I would have rode 4 hrs outside...I know this is debatable, nice if someone did some research of some sort to know this answer scientifically...

Michael in Kansas
"Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit"
"Its not whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get up" Lombardi
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Re: bike trainer time vs road time [tri-ski] [ In reply to ]
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I get good workouts on an exercise bike at the gym but have a hard time doing it on a trainer. My average HR is always lower on the trainer.

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Re: bike trainer time vs road time [QuintanaRooster] [ In reply to ]
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Your training logs are for you. It's up to you how you want to record it. Nobody but you really cares if you worked out for 25 hours this week 27 hours. Personally, I'd rather be honest with myself. If I ride 1hr on the trainer I record it as one hour and then make a note that it was on the trainer. At the end of the week or year I like to see that i spent XXX hours riding. If I write down 90 minutes when I'm only on the trainer for 60 minutes I'm basically lying to myself at the end of the year. Just my .02 though.
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Re: bike trainer time vs road time [tri-ski] [ In reply to ]
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I should let the more knowledgeable people speak on this topic, but I will chime in anyway. I am pretty sure the 1.5:1 ratio was developed before the advent of power meters. It most likely takes into account the fact we have a tendency to coast, or we have to coast, more on the road while the trainer pedaling is continuous. Thus, lower pnorm and KJ's.

With that said, if you have a power meter, a 60-minute ride with avg Watts X, and a pnorm of Y and a KJ output of Z is the same whether it is on the road or on the trainer. Chances are though you will put out more focused power on the trainer as you don't coast. However, it seems people can sustain harder efforts outdoors which may offset coasting. So, take the 1.5:1 ratio for what it is worth.
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Re: bike trainer time vs road time [AndyPants] [ In reply to ]
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You are my hero!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

peace

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Re: bike trainer time vs road time [sxevegan] [ In reply to ]
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I have been logging in my trainer workouts in real time as I, like you, would feel like I was cheating myself but I still believe that my 1 hour trainer workouts are of higher intensity and better quality than my 1 hour road rides. The only exception is if I were to go out and do a high effort group ride "balls to the walls" with my roadie friends. But I think these kind of work-outs are counterproductive to me and how I train for tris.



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Re: bike trainer time vs road time [tri-ski] [ In reply to ]
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Like others here I book it 1 to 1. However I tend to do more sessions indoors, even in the summer as I find them more effective.

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Re: bike trainer time vs road time [tri-ski] [ In reply to ]
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I post 1 for 1 for stationary rides but I track my miles as indicated on the YMCA Cybex stationary bikes. For spin class days or days on my trainer in the basement, I estimate 18 mph avg for my time. In the wintertime, nearly all my miles are on one of the indoors methods just listed, or on my 40lb MTB....so 130 miles a week in winter is more than 130 miles in the summer. I do keep track of bike time as needed to sum each weeks workout time.
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Re: bike trainer time vs road time [tri-ski] [ In reply to ]
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I do not know what the ratio is or the 1.5 is correct but riding my CT is always harder and I get more out of it because I do not have to deal with traffic, weather,etc..If you are after structured training there is nothing better than a CT.
The only difference is it is a lot harder to sit on the bike because there is less give and flexing on the trainer and the seat feels hard as a rock.

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Re: bike trainer time vs road time [tri-ski] [ In reply to ]
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from a physiological standpoint 10 min on the road and 10 min on the trainer everything being equal is equal.

Brian Stover
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Re: bike trainer time vs road time [tri-ski] [ In reply to ]
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I wonder what exactly accunts for the ratio?

I know when riding outside, after riding the winter inside, that stick out to me ...

1. Riding outside there are times when you can coast and maintain your speed. I know on one of my routes there is a downhill section where I can essentially coast for almost a mile and not have my speed decrease much. Obviously, on teh trainer, you stop pedalling and your speed goes to zero. I wonder how much "actual" time outdoors is spent coasting, even for just a few seconds at a time? And how much "coasting distance" that adds up to?

2. Perhaps the first thing that "slaps me in the face" when riding outside is the headwind, which around here is usually 15-25mph. I don't feel that trainer time adequaltely prepares one/me for riding into the wind. On days when it's very strong, it can be downright demoralizing ... even if countered by the same tailwind (although it doesn't last nearly as long as the headwind).

I don't think that "bike handling" accounts for much, because I doubt that very many of us that ride indoors in the winter, are swerving all over the road onec we get outside.

I will say compared to the trainer, time outside flies, even if you don't get to watch TV while you're riding.

=======================
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Each evening offers judgement. --
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Re: bike trainer time vs road time [tri-ski] [ In reply to ]
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Even if this is only fairly accurate, it makes me feel better about my trainer workouts. I'm not getting much time outside due to my work schedule and time of year (wake up in the dark, come home in the dark).
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Re: bike trainer time vs road time [tri-ski] [ In reply to ]
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I'm with Desert Dude on this. It may make you feel great and inflate your training log stats to think an hour on the trainer is equal to an hour and a half outside, but there are no shortcuts. Sure, you can't coast on the trainer, but for most people, perceived exertion is so much higher on the trainer relative to the same actual workload outside, that you may not really be getting as good a workout as you think you are.

If some people have better results from the trainer than riding outside, it's only because they are likely to be more focused and structured about the workout than training outside.
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Re: bike trainer time vs road time [tri-ski] [ In reply to ]
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For me the terrain of my outside ride, hills and crossroads, calls for more stopping and coasting so the sustained effort I get on the Computrainer is more consistent. Of course I still take a quick break every 30 minutes to wipe up the puddles. I just log it the same but realize the effort is more on the trainer. A total of 13 hours on the Computriner this week is tuff though. Looking forward to Spring already.

Jim
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Re: bike trainer time vs road time [tri-ski] [ In reply to ]
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I have wondered about this as I have done a fair amount on the turbo over the last year. I have even done some 3hr+ rides on it this year which is a record for me. I have powermeter but it is set up on my tri bike which is only used on the turbo during the winter so I cannot validate this theory. From the knowledge I have can though I would say that work on the turbo is probably more constant - whihc is why it is great for intervals whilst an out door ride is generally varies in intensity a bit more - so the Normalised power / effective training stress may actually be quite simalar.
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Re: bike trainer time vs road time [tri-ski] [ In reply to ]
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Using TSS, generally 1:1, however I can get more trainer miles in than on the road because I am not stopping

I use 1.5h = 2h
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Re: bike trainer time vs road time [tri-ski] [ In reply to ]
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I also agree that for training logs, you just put the time you actually trained. No need to inflate it because you rode indoors.
If its about bragging rights, Im more more impressed with the guy who breaks 4:15 half IM or 2:00 Olympic on 5 hours of riding than the guy who rides 10 hours/week.

The trainer allows you to get the work done, take recovery, and do it again. No stop lights, commuting to trails, etc. I do most of my training on the trainer, and use my MTB and 1 group ride in the summer to maintain/improve skills. The trainer rides are done on the TT bike, so i get plenty of time in the aero position.
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Re: bike trainer time vs road time [tri-ski] [ In reply to ]
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I don't keep a log so I have no idea how to log trainer hours.

My trainer is a VRT so I have the climbs, wind, coasting downhills and even drafting during a race. So I guess my time would be 1:1. Although the trainer workouts are harder since I'm racing against others for up to an hour. My road rides are alone.

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Paul
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