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Good luck on your ride.
The Tri Shop.com
Actually thinking about it - I really enjoyed doing my long rides on the trainer leading up to AZ.
Let's say I was just on the saddle for 6 hours. That's 24,120 or so revolutions.
When I have ridden "long" indoors (greater then 3 hours) my average cadence is ussually around 85. 5 hours = 25,500 revolutions... IMO, the steady firing of muscles is worth something over the "interval" efforts of riding & coasting.
IMO, I always feel my longer indoor rides have been more productive then my outdoor rides where there is traffic, stops, coasting at least in terms of building shear endurance.
However, a 5 hour indoor ride is mentally challenging and when I need to ride or run long it's my personal preference to get as far away from home as possible as not to have a mental breakdown and take a "shortcut" home... So for a 6 hour ride, I'm going 3 hours straight and turning around to be forced to go 3+ back.
Good luck if you go indoors... Best be mentally prepared the night before.
Though, as you said, the mental challenge of a long trainer ride is many times higher than a long road ride. Like running on a treadmill, it's just so easy to get bored/tired and stop.
I went 2:45 on mine last week, right after I was driven indoors by a cold rain/hail storm after 1:20. that was brutal, especially on my taint. I felt like I'd ridden 5+ even though my total was only 4.
Take everything I say with a grain of salt. I know nothing.
I am getting ready for IM right now, as I presume that you probably are too. I have some of those long trainer days coming up myself....best advice I can give is have as much visual and audio stimuli as possible! It isn't uncommon for me to have a movie on, my IPod going and the visual telemetry on another screen. It helps with the monotony of being inside.
Good luck and have a great ride!
"It is not the great things we do in life that really matter, it's the small things we do with a great heart..."-Mother Theresa
Like T says, "Remember it is all about the Bike because it is all about the Run!"
I'm an avid trainer rider...even when it's nice outside. I just like the fact that you do nothing but ride, no stoplights, no coasting - just straight pedaling.
To the OP, if you have planned on riding 6 hours - then ride 6 hours on the trainer and be better for it. More is more right? so, if people want to say the ratio is 1:1.x then you'll only be doing yourself a favor by going the full six.
I've done a large number of six hour rides on my CT (and even twice on a spin bike) - sure there are more pleasurable things, like riding outside, but pound for pound it's just too good of a workout when compared to a six hour ride outside.
Your brain also ends up working more... Even though with a solo 6H ride outside you will have to deal with boredom as well.
However, on a trainer, I would suspect your core work less since a) no need to main equilibrium and b) no need to deal with the mind.
That being said, leaving in Ottawa, I will enjoy as much as possible of outdoor riding before I even consider hitting the trainer!!
And when we say a 5 hr ride is that 5 hrs of riding time or 5 hrs fromt he time you start til you finish? I always assume 5 riding hours.
Just curious cuz this is my first IM coming up too and interested to see what people think about these longer rides.
Dig It Triathlon and Multisport
I was going to say... all this talk about "feels harder" etc is all subjective.
I sit on the trainer when I'm forced to. It is pure hell to ride HARD on a trainer for any period of time. A 1 hr workout with IF around 0.93 on a trainer is extremely difficult mentally. I just did an outdoor group ride and at the 1 hr point my IF was 0.99 and the mental cost of this was pretty low.
For those counting, that's about 80 TSS in one hour on the trainer and right at 100 TSS in one hour on the road. The same applies, probably more so, for longer rides.
So it appears this whole "trainer to road" conversion might be just a bit too personal to come up with any guideline.
Note to self: increase training load.
Dig It Triathlon and Multisport