chris carmichael

New year - refreshed motivation

Indoor training, rolling on a trainer is maybe one of the biggest downsides in cycling, which comes forced by the nature when living in Northern Europe. Even if this fall hasn't been snowy, it's still not safe to head out on those icy roads riding on 23mm wide tires with only lycra covering your body. Pushing your limits indoors with fans trying to keep your bodytemperature at even humane levels is far from pleasant. Cycling is about suffering, yes, but still it's hard to get yourself on that bike when you know it will be uncomfortable as heck.

But something came to change indoor cycling last fall. Trainerroad created an application that communicated with any ant+ device, and by connecting your computer, your ant+ cycling computer and all of its components you all of a sudden had a full trainer application on your TV. The guys at Trainerroad took the experience even further. As we know, cycling training today is all about the power your legs produce, and how long you can maintain certain efforts. Therefore Trainerroad even brought pretty accurate power calculation to users without ant+ power meters. I myself use the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine and I am hugely greatful of this feature!


Getting started (click to open website)

Bike attached to the trainer, in front of a 46" Sony running Trainerroad appAs if this wouldn't be great enough, the guys at Trainerroad even brought you your own personal trainer. The site provides you with both full training plans, according to your own personal level (that increase during your progress) and single and free workouts. And "of course" you can compare your own efforts with other users'. The software (both mac and pc) can be runned simultaneously on top of video, so you can ride while watching a movie or a cycling video (and now even synced with sufferfest workouts!).

Crossing the Attu bridge this summer, now doing it from my livingroomSo you get the software, all pre set-workouts, training plans, power calculations, user profile (career). All this at a cost of $10/month. One can wonder if this is not only the greatest thing ever happened to indoor training, but also the greatest value for money in any category of training. 

Searching and previewing workouts is really easy

Workouts are immediately saved and uploaded when done

I strongly recommend this application for all cyclist, whether you are professional or just riding for fun. I'm more of the riding for fun- kind of cyclist, and now I'm training almost every day according to a professional plan, and yes, I'm really enjoying it! Beating the workout power averages is great, but beating your fellow cyclists out on the road is priceless! Hence $10/month for outpowering someone on the road is nothing.


Enjoy your indoor riding!



Check the video about Trainerroad!

Check out for more updates and information about the great app!


Over and Out!

Pace, the motivator and the killer

I recently read a blogpost about training and the difficulties to make progress. It all comes down to finding the motivation to jump on the bike even though it sometimes would feel better to stay on the sofa, getting over those "bad leg" days. It's all easier said than done. 

When I read this blogpost The Intensity Trap , I recognized myself. Pushing and pushing, and in the end of the day I couldn't see any improvement. Even though the results from the beginning of the season have improved, I now feel that whenever I'm on the bike, my legs just don't feel as good as they used to feel. No power, no endurance, just pedaling and feeling I'm going nowhere but back home sitting on that couch. And no, it's not about overtraining. 

Living in Finland, with really short summers I even feel bad every day I'm not on the bike. This is what I want to do, this is what I can't do during 6months of the year, this is what I love to do. So what's the problem? Why do I find myself here, writing this when the sun is shining outside? I've been reading the book by Chris Carmichael, and the theories about having to only ride 6hours a week to improve your riding. It's interesting, and I'm probably going to try it out during winter on the trainer. But as for any sports, everything is really individual and there are no blueprints that would fit everyone. 

The Intensity Trap was therefore a good reading for me. It's not always going full gas, going slower is also important (even though Chris Carmichael says quite the opposite). Like any other sport, half of the stuff you do depends on your mental state. If you push too hard, you easily find yourself fatigued, after a long day at work, you don't have to push full gas if you feel you don't have the legs. But with the extremely short season here in Finland, then how do you do this?

I have no idea, but finding other people writing about similar topics, makes it a bit better. I'm not the only one finding it difficult sometimes to jump on that bike. I just have to stop feeling bad about the days I'm not on the bike, or just jump on that bike and allow myself to take it easy, whatever the feeling, getting the those miles in the legs is better than blindfully stare at those average speeds.