Monday, December 29, 2014

The Paincave

A few weeks ago Paul asked about my paincave set up, and I never got around to replying, so to make up for that here's way more information about the whole thing than anyone really needs.

Ready for a ride. Usually there's a second, larger fan, but it had walked off and since this was going to be an easy one I didn't bother to go find it.
Step one is the bike trainer, which I got at the annual Toronto bike clearance sale back in October. It's a Kurt Kinetic Road Machine, which I chose largely because that's what Zindine told me to get for my needs and budget and he hasn't steered me wrong yet (one of these days he's going to start charging for all this free coaching!). It's very solid fluid trainer, reasonably quiet, and it's easy to get the bike on and off of it. I also really like that the difficulty of the ride is changed simply by changing gears on the bike, making it a realistic feeling experience.

Probably should have cropped the laundry out of the picture. It's a paincave/laundry sorting room, though, so it's more honest this way.
Now just sitting on the trainer pedaling is...not very exciting. I'm sure there are people out there who can do that, but I am definitely not one of them. I need a defined workout and someone or something to tell me what to do.

Enter Trainerroad.

The speed/cadence sensors on my bike communicate to my laptop via ANT+ (as does my heartrate monitor), and Trainerroad takes that data, along with my weight and the type of trainer I'm using, and translates it into virtual power numbers. I choose a workout from their huge library, and it tells me what to do and how hard to do it and for how long. It's really very cool. I'm just about finished the Sweet Spot base I plan and I'm looking forward to testing my progress before I repeat the plan again. I've done some really killer workouts using Trainerroad that I would never in a million years be able to do on my own. For $10 a month, it's totally worth it.

Garmin speed and cadence sensors at the top; ant+ stick in my laptop to receive the data at the bottom.
I like to connect my laptop to our big TV via HDMI so the workout is up there larger than life. Easy to see right in front of me that way.

I do also like to watch TV/movies or listen to music while I'm on the trainer. While TR does have a way to show, say, Netflix on the screen at the same time as your workout, I personally prefer to have my entertainment set up on my ipad. Just a personal preference thing, plus that way it's easier for me to listen via headphones, rather than having to crank the TV up really loud to be heard over the fans/bike/trainer noise. And with headphones I can watch stuff that maybe I don't want my kids watching/hearing. Put a show up on the regular TV and they are right there wanting to watch it with me, which limits my options.

TR on the bottom, Dr. Who on the top. It works, but I've decided it's not my preferred setup. Also, #nerd.
Typically I watch TV shows via Netflix for the first 2/3 of the workout, then switch to music. Having the ipad close at hand makes that a bit easier.
My usual setup - workout on the big screen, ipad on the barstool with headphones. The towel over the handlebars is 100% necessary. Trainer rides are disgustingly sweaty.
I use a random spare barstool to hold the ipad (and extra water on longer rides), and a measuring cup from the dollar store hooked over my handlebars for snacks, my phone, and any other random crap I think I might need during a ride.

Measuring cup hooked over my handlebars. Holding headphones, those random candy chew things all the races were giving out this year, and a couple of granola bars.

All in all, I've done almost 20 hours on the trainer since November, and I'm looking forward to many more. I can't wait to see how this all translates to the road in the spring!

Thumbs up to the #paincave


  1. Thanks for sharing this Emma! I almost feel guilty for the urging.
    TrainerRoad sounds like an amazing program! The high-tech marvels of the 21st century never cease to amaze!

    And I like your idea of using the iPad for easy/quieter distraction.

    But, "The Paincave"? So inviting! :p
    Unless some people are into that kinda thing... ;)

  2. Imma gonna be so much further behind you guys next year! Looks good. Brilliant use of the dollar store measuring cup. You smart.