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Indoor trainers are all the rage right now. With no way of getting out and riding with fellow cyclists, not to mention a desire to keep safe and healthy, exercising at home has become the norm. For cyclists, this means turbo training. We discussed the benefits of a turbo trainer in our previous post: ‘The year of the indoor trainer’, so today we are looking at the apps you can use to improve your home work out and bring outdoor pursuits indoors.
Before starting on your new virtual cycling adventure, you will need a smartphone, tablet or computer to download the applications and software on to. You will then either need a smart trainer, or power meter and turbo trainer combination, paired with an ANT+ or Bluetooth connector. Last but not least, you will of course need your bike. Make sure you know how to set the bike up on the trainer and always us the rear wheel skewer provided, as it is more robust and will cope better at being clamped than your standard skewer.
Next, it’s important to sort your training space, whether it’s a shed, basement, spare room or garage, make sure you protect the floor and your bike with a mat and towel and ventilate the area. Crack a window or install a fan, because indoor training is sweaty work. As mentioned in our last blog, we have plenty of accessories and stands to make your virtual cycling life a little easier.
Zwift is undoubtedly the pinnacle of virtual cycling. It was founded by gamers and that certainly shines through in the graphics, interface and the enjoyment you get out of using the application. With different environments to ride in and a whole community to interact with, the application is vast, and that’s before delving into the events and races section. Training plans and workouts mean you can structure your exercises and build towards set goals. There are plenty of races to compete in and watch so it is pretty much the only live competitive cycling you can enjoy at the moment. Endorsed by amateurs and professional riders the world over, there’s a reason Zwift is the most recognisable cycle training application.
The competitor for Zwift’s virtual crown is RGT Cycling. It’s important to note that they have made all of their features free for the foreseeable future in response to the developing COVID-19 situation. The app works in a very similar way to Zwift, placing your avatar in a community of other virtual cyclists as you follow famous real-world trails. A big gamechanger is the fact that users can upload their own GPX files and RGT Cycling will convert this data into a course for you to ride in-game.
The name doesn’t lie, this app is all about the pain. The Sufferfest uses pro race videos to replicate intervals as you react to the pro riders attacking on screen. The app also offers downloadable training plans, mental training and yoga training sessions. A true all-in-one workout application.
TrainerRoad is a workout application that guides you through goal-based training plans to improve your fitness. With a vast range of data points, TrainerRoad breaks up the monotony of turbo trainer sessions and keeps you on track to meet your fitness goals.
Rouvy combines the virtual riding feel of Zwift and RGT Cycling with the interval training of The Sufferfest. The app superimposes rider avatars on top of real footage so is kind of like the hazard perception test of virtual cycling.
It’s important you have the right setup when you use your turbo trainer. To see all the products mentioned in this blog post and more, head over to our website.
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