The topic of Daylight Savings Time (DST) may not be controversial or ‘touchy’ for everyone, but the Autumn DST time-shift, known as “falling-back” is a major obstacle for every Athlete trying to keep their workout routine consistent.
What’s more, Fall weather will soon give-way to a Winter chill, which when coupled with reduced daylight hours can cause any Athlete to exhibit what we call the Fall-DST “blues”.
Luckily, there are equipment and training options available to help even the most time-crunched Athlete charge toward their training goals, despite these challenges.
Wether your regular training was in the AM or PM during the spring and summer, chances are good it's dark now that the Fall DST time-change has occurred. Photo Credit: Brian McCulloch
Taking It Indoors: Tips To Build Your Own "Pain-Cave"
Indoor training has come a long-way in recent years, especially with the advent of “smart” trainers.
Where old-school stationary trainer workouts meant watching your favorite VHS or listening to your newest CD, new-school trainer workouts have become an interactive experience thanks to the internet and WiFi.
When building your own “pain-cave”, i.e. indoor training area, we recommend starting with a direct-drive trainer that is also a “smart” trainer.
These direct-drive trainers solve two major issues that have plagued every indoor workout since the first stationary trainer was developed:
1- Because the bicycle mounts directly to the trainer, via a cassette and skewer, there is no tire-wear. This saves your rear-tire form the abuse of indoor trainer workouts, making it ready for your next outdoor extravaganza.
2- Direct-mount trainers have the best, most accurate, “road feel” of any indoor training system. Old-school roller-type or rim-drive trainers used either magnetic or fluid mechanisms (as well as other methods) to create resistance, each of which only marginally simulated “real-road” conditions.
Note: By "roller-type", we are referencing stationary trainers that use a roller, not "rollers".
In addition to a “new-school” trainer, every personal pain-cave should replace that old TV/VHS combo with a place for a laptop or tablet with a high-speed internet connection.
These digital tools allow your pain-cave to tap into the power of the internet for group rides through a platform called ZWIFT and a myriad of computer-aided structured training sessions.
For structured and potent indoor workouts, we prescribe our Athletes trainer sessions using the TrainingPeaks tool known as WorkoutBuilder. This empowers an Athletes GPS-Device or smart-trainer to guide them through a workout as if their coach was with them in the pain-cave!
One final piece of equipment that every pain-cave needs is a fan, because what good is a smart-trainer and an internet connection to power you through tough-workouts if you can’t stay cool!
Riding outdoors in the dark or twilight can offer stunning views of the sunset or sunrise, a nice addition to your daily workout. Photo Credit: Ryan Voth
Riding In The Dark: Training Outdoors When The Sun Goes Down
For nearly every Athlete, part of the enjoyment of training is being outdoors, so who can blame them for cringing at the idea of an indoor workout?
Although training in the dark can seem daunting, initially, with proper lighting and layering, it can be quite fun.
When considering nighttime (or early AM) training, we suggest ample lighting, that always starts with a full-charge!
Having one light on the handlebars and a second light that is helmet-mounted will make even the darkest areas well-lit. And as the military adage goes: two is one, one is none.
Having two-lights ensures you won't be left in the dark if a malfunction occurs!
Additionally, we suggest two flashing rear taillights. Mount one to the seat-post or saddlebag with the other being placed on the rear of your helmet or jersey pocket.
By having both high and low flashing taillights you are certain to be visible to drivers.
One thing that might not be obvious about riding in the dark is the importance of layering.
Since most workouts follow a predictable pattern i.e. warm-up, interval-work, endurance riding, and then a cool-down, it is important to have clothing that can handle both the body's temperature changes, as well as any weather changes, you will encounter while training.
Jackets with dual-zippers to allow air-flow and pocket access, vests that can be easily taken on/off, and light-weight (yet-windproof) gloves are three items that should be personalized to your region, climate, and individual preference.
With high-quality lighting, front and rear, along with properly layered clothing you will be free to train without needing sunlight, and dare we suggest, you might even enjoy it!
The virtual world is calling... whether doing a structured workout or "group ride", riding indoors has been made much more enjoyable with new technology. Photo Credit: 4iiii Innovations.
The Fall Daylight Savings time-change does not have to be the sunset to a memorable spring and summer of cycling.
Instead, with the indoor and outdoor training options above, last weeks “fall-back” time-change can be the opening of the next chapter of your training…
prep’ing to have your best New Year fitness ever!
Until Next Time, Be Safe, Train Hard, & Have Fun!
-Brian and Joy McCulloch
Big Wheel Coaching