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Gym cycling advice

I am a novice training for an ironman but due to working away from home for long periods I have to make do with standard gym bikes. I've just started trying to build good bike sessions into my regular routine but I'm finding that I'm not getting as far as I would expect. For example, I recently cycled for 2 hours at what I felt was a good pace (HR around 140) and only managed 35km.

Can anyone shed any light on to this? Is it that gym bikes are not very accurate in terms of matching exertion level to supposed distance covered, or is it that I am just cycling at too low a resistance? I consider myself to be relatively fit but I'm inexperienced in this type of training...

Any advice here would be very much appreciated.



Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 6:31 pm
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  • risris Posts: 1,002
    I'm not sure there is a comparison between gym bikes and being on the road. If you are happy with the workout from an rpe and hr side then i'd ignore the distance it gives you.
  • GHarvGHarv Posts: 456
    + 1
  • I'd always ignore any figures that gym machines give. Is it possible that you can haul a bike and turbo trainer around with you as at least you would be on a 'proper' bike rather than a gym pretend bike, which depending on which models they are can put you in the most un-cycling like position, which surely will affect your riding later on. I'm training for Ironman too and have done practically all my training this winter on a turbo trainer - even up to 3 hrs (with a good film tho!). Good luck
  • dont think you can compare gym bike or turbo to the real thing,
    90 mins on a turbo feels like 3 hr on the road if you ask me
  • okennyokenny Posts: 231
    I did a brick in the gym today, I used one of the Spinning bikes, placed it next to the treadmill.

    It was great actually....of course I found the spinning bike much better than one of those normal gym bikes...
    I don't like the turbo that much, find it hard to keep focused at home alone. In the gym it wasn't boring at all....

    Has your gym got those Spinning bikes?

    Oh and forget about that 35km in two hours.....nonsense!
  • nivaghnivagh Posts: 595
    I wouldn't set any stock by the readouts from a gym bike. If you're measuring your heart rate and RPE then what more do you need to know in a gym? You won't travel anywhere no matter how hard you crank!

    Comparing the distance you do on a static machine with a real bike is never going to be very scientific unless you're riding a bike on a big treadmill (...)
  • BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    Time & RPE/HR thats all you need.
    If you ride on the road mostly & know your IM pace is X hours for the bike then you have a parameter you can work from.
    The most often asked question from spinning newbies is 'how far did we go?' the answer clearly being no distance..its a stationary bike...
  • I make do with gym bike sessions most of the time at the moment but like others have suggested, ignore anything it tells you other than time... HR readout is useful as a guide if not using standalone HRM.

    The only way to increase your distance but in the same time would be to increase RPM, but at the cost of increasing HR - most static bikes don't have gears, they just provide resistance to make it seem harder. Mechanical resistance has no affect on the overall distance, that's how it works on the bikes at my gym anyway.
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