My company has a very generous Living Well program that allows employees to gain bonuses if they stay active and healthy throughout the year. Basically the requirements are to maintain a healthy weight range, participate in local races or corporate activities, exercise 3 days a week, and record certain vital stats (blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, etc) within recommended ranges. Basically it's free money for any endurance athlete or semi-active adult. It helps them lower insurance costs and we reap the benefits of a healthier lifestyle and a little extra cash. We received those bonuses on this last paycheck and I decided to "invest" part of that bonus into a piece of equipment that would help me to continue to live well. In other words, I finally bought an indoor trainer for my bike!
I've been wanting an indoor trainer for a while now. I kept putting it off last year when I bought my bike because I knew the weather was on the verge of getting better and I didn't have a need for it when the spring/summer started. This fall I pretty much retired my bike for a few months when my knee started hurting and focused on just trying to stay healthy for the marathons. Now that winter is settling in and I need to get back in bike shape, I went ahead and pulled the trigger and bought my first indoor trainer.
Based on recommendations from several people, I opted for a fluid trainer versus magnetic or wind. The brand I ended up buying was CycleOps because my local bike shop carries that brand and was offering 20% off through the holidays. I have heard that the fluid trainers are much quieter than the other types of trainers and provide a more realistic feel by better mimicking actual road conditions. I'm sure my neighbors in my little four-plex apartment building will appreciate the quieter ride. Assembly of the trainer was next to nothing because the CycleOps Jet Fluid Pro comes already assembled. I took it out of the box, replaced the back skewer of my bike wheel with the provided training skewer, placed the wheel in the notches on the trainer, and locked the resistance unit against my back wheel. Easy money. After set-up I flipped on the tv, set up an oscillating fan, put on the cycling shoes/bibs, and settled in for my maiden voyage. Being that this was my first time back in the saddle of my bike in nearly 3.5 months, I took it easy and just did a quick 30 minute ride to get back in the flow. I can tell I'm going to get some good use out of the trainer over the next couple of months and have already ordered the Spinervals "On the Road" DVD that previews the IM Louisville course. All in all, I am very happy with my purchase and am ready to sweat and suffer in my apartment when the weather turns nasty outside.
This coming week is going to be a tough week for me to get in much training. I'm still not fully back into the meat of my schedule so I guess the busy social calendar isn't a huge issue yet. Plus, I finally am going to break down and call for a doctor's appointment to have my knee checked out. It's time to get serious about it and take action. Keep your fingers crossed it's nothing bad. All I know is that every time I think it's better, I tweak it again and it starts hurting. I need to get the problem resolved before Ironman training begins in earnest.