Has your indoor training (aka your pain cave) become a regular part of your weekly routine?

I’m a huge fan of indoor training for the time efficiency and the ability to have very precise workouts, but you need to adjust your nutrition strategy when it comes to training indoors.

For example you will need more hydration, but need to watch out for too many calories. Here are the 5 tricks I use for indoor workouts: 

My 5 tricks & tips: 

1. How to make intervals easier with beets.
2. You need to hydrate twice as much
3. Don’t be afraid of Gels 
4. Let the sunshine vitamin in
5. How to make stretching easier.

Here is the complete guide to a better indoor workout:

1. How to make your indoor interval workout easier. 

Before I start an indoor interval workout, I’ll take a beet supplement to boost Nitric Oxide levels.  I have noticed that the more consistent you are in taking this as a pre-workout, the better you will feel when you are training. The key is to take it 45 minutes prior to your workout so you have the full effect when you start training. 

Lately, I’ve been using Human N ‘s BeetElite, which is great tasting drink that is a concentration of beet crystals that helps your body produce Nitric Oxide. Nitric Oxide naturally dilates your arteries and can increase the oxygen rich blood flowing to your working muscles, resulting in better endurance and recovery. 

How to Use:
Take one scoop about 45 minutes before you start your workout. 

Pro-Tip: The night before, put a glass of water and the beet powder by your bed, mix 1 scoop into water as soon as you wake up, it will help kick start your morning, and be working by the time you are ready to start training. 

2. Hydrate twice as much as you think

I’m starting my workouts with 4 full bottles for a 2-hour training. I know it sounds crazy, but you’re sweating so much more indoors that you’re going to need it. Because the volume of hydration is high, I’m conscious of the total number of calories, so I like to use 2 bottles of SOS hydration (low calorie) and 2 bottles of either Fluid Performance, or NeverSecond’s C30 Drink Mix(more calories, but still less than 15g of sugar).

Pro-tip: I try to keep lots of different low-calorie hydration options on hand to avoid flavor fatigue. Don’t forget you can buy single servings to mix up flavors. 

3. You can still use Gels indoor.
If you workout is over 60 minutes, don’t be afraid to crack open a Gel. Because you have almost no downtime when riding or running indoors, you will be burning even more glycogen per hour than you do outdoors.  I’m a fan of Maurten’s Gel 100 for indoor workouts and I will usually take 1 to 2 of the Caffeinated version in the first hour and then use the non-caffeinated version after that.  

If you prefer a more “real food” gel then the sticky sugary kind, checkout Spring Gels. Spring gels have actual real food like strawberries, bananas, hazelnuts without added sugar or giving you GI problems or sugar spikes. I recommend taking one gel every 30-40 minutes during intense training sessions.  

4. Let the sunshine vitamin in – get your vitamin D

As soon as I get deep into indoor training and for most of the winter, I take 3 drops of Vitamin D3/K2 in the morning. This helps offset the fact that I’m getting less natural sunlight during my training. In speaking with Dr. Kevin Sprouse he has rarely seen an endurance athlete with sufficient levels of Vitamin D. 

My go-to is SwissRX D3/K2 drops; this is a pharmaceutical grade, clinically verified supplement that helps you optimize your levels of Vitamin D while giving you the balance of Vitamin K to ensure your vitamin D does not get calcified in the wrong places in your body. 

5. Give yourself at LEAST 5 minutes of recovery post-training

And I don’t mean the cool down set after your Zwift ride or your cool down miles. I mean recovery once you completely finish training. One of the best tools out there is a product that just launched called CastleFlexx. This has been a real game-changer for my flexibility and lower back pain. It is like a strap you might use for stretching your hamstrings, calf, ankle, and foot.

But it works way better. Here is why:

You slide your ankle in the pocket, and the fabric goes over your foot to put your foot into dorsiflexion. Then you lay on your back and guide the stretch from the brushed aluminum bar, and cork handles.

The secret is the bar has a small 2lb weight. It doesn’t sound like much, but it makes a world of difference, so you aren’t pulling on your leg. The band does most of the work for you. I’ll admit this recovery tool is not cheap, but it saves me 10x the cost of chiropractic care and give me sweet relief. 

I hope this helps your pain cave workouts.

– Matt

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