How to Set Up the Perfect Pain Cave

Last updated: 09-17-2020

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How to Set Up the Perfect Pain Cave

How to Set Up the Perfect Pain Cave
How to Set Up the Perfect Pain Cave
By Michael Nystrom
As a triathlete, you're no stranger to suffering. But time spent training indoors is a particular kind of hell, spent largely alone, your only witness the yawning mouth of the insufferable treadmill or the constant hum of your trainer.
However, time spent in your personal pain cave—especially in the winter months—is where you eek out that extra watt on race day. So buckle down and, while you're at it, learn how to make your indoor training studio as productive a setting as possible.
The Basics
Bike Trainer 1  of  10
Photo/Wahoo Fitness
No, this isn't another term for a coach—a bike trainer is a device that normally attaches to your back axel and provides frictional resistance to the back tire. Available in wind, magnetic and fluid options, you have plenty of choices depending on your budget. If you feel like splurging, a smart trainer is an engaging and interactive way to log indoor miles when paired with Zwift, a virtual reality cycling platform.
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The Basics
Treadmill 2  of  10
A treadmill is the ultimate addition to any pain cave. Now more affordable than ever, even the most basic option has enough functionality to log serious miles through the winter months. You've spent thousands of dollars on your triathlon bike, why not invest a few hundred in your run?
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Mission Control 3  of  10
Photo/Wahoo Fitness
When you're an hour into your spin session, the last thing you'll want to do is unclip and walk across the room to grab something. Keep a small table at your side with anything and everything you'll need during your ride/run. This may include a TV remote, cell phone, towel, nutrition, extra water bottles, fan remote, etc. Accessibility is the name of the game.
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Hard Surface 4  of  10
Photo/Wahoo Fitness
Think your workout clothes start to smell after staying in the hamper too long? You'll get the same effect setting up your bike trainer on carpet. Hardwood floors or linoleum are easy to clean and help keep the trainer stable, but purchasing a rubber trainer mat is a small price to pay ($30 or less online) for added comfort and protection. If you have no other option, place a towel or rug under your trainer setup to keep the sweat from saturating the carpet underneath.
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The Basics
Netflix 5  of  10
Training indoors is bad enough, but training indoors and staring at a wall is the worst. Mount a TV to the wall facing the trainer or treadmill to enjoy hours of guilt-free binging (hellooo "Breaking Away" for the 200th time) while you hit your weekly mileage goals. Trainers and treadmills can be loud, so use Bluetooth headphones to help hear your favorite show without cranking the TV volume. Your neighbors and family will thank you.
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The Basics
Cool Breeze 6  of  10
Your expensive, moisture-wicking workout clothes only work if there's a breeze. Position a fan in front of your trainer or treadmill to make sure you have air circulating over your skin and clothes.
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Bonus Features
Storage 7  of  10
No closet? No problem. Try finding an inexpensive locker setup like this one from IKEA  to store all your swim, bike and run gear. The steel construction will keep your gear odor and mildew free, plus you'll benefit from keeping your gear in one centralized location.
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Bonus Features
Dumbbells 8  of  10
Space permitting, dumbbells are a great addition to any pain cave. Strength training twice a week will increase core strength and decrease your likelihood of a season-ending injury.
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Bonus Features
Thermostat 9  of  10
A separate thermostat in your pain cave can help you keep the room nice and cool without freezing out the rest of the house. Set the temperature between 58 to 62 degrees for optimal conditions.
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