As we re-stocked our Indoor Training Series last week, and the weather turned sour (yet again), we thought we’d make the most of the Indoor Training hype to extract some valuable information from you guys.
We ran a poll on Instagram Stories and wanted to know one thing (well five): what are the 5 pain cave essentials you just cannot live without?
The result? Actual scientific proof (we have graphs!) of the things you NEED in order to be able to call your pain cave ‘legit’.
1. Indoor Training Kit
It goes without saying, and actually we’re pretty surprised some of you didn’t mention this, but you can’t have a pain cave without a pain device. In this case: your indoor trainer.
Some of you are running Wahoo, some are on Wattbike. As long as it makes you sweat and gets the heart pumping, we’re not fussy!
You then have two options: you either enter the world of Zwift and get on a mission to beat your friends, or you just Netflix and chill (hypothetically speaking). The point is you need some visual stimulation, because you’ll soon get bored of looking down at your hands!
Kit also includes cycling kit, and we’ve had a few noting the importance of having socks you only use for Indoor Training. Luckily, we have all the socks you need.
Last but not least, you’ll need to keep your kit in good shape if you want to clock up the miles for years to come. Salty sweat not only accelerates corrosion but it also spreads germs on your Indoor Trainer, so be sure to check out our Indoor Training Series, which feature our Antibacterial Equipment Trainer and Sweat Protect Spray. You might, as a few people mentioned, also want to get yourself a Muc-Off Bike Mat, which will stop sweat from dripping directly onto your floors.
Hydration is a MUST. Most of you are running two bottles at a time to make sure you never dry up. While water is the obvious choice for the majority, a few of you are working on those marginal gains and opting for electrolyte drinks. Good on you! Whatever your choice, make sure you do it in style using your choice of these two extremely good-looking Muc-Off water bottles.
Not so important, but pretty important nonetheless, is your post-effort beverage. The healthy among you are keen on smoothies, while the slightly less healthy among you prefer a refreshing beer, or a glass of whisky (are you mad?).
Having snacks to chew on while pedalling is a good idea too. Energy bars, Shot Blocks or even just flapjacks will provide all the high-carbs you need without the need for a plate and cutlery (although that’s something we’d be keen to see).
Music was mentioned in about 60% of your answers and definitely stands out as an absolute essential to keep your rhythm and motivation going. So, get yourself a premium account on whatever music streaming platform you prefer (nothing kills momentum like an advert about not having adverts), and blast your favourite tunes on your speakers or Bluetooth earphones (you don’t want wire getting tangled anywhere!).
Music wise, it’s totally up to you. We’ve had a few saying they’re into heavy metal, which would definitely get your heart pumping. If anything, we’d just probably steer away from something too mellow.
If you do this right, and your pain cave does what it says on the tin, chances are you’re going to sweat. A LOT. The beauty of being at home, as opposed to on the road, is that you can have everything and anything you need within reach.
If you don’t want to burn your retina from the salt in your sweat, you’ll need a towel. The constant wiping of sweat off your face, neck, arms, hands and pretty much every other part of your body is something you’ll need to get used to if you want this type of training to be effective.
Another major difference between behind out on the road and inside your pain cave is air. When you’re clocking 30mph in real life, you can feel it – the wind blows in your face and keeps you cool. In fact, the faster you go, the more effective the cooling effect of the wind is.
In your pain cave, it’s the opposite. However fast you go does not make a difference and if you’re not careful, you’ll be drowning in sweat before you know it. Having an air flow system in place is therefore paramount to long lasting performance.
Luckily, this can be easily achieved with a simple fan. Plug it in and position it right in front of your face and you’ll be off. The main benefit here is that the air friction from your fan won’t affect your speed, unlike out in real life.
6. Honorary essentials
I know we said 5, but we just couldn’t resist including a few notable entries from you guys. We’ll call these our honorary essentials.
Framed jerseys: have some memorabilia to spark up motivation? Display it proudly on your wall and keep your dreams in sight.
Fridge that doubles up as a table: probably our most versatile mention. Keeps your post-effort beverages cold and allows easy access to your phone (to skip a song for example or call your BFF) and snacks during effort.
A proper frame of mind: because, if you’re serious about pain (and performance), you’ll need one.We’ll be keeping an eye on your #paincave on Instagram, so feel free to tag us @mucoff if you’re the type of person who shares their exploits on social media