A Review of the Velo-Trainer App
So you’ve planned your season and now it’s time to start training. Unless you’re lucky enough to live somewhere that is warm and sunny at this time of the year, then that means rolling out the turbo; it’s horrible, but effective. However, sessions are hard and monotonous, and sometimes the temptation to skip a set, not give 100%, or just plain not bother, can be hard to resist. So if turbo training is getting you down, a new i-Pad app from Velo-Trainer aims to get you back on the turbo trainer and maybe even enjoying it…
Designed by Tony Holt the idea is to allow friends to train together – just not in the same place. It’s harder to miss a session when you know you’re training partners or club mates are going to be there and we all know that more than one cyclist riding the same route, whether real or virtual, is a race!
Sessions take place on a simple virtual velodrome; no rolling fields or mountain vistas, but you’re there for the training, not the view. You set up the event distance or time, and invite your buddies. Having a regular session that you can all participate in, or an anytime event that you can ride with your training partners previous records to try and beat, could make the difference when it comes to indoor sessions. Also if you don’t live near team mates it could be a way to feel part of the team, when not able to be there physically. Great if you’re a shift worker or parent and can’t make regular sessions.
Once you’ve paired your sensors, Bluetooth or ANT+, you can set up private or open sessions. They can be ridden at set times or you can create an “anytime” event that can be ridden, well, anytime!
The app’s designer, Tony Holt said, “I’d tried a lot of training apps and videos, but the set-ups were long and none really motivate you when the weather turns and you’d sooner be outside with friends. I wanted something simple to use and meant there were no more excuses to miss a session on my turbo trainer. Creating events with my friends all over the country using Velo-Trainer made the difference to my training”
Velo-Trainer claim that sessions using a moving target, produced a 10% improvement in performance. The app will also allow you to use a ‘ghost’ partner; shades of Mario Kart? This on-screen racer gives you a target to chase, hopefully producing the claimed 10% increase in performance. This is great when you don’t want the distraction of others, or if you’re Billy-no-mates…
Velo-Trainer also go on to state that sessions are 25% more effective, as you are less likely to miss or cut short a session, if it’s part of a group effort. Sessions can also be synced with Strava and Training Peaks. Completing sessions will also earn you medals, which you can redeem with various online partners, another incentive to hit the turbo.
So with the abuse and ridicule of your fellow club members ringing in your ears, you will be galvanised into training harder, just so you can rub their faces in the dirt next time! Seriously it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but a bit of friendly ribbing and a healthy dose of competition may be just what you need to drag your turbo out and start training.
Tony concluded, “Motivation in the cold winter months is hard to maintain. As well as the banter it provided through the amusing posts and live leader-boards, we found that cyclists trained harder when using the training partner function and dodged fewer sessions when an event was planned.”
Velo-trainer is only available for i-pad at the moment. Confirmed sensors that will work with Velo-Trainer are Wahoo and Topeak PanoBike for Bluetooth and Garmin for Ant+. Other sensors may work, but have not yet been confirmed. The app is free to download, but you will need to pay a subscription of £21.99/year or £2.29/month. Recent updates mean it will also now work on your i-phone 5 and above.
Velo-Trainer is available for iPad on the following App Store link: Velo-Trainer
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