I have had a tenuous relationship with stationary trainers ever since I purchased my Travel Trac 2000 back in 2002. It usually sees less than a half a dozen rides per Winter and never sees the light of day during Spring, Summer and Fall. Last year was a breakout year and I actually logged 15 rides from September of 2012 to February of 2013.
This breakout got me thinking of new trainers including the gold standard Computrainer and up and coming devices like Wahoo KICKR and CycleOps PowerBeam. Instead of picking up a new trainer, I opted to go with TrainerRoad. As opposed to SufferFest and other workouts, I opted for TrainerRoad based on price point ($10/month) and reviews from DCRainmaker.
I already owned a speed/cadence sensor and it was very easy to pair it with a Suunto MiniMove Stick and have the computer pick up speed/cadence/heart rate. This is the way I recorded my first two workouts. They were heart rate based and enjoyable. For my last workout, I used virtual power based on one of the Travel Trac models. This was the best workout I have done so far. The power felt like it was in the ballpark and as opposed to heart rate based training, the response to effort was instantaneous.
My next step will be to work through a training plan over the next 6 weeks. I settled on “Sweet Spot Intermediate Base I.” I don’t think choosing the best or worst plan would make a big difference. Just being on the bike more than once/week should make all the difference in the world.