My Pain Cave set-up

I am entering my third winter training for tri. While it is still sunny outside, short daylight hours mean that I am setting up my pain cave for the winter torture sessions.

For me, running outdoors in the winter is one of my greatest pleasures, so my set up is focused on bike and strength.

Bike setup

I have my Canyon Speedmax on the turbo. This is my race bike. One key intent for me this year is to build my performance for Nice IM. I know the profile of this course is hilly, but easily doable on my TT bike. I therefore want to make sure I am in the same bike position in training as during the race.

I also kept my Garmin Vector 3 pedals on. A Frame protector runs down the middle to save my frame for the worst of the sweat. I also keep a bottle of detergent & cloth nearby to keep the frame clear.

In previous years I have ran a different bike to my race bike on the turbo. I found that doing this seems to magnify any small differences. This somehow acted as a mental excuse not to stay in the aero position and therefore train my power in race position. So I always use my race bike on the turbo in the off season.

Kickr 2018– I got this last year, replacing my noisy rear wheel trainer. After some early quality issues, it works fine. I did buy an Ultegra cassette to replace the supplied 105 one… I am not sure it makes a massive difference, but I convinced myself that it runs quieter. The KICKR unit itself is straight forward to use. – don’t forget to level the bike (L/R) after attaching and perform regular spin downs.

With the old rear wheel trainer I found two major issues. First the noise was a bit high and bugged my neighbour downstairs. Second the wheel would slip if you accelerated, this gave strange power spikes. Would definitely not go back to a rear wheel set-up.

Front end
Wahoo Kickr Climb– I also bought this last year. To be honest its more of a toy, however it does break the monotony up. I tend to use it as a signal to change gear when the motor whirs. It also slighty reduces the overall length of the setup. Don’t lean too far forwards when climbing … it can get close to tipping.

Wahoo Kickr Table – Expensive but works. Height adjustment means I can keep the computer in the correct position. Rollers are handy as well. It needs some fine tuning to avoid clashing with handlebars during climbing or descents. Pretty sure a cheap music stand can do a similar job.

Generic Ikea one…. I am also beside a window for emergency cooling..

Ground mat
A thin Generic fitness mat to protect the floor from sweat or oil.

Fizik Tri shoes… These work well for me…

I don’t use a head unit indoors, however I do record on my watch. (Fenix 5x), for the few times when Zwift crashes. The 5x is fine but is showing its age as Garmin focuses on the 6 series.

Computer setup

I run Zwift on my 2014 MacBook air, duplicating the display on a 22”monitor. This is also my general workstation, so I supplement the setup with a UBB 3 hub and cordless keyboard & mouse.

I have been using Zwift either standalone or coupled with Training peaks. I find this the least boring! Previously I had tried trainer road, however, it drove me crazy with boredom. I also have the Zwift companion app running on my phone. I set Zwift to 100% on the difficulty scale rather than the 50% default. All my Zwift workouts push out to training peaks, Garmin connect and Strava.

I normally keep my iPad on the table for longer sessions – its easier to have a second device for Netflix. I find that my old laptop is not happy doing Zwift and movies simultaneously.

Bose Soundsport Free…. These are the most comfortable for me. If I have a z2 ride, I will often make phone calls and these work well.

Torture instruments

A shelf and table for water and nutrition is essential…consumption is normally higher on a turbo as I heat up more….a 3 hour session can mean 4 water bottles… I use my weight bench as a table.

Washing machine vibration insulation tiles, held together with Duct tape!

Other gear…
Kettlebells– the least boring kind strength training
Weight bench – not essential but useful as a table!
Standard dumbbells
Bosu Ball– Add the wobble & strengthen the core!
Various bands – All sorts of stretchy fun!
Medicine Ball
GoPro and mounts – Normally for heading out, but great for checking fit & form.
Wipe down kit
Nutrition drawer – I keep race day nutrition nearby.
Random race medals/numbers & trophies…
Toolkit and tools on a peg board

Stuff I will add later…
Better speakers… probably the Ikea/Sonos ones.
A bigger screen
Better lighting.
Proper storage for my weights.
Second Fan
Another pegboard for yet more handy things..
Better cable management.

Let me know any improvements or suggestions!

Note – I have added links to gear where I can find them! I get a small amount of money from affiliate scheme if someone buys something… this does not change my opinion of any gear.