I have received many a question and comment regarding the amount of trainer riding going on in my life. Mostly revolving around, how I survive long boring rides inside. To be fair, I didn't used to just hop on and spin out 4 hours +. I as well used to be like most of you, basically ready to throw the damn thing out the window after say 1 hour or so. I've slowly built up over the years, to the mentally unstable individual you see writing before you. Basically, I have developed an ability to basically shut down my brain for hours. This comes in handy in many other situations such as: talking to women (maybe why I stand as so unsuccessful in the long term?) and attending class. Other than my obvious turn something on, aka music, movie, race, tele... I have a few other pointers that help get me through some long hours.
-The first and last hours always suck. Always. The key is to break it down. I go by 10 minute and 1 hour sections.
-Eat regularly. Doesn't really matter much, what ever you feel like. Make it also a reward of some kind. Some like cookies. I mix it up. Anything from fruit, to hot dogs. I like to make it a rule to eat every 45 minutes.
-Drink even more regularly. I go through 2 bottles an hour. Think about it, you are sweating without any true wind. If you are dehydrated when you get off, you will not recover well and therefor the next session will suck more than it should. Plus it gives you a reason to get off and re-fill the bottles every hour. These breaks can be just what you need to keep your head in the game and your mind motivated.
-Set reasonable goals. If you are used to 10 hours a week, don't suddenly jump to 15-20 hours a week on the trainer. Sure fire burn out recipe. We still got a way to go to the real season. Maybe work on 1 long ride a week. Slowly build up as your body adapts.
If all else fails. Try something else. And by that, I mean go for a ski one or two days a week. Go for a run (I can't fully suggest this one wholeheartedly as I hate running) but the basic idea is to mix it up. Some cross training can do wonders for the brain and brake up the monotony of the trainer. I know the skiing is pretty wicked right now.
Oh, and please shower directly after finishing your ride. For all of us.