Your Personal Pain Cave

  • By Susan Lacke
  • Published May 22, 2014
  • Updated May 3, 2016 at 4:49 PM UTC
By John David Becker.

Convert your spare room into a triathlete’s lair.

Though we’re all for a home festooned in “triathlon chic” décor, your family may not share your enthusiasm for the bike trainer in the living room. Turn your spare room, basement or garage into a dedicated training space with these tips from architect and triathlete Megan Moynihan of Oyster Works in Charlestown, R.I.

– A wall-mounted TV and CD/DVD player helps break up the monotony of a two-hour trainer ride. Remember to locate the TV in a place you can see it from the trainer and while watching core or yoga videos on the floor.

– A ceiling fan can be dangerous, especially if you’re on the bike trainer or jumping rope. Use floor fans—better yet, a good quality exhaust fan to help move the sweat and smells outdoors (NuTone Ultra Silent Exhaust Fan, $99,

– An inexpensive full-length mirror on the wall lets you check your form during strength sessions (MINDE Mirror, $9.99,

– Look for LED fixtures to light your room. They don’t give off heat, like halogen and incandescent light bulbs do (Partia Flushmount Wide White LED Ceiling Light, $65,

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– Triathletes tend to accumulate a lot of stuff. If you have a closet in your room, take the door(s) off to save space and make your gear more accessible. Buy inexpensive 18” deep steel or wire shelving units that fit inside. Then use plastic bins to organize gear by swim, bike and run.

– You may require a 5 a.m. trainer session, but your family doesn’t. Keep the noise to a minimum with fiberglass insulation and resilient channels behind the drywall, which will create a sound break between rooms.

– Versatile and compact, kettlebells take up less space than a full weight set, making them perfect for a home gym ($47-108, Resistance bands can be used for strengthening exercises as well as travel with you to races for a swim warm-up (Bodylastics Bands, $28.95,

– Though soft and noise-reducing, carpet retains moisture and smells. Choose an easy-to-clean flooring material with a soft underfoot, like Marmoleum Click, a natural linoleum tile with a cork backing ($6.21/square foot,

– Put your workout room on its own thermostat to compensate for all the heat you’re generating. Moynihan suggests 58 degrees.

– Oranges and reds keep your heart rate and your enthusiasm up, says Moynihan, while blues promote focus and productivity.

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