One of the books I'm reading right now is called, "Faster, Higher, Stronger: How Sports Science is Creating a New Generation of Super Athletes." By Mark McClusky. It has been a fun, interesting read about some potential break throughs on training and athletics. One of the concepts that has really intrigued me is the concept of The Psychobiological Model of Exercise.
The perception of effort is the key limiter of our endurance.
Here is a summary from one section.
In the 12 week study, two groups of 14 soldiers each trained on a stationary bike. First group trained 3x a week for an hour at a moderate aerobic pace. The second group did the same thing, but while pedaling did a mentally fatiguing task.
Both groups saw an increase in VO2 max. But, when time to exhaustion test was done, much different results were seen. The control group improved 42%. The group that did a mentally fatiguing task improved 115%.
This is definitely worth exploring when your stuck inside riding your trainer this winter.