I'm about to get hold of my first turbo trainer (borrowing it from my triathlon club). Before I start, what do I need to know about turbo trainers?
I'd agree that they can be pretty boring. I really focus my workouts when I'm using mine in the winter. Hard workouts are typically some type of interval set which takes about 1.5 hours. On days I would do a long ride and I'm stuck inside I get up early and do a 2 hour block then come back in the afternoon for the other 2 hour block.
To combat the boring factor I use podcasts, audiobooks, and movies. I also hide the clocks and set a timer where I can't see it so when it goes off I'm done. I've found not having the time visible makes it pass faster (watched pot never boils).
I don't purchase new tires but just use the old one from the summer then get a new set for the following season. If I had a spare wheel then I'd use a training tire but it's just too much of a pain to switch rubber when it's nice enough to ride (which happens once a week at least for me).
That they are booooooooooooring and that you'll sweat a lot.
Also, I'd buy specific tires such as this because they really eat the rubber.
I too agree that they're really boring. Have you considered rollers? They take a little to get used to, but they're less boring (because you have to balance) and really good for developing smooth pedalling technique. They also don't seem to wear out tires as quickly.