Turbo Trainer Sessions

8 Monster Turbo Sessions to get you through the off-season

Let’s face it, turbo sessions can be dull. Dull as dishwater.

But their benefits far outweigh their dullness. All-weather, traffic-free, 24-7, and you can choose exactly where in the world to train (if you’ve got one of those all-singing-all-dancing devices which hook up to the internet and TV). But, most importantly, as a training tool their real advantage is that you can specify exactly what you do, and how you do it, specific to your own training needs, without having to worry about a pot-hole, angry motorist or red traffic light. Just like running on a treadmill, but on a bike.

Here, we’ve put together 8 monster workouts for those dark, winter months. Do once a week and they’ll get you through those cold, dark nights and before you know it the evenings will be getting longer and you’ll be back out on the open roads.

So, put your headphones on, turn the music up (we recommend www.podrunner.com) and get spinning!

Enjoy.

Week 1 – The Classic

Warm-up

10 mins progressive. Start easy and build so that, by the end, you’re sweating and just a couple of clicks below your effort level.

Main set

2 x 20 mins with 5 mins recovery. In race position, ride at your maximum sustainable pace/power for 20 mins.

Spin easy for 5 mins and then try to replicate. Note down distances, average power and average heart rate for comparisons to later sessions.

Cool-down

5 mins easy spinning.

Week 2 – Kitchen Sink (a bit of everything)

Warm-up

10 mins easy spinning.

Main set

10 mins spin-ups. With resistance and gear fairly low, stay seated and spin up to maximum cadence. Hold the cadence up to 30 secs and recover at an easy spin for the rest of the minute.

10 mins mixed climb. Crank up the resistance to high and find a gear that allows you, when working fairly hard, to maintain 80-90rpm. Climb seated for 1 min and then, having clicked up a couple of gears, climb out of the saddle and keep alternating.

10 mins big gear sprints. Recover spinning easily for 1 min at the end of the climb, and then select high resistance and a big gear. From a standing start, sprint out of the saddle to get on top of the gear and then sit down and maintain the sprint. It should be a 100% 30 sec effort. Rest completely for 90 secs between efforts.

10 mins time trial. At medium resistance and gearing that allows you to work hard, but sustainably, at 90-100rpm ride a consistent 10mins. Try to make your effort constant without any tailing off.

Cool-down

10 mins easy spinning.

Week 3 – Sweet-spot Workout

Warm-up

10 mins easy spinning.

Main set

5 x 1 min fast pedals over 110rpm at low resistance with 1 min recoveries. Followed by 3 x 15 mins at 88-93% of threshold, right in your sweet-spot. Rest for 5 mins easy between each.

Cool-down

10 mins easy spinning.

Week 4 – Maximal Madness

Warm-up

10-15 mins steady ride: build pace and include a few 20-30 sec pick-ups, increasing to maximum effort so you’re thoroughly warmed up.

Main session

30 mins of 30 secs ‘on’ 30 secs ‘off’, with the ‘on’ efforts at max effort/pace and the ‘off’ as easy spins.

Cool-down

10-15 mins steady ride.

Week 5 – Long, Steady, Film Ride

Warm-up

Easy spinning through the opening credits.

Main set

Have one list of cues for increasing resistance/gear and one for decreasing. Below example when watching Star Wars:

Increase

– Every time someone says “Droid”
– The Force is mentioned
– A tie-fighter is blown up

Decrease

– Someone fires up a light sabre
– An X-Wing Fighter is blown up
– Anyone says “Kenobi”
– R2-D2 or C-3P0 get damaged

Cool-down

Ride at easy intensity through the closing credits or plough on through the whole of the original trilogy if you’re going long next year. But only a true masochist would try Episodes I-III.

Week 6 – Race Pace Ride

Warm-up

10 mins steady ride.

Main session

4 x (6 mins building effort by 2 mins so the final 2 mins are at/slightly above race pace; 4 mins easy spin).

Cool-down

10 mins steady ride.

Week 7 – Big Gear Bonanza (Session 1)

Warm-up

10 mins steady spin then straight into an 8 min build set, increasing your effort and cadence every 2 mins. For example, start at 70% effort and 70rpm, then 75% effort/75rpm, 80% effort/80rpm, 85% effort/85rpm…

Main session

10 x 3 mins blocks as: 2 mins @ 80% effort and 55-60rpm, then straight into 30 secs 70% effort building to 100rpm and finally 30 secs holding 100rpm at an easy effort.

Cool-down

10 mins easy spin.

Week 8 – Big Gear Bonanza (Session 2)

Warm-up

10 mins smooth riding then 5 x 2 mins as 30 secs at 80rpm, 90rpm, 100rpm, 110rpm, steady effort.

Main session

Keep breathing controlled and focus on smooth, efficient pedalling throughout the pedal stroke. 5 x [2 mins, 1:30 mins, 1 min, 30 secs at race-pace effort and big gear, 50rpm]. 1 min high rpm easy effort between each.

Cool-down

Maintain a high rpm throughout to flush your legs after the big gear work. 10 mins easy spin.