The Value of the Turbo Session

Blog post written by Paul at UCANFITNESS

As today has shown, the British Winter can be wet, windy, cold and icy so sometimes you’re better off jumping on the turbo trainer and mashing out the miles indoors rather than facing the wind, rain, punctures, mechanicals and filthy bikes.
Pedalling in a fixed position in a controlled environment allows you to ride intervals at maximum effort, without having to worry about traffic, roundabouts, and junctions, so you can place your undivided attention into the effort. Add in the fact that there’s no freewheel, it makes turbo training a more time efficient form of training – with 60 turbo minutes comparable to around 120 minutes on the road if you do it right.

Doing it right means actually having a plan, starting off with a fitness baseline ie: some form of FTP (functional threshold power) test and then understanding why you’re riding the intervals that you are – this means you’ll mentally commit to them more and ultimately go harder. Before we move on, a few tips:

*   Pick a Turbo Trainer that suits your budget but has a method of adjusting effort other than the bike gears, and also suits your mental ability, the new style smart trainers make indoor training much more interesting with a myriad of real-life routes to try and the resistance from these routes can be replicated by the trainer. Have a chat with the team at Velosport about the various options.
*   Never try to turbo train without a fan. This does not train ‘mental fortitude’ and is only really useful if you plan on competing in an event somewhere hot. All that happens is you overheat, and this will cause both your HR heart rate to rise and your power (Watts) to actually drop.
*   Always start with a big bottle 750ml of water – you will need it.
*   Have a towel handy. Since you’re not moving, there’s no cooling air.
*   Use a mat and a raiser block to lift your front wheel off the ground so your bike is level.

Sample 60 minutes Session: Good for  sportive riders who want to be able to smash those five minute long hills

*   10 – 15 minutes warm-up
*   4 x (30 seconds ATTACK 9/10 effort, 4 minutes steady 7/10 effort, 30 seconds ATTACK 9/10 effort, 5 minutes recovery)
*   10 minutes cooling down

Make the most effective use of your time and get a turbo, its Xmas after all..

Paul at UCANFITNESS. Email:

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