Coaching: group turbo training

Jo McRae Jo McRae

If all this talk of turbo training has turned you off, don’t completely give up on the idea just yet.

Increasingly group turbo training sessions are popping up to encourage you to get on your bike through the worst of the weather when you might not otherwise bother.

Even if it is not your first choice, most of us know that turbo training has its benefits but struggle most with actually getting on and doing it. Here are some reasons why a group turbo session can be the practical solution you have been looking for.

Group turbo training
A Thursday night group turbo session at London’s Elite Cycling

Motivation is the first problem. When it’s dark outside and raining, it’s easy to argue that’s its unwise to go out. But dragging yourself away from a warm sofa to a cold and lonely garage can be equally challenging. Before you know it you have made yourself a nice cup of tea and half an hour has gone by leaving it ‘too late’ to start to think about training.

Domestic distractions can be another issue. If you have a family or spouse who you share your home with it can be really difficult to make the space and time for training at home without feeling selfish or guilty. Turbo training at a neutral venue away from the home can avoid this becoming a barrier and give you some ‘quality time’ for some ‘quality training’.

Commitment

Knowing that a session is going to be on at a particular time and on a particular day can help you to get your act together if you struggle with that self-discipline at home. It can also ensure that you get some routine and regularity into your training, with at least one session in the week being planned and fairly structured.

Coach-led structured sessions

Getting on the turbo is one thing but then deciding what to do can be another. Even if you have some ideas or have read through a few suggestions it is easy to wander and not stick to any plan. Another major benefit to a group session is that the coach leading the session will dictate what you will do and make sure you stick to it for the duration. They can also be on hand to give you their opinion as to what you should be doing the rest of the time, or answer any questions you might have about training.

Social/fun element

Not to be forgotten, especially in the deepest, darkest days of winter, is the important social and fun element to working in a group.In a largely solitary sport, as cyclists we sometimes miss out on the camaraderie enjoyed by others, and this group bonding can make even the toughest sessions more enjoyable.  As interval training intensifies many people would readily admit that they would not push themselves so hard on their own, and this competitive group element can bring the best out of you and enhance your fitness no end.

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