How To

How to plan the perfect turbo training session

Preparing location, intervals vs. duration, motivational tools, group vs. solo, monitoring effort with hrm or power

Intervals vs. duration

Deciding whether to do a longer, more consistent, effort or a session of higher intensity comes down to a number of factors including:

  1. What are the overall goals that you’re working towards?
  2. How much time are you expecting to be on the trainer each week?
  3. Is turbo training a substitute when you can’t get outside, or a structured part of your training plan?
  4. Your motivation and concentration levels.
If turbo training is to form a regular and structured part of your winter then mix up sessions of intensity and endurance each week. pic: ©Deborah Malin

If you only intend to set-up the turbo once in a while, when it really isn’t possible to get out on the road, then a session that more closely replicates a base ride may be an option. However, the prospect of sitting on the turbo week-in-week out spinning the legs for hours with little stimulus outside of this can be enough to crack even the hardiest of riders before they even get started. If you’re going to spend a lot of time indoors then mix up the week with a combination of intervals, mid-level endurance and recovery rides. Don’t forget, with no distractions you’ll be freewheeling and stopping far less than when you’re outside so you may find that a shorter session on the turbo can be equally effective as a longer ride on the road.

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