Pro-tips for Turbo workouts

Without an objective or a goal turbo training can (and probably will) be the most boring activity imaginable. The key is to have a specific aim for your session – as you should for all your training rides

If you sit on a turbo trainer in a dark garage for 4 hrs of level 1, then you will need to disconnect your brain in order to complete the session. It’s altogether more sensible to set a time limit (45m – 1hr) for you to work towards. Next break your session into warm up – session proper – cool down. A 10 min warm up and down should be an essential part of every turbo training session.

So, what is your aim for the session? Is it a gentle recovery ride spinning low gears? Or is a substitute for a 3 hr Sunday ride? Are you going to be doing intervals or not? Try to work out a vague session plan before you start. By doing 5 x 2min threshold intervals with 8 mins recovery in between you already have a 1hr session. The time will fly by much quicker if you break your session up into manageable, focused chunks.

Make sure that you have plenty of fluid on hand. You will be sweating more than usual so keep drinking at regular intervals. If you are going to be turbo training for any length of time then consider adding carbohydrate powder to your drink

Turbo trainers? Well there’s quite a range; from the famed Obree style converted gym bike, (probably placed in the basement facing a dark wall) to a fully adjustable Velotron with more functions than you know what to do with – including a simulated trip up Mont Ventoux! Have a serious think about what functions you want and get advice from as many people as possible before purchasing.

Invest in some good headphones and motivational music. Dido just won’t cut it I’m afraid. A good sing-along will help no end. Air guitars are optional though. (the editor is currently compiling a Top Ten Turbo Tunes© playlist on his iPod)

TV is another great source of motivation. Cycling video’s whilst turbo training are brilliant (and great for practicing your victory salutes as you pip Petacchi on the line!) but stay away from chick flicks like Bridget Jones – they require too much concentration and will probably just add to the boredom…

A fan is very important, even in the coolest garage you will sweat buckets after a few intense intervals. Start off wearing shorts and a long sleeve top then once you’ve warmed take of the top and adopt the proper turbo training outfit: shorts. Only.

Place a towel over the handlebars to stop sweat corroding you headset, frame and beautiful pine floors

Everyone likes looking at themselves on the bike, so what better than a mirror at the front or even better an all round turbo mirror. Some may think your being vain, but this is a training tool. You get a great view of your position and form on the bike. Honestly.

Place a towel over the handlebars to stop sweat corroding you headset, frame and beautiful pine floors

OK, so if you want to create the ultimate turbo training experience you need to have a well structured session, large surrounding mirrors, a good sound system and headphones, a motivational musical collection, plenty of towels, cycling videos and an industrial sized fan. So it might be simpler to just get your gloves on and go out in the rain for a bit….

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