Hints and Tips: Turbo Workouts

Despite my post on Hints and Tips: Wet Weather Riding, sometimes enough is enough and the turbo (a.k.a. weapon of boredom) has to come out in the winter months.

Here are a few turbo workouts that might help you to mix it up a bit, and get the most of your time:

20 Second Power Output
  • Warm up for 20 minutes
  • Select the big chain-ring at the front and a gear half way down the block at the rear
  • Ride for 20 seconds at the highest cadence you can maintain
  • Spin easy for 3 minutes to recover
  • Select one gear harder and try to match the cadence of the first interval for 20 seconds. If you can match the cadence of the first interval, move onto the next hardest gear and try again
  • Make 6 attempts at matching the cadence, then take a 10 minute easy spin recovery and make another six attempts

Speed Cadence Pyramids
  • Warm up for 20 minutes. 
  • Select the big ring at the front, and a gear close to the top of the cassette at the back.
  • Pedal for one minute at 80 RPM followed by easy, relaxed pedalling for another minute.
  • Next pedal at 85 RPM followed by easy, relaxed pedalling for another minute. And so on, adding 5 RPM per minute.
  • Keep this going until you start bouncing uncomfortably in the saddle
  • Work your way back down this theoretical pyramid by reducing the cadence by 5 RPM in each minute ‘on.’
  • Spin easy for a few minutes then do another pyramid – aiming for a total of two cadence pyramids in an hour of riding
  • Each Session extent the "on" interval so that is 1:20 mins, 1:40 mins etc.

Short Term Muscular Endurance
  • Warm up for 20 minutes
  • 6 x 30 second intervals at a perceived effort of 8 out of 10 in a gear half way down the block (big ring at the front). You’ll know you've gone hard enough if you really, REALLY feel the need to stop just before the 30 seconds is up
  • Recover with three minutes easy spinning between each interval
  • Recover with 10 minutes easy spinning after the six intervals then do another six, trying to match the intensity and the cadence
  • You then progress this session week-on-week by increasing the duration of the intervals or using progressively harder gears and trying to match the cadence, thus producing more power. You could also vary the length of the intervals within the session in order to be more event specific. The duration of this kind of effort in a race is highly variable as other riders rarely telegraph how long they are going to go on the offensive. 

Please note: I cannot claim these sessions as my own invention; they have come from someone else's little book of pain. Unfortunately, I've had them so long I don't know who! I know... worst reference ever...I would probably get thrown out of university for that...but I apologise sincerely to the original author.


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