Training Tips – 3 Simple Indoor Turbo Trainer Workouts

Turbo Trainer Workout Session
I do not own a turbo trainer. It is a decision not based on principle, but on a preference—for riding outdoors, even when the weather is abysmal. Turbo trainers have a valuable place in many cyclists' world though; allowing safe and time-efficient training, especially through the winter months.

These three turbo workouts will help you to train efficiently and get the most from your time during a turbo trainer workout.


20 Second Power Output

  • Warm up for 20 minutes
  • Select the big chainring at the front and a gear halfway down the block at the rear
  • Ride for 20 seconds at the highest cadence you can maintain
  • Spin easy for three 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 six 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 "on" minute
  • 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 extend 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 halfway down the block (big ring at the front). You will know you have 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 of the first sets
  • 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. You could also vary the length of the intervals within the session in order to be more event specific


N.B. These sessions could also be completed on cycle training rollers. See the post 'Cycle Roller Training Sessions' for easier recovery sessions that are also perfect for rollers. 

Cycling Rollers Session Ideas


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