For some cyclists, the phrase ‘turbo training’ conjurs up images of makeshift home gyms with the woes of winter outside the window. Although turbo trainers are great in the colder, darker months, there’s no reason why turbo training can’t form part of your wider training plan. Whether it’s cycling for fun, getting into shape or preparing for a challenge, read on to find out how you can use these nifty pieces of equipment all year round to their full potential.

Interval training

Although it’s good to have a distraction when training, why not forgo How I Met Your Mother reruns and instead put more focus on finishing a dedicated session. There are loads of free and easy to follow interval training sessions online, which will not only give you an end goal but help to pass the time even without a scenic route!

Why will this help?

Including regular interval sessions in your training could improve your overall fitness, endurance and speed by improving how you deliver oxygen to your muscles.

Threshold training

Although in theory this sounds similar to interval training, threshold training enables you to keep up a consistent effort for a longer length of time. So whereas you might train in a short burst of about 5 minutes as part of your interval trainin, threshold training could be sustained for up to an hour. This helps to train your body to work at a higher intensity for longer, which can only help your ability on the road.

Why will this help?

As you increase your threshold, you’re overall efficiency as a cyclist will improve, essentially allowing you to push the pace harder!

‘Sweet spot’ training

Sweet spot training of around 20 minutes allows you to work just under your threshold, and ideally means you never enter the ‘red zone’, your limit. By performing at a consistent rate for a shorter amount of time, the idea is that you maintain a level that you wouldn’t necessarily consider ‘difficult’. Another great advantage of the sweet spot session is that you can adapt your workout to how much time you’ve got on your hands, without taking a super high intensity flogging!

Why will this help?

Although your sessions will be shorter, this type of training will still contribute to improving your threshold, whether for those minute long bursts or hourly sessions.

One-legged pedal

Feeling pretty confident with your current training regime? Why not add a bit of fun and challenge yourself a little bit more. As simple as it sounds, switching legs and using only one pedal at a time is a great way to balance any pedalling imperfections you might not know you have. By focusing on one leg at a time you’re allowing yourself to focus on the areas which you may have otherwise ignored! You could also use a Garmin to monitor your power, so you can actually see the difference in results from leg to leg!

Why will this help?

Regular one-legged drills will not only improve your overall pedal stroke, but really add an ease to the sensation of cycling in circles when you go back to using both legs.

 

So, don’t wait for winter to get back on your turbo trainer, there are loads of ways to add it into your current plan. And, you might even thank us for a nice, cool room to really focus your cycling in. You won’t have to share the road with your fellow cyclists, or worry about running out of water! Tell us what you think and how you train during the summer months, we’d love to know!

 

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