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Turbo Training – A necessary evil, or a great time saver.

OK, so I have a Turbo-Trainer. (A device to attach your bike to holding it up and providing variable resistance, so that you can get on and pedal for a workout if you’ve not come across the term before.) At times I think it’s the most boring way to spend time. Others, I’m quite happy to get on the bike for a spin and feel better without the faff of going for a “proper” ride.

For some people it’s through necessary – injury, lack of time, or simply not having the opportunity to leave the house because you’re on-call or minding children – that the turbo trainer is the only way to develop / keep cycling fitness. For others it’s just a way to get some pedal strokes in – sitting pedaling while you watch TV or revise so as not to “waste” time. Then there’s those for whom the dedicated workout is a way to get fitter midweek without having to risk icy roads and idiots in cars or having to spend as long cleaning your kit and bike after a ride as you spent on the ride makes it an attractive option.

I know some people can just sit and spin and spin on the things, but my bordom threshold isn’t that high. I need a set routine to work through and about half an hour is as long as I can manage. With this in mind, I’ve evolved a reasonably mixed workout that leaves me puffed, but generaly still able to stand at the end (depending on how hard I ride).

  • Gentle spin, 1st gear, 1/2 on the resistance for 5 minutes.
  • Gentle spin in third gear, 1/2 on the resistance for 5 minutes (until 10:00 from the start)
  • Pushing steadily, third gear, 6 on the resistance (hardest setting) for 2 minutes (until 12:00)
  • Fast spin, 3rd grear, Resistance: 2, one minute (Until 13:00)
  • Sprint, 3rd gear, Resistance 5, 20 seconds.
  • Moderate spin, 3rd gear, Resistance 2
  • Repeat the Sprint / Spin 10 times (Until 18:00)
  • Put the bike in the big ring and spin in 3rd gear, reistance 2 for one minute (Until 19:00)
  • Leaving it in the big ring, push steadily with reistance 6 for two minutes (21:00)
  • Moderate spin at resistance 2 for one minute (22:00)
  • Ten more sprint / spin cycles – Twenty second sprint at resistance 5 then spin on resistance 2 for ten seconds (27:00)
  • Warm down spinning moderately at reistance 1/2. I tend to do two minutes, then put the bike back in the little ring and do two more minutes, then put it in first gear and do two final minutes of easy spinning, which means I finish 33 minutes after I start feeling much better about myself.

So, cyclists, do you turbo-train? Just in the winter or all year? And how do you manage to keep interested?


2 Comments to Turbo Training – A necessary evil, or a great time saver.

  1. Kam's Gravatar Kam
    February 5, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    In all honesty, after using your turbo-trainer the other week, I’m very much tempted to get one when I move back to Hampshire. Looks like a pretty sound investment!

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