Despite the fact it’s now March, the weather is not showing too many signs of improving. As I write this there’s an incredible hail storm outside - huge nuggets of ice are blasting around in a frenzy and I’m ever so glad that I got all the cats back in before they were blown away!

Of course there is a glimmer of hope offered by the clocks going back on the 27th - yay for more daylight - but until then, there’s still quite a lot of dark, rubbish weather to deal with. So that’s where indoor training can come in handy.

Last month I posted a few indoor training ideas for those of you hoping to keep riding, increase your fitness, burn off a few calories or rid yourself of cabin fever, so this month I thought I’d follow that up with some more specific ideas for turbo trainer based workouts that will not take too long, but that can have spectacular results.

These workouts can also be performed on the road, but do make very sure that you choose a quiet road that you know very well, and pay full attention to what is going on around you rather than just zoning in our your cycle computer and what your heart rate is doing.

Speaking of heart rates, if you decide to get a bit more serious about your training, working with heart rate zones is very interesting and highly effective, but for the sake of ease, all these workouts can be doing using a 'Rate Of Perceived Exertion' scale, with 1 being incredibly easy, and 10 being unfathomably hard. RPM refers to your cadence, or the speed at which you’re turning the pedals.

All sessions should start with a warm up - 10 minutes of pedaling building from RPE 1 to RPE 8. Include three 8-second sprints in the last few minutes of your warm up. After each session, warm down for 10 minutes with some pedaling then do some stretching. Make sure you drink lots of water.

Ready? Then let’s begin!

 

1.  The Beast

  • 30 seconds sprint full-gas (RPE 10 / Heart Rate Zone 5)
  • 30 seconds recovery (RPE 4 / Heart Rate Zone 2)
  • 30 seconds sprint (RPE 10 / Heart Rate Zone 5)
  • 30 seconds recovery (RPE 4 / Heart Rate Zone 2)
  • 30 seconds sprint (RPE 10 / Heart Rate Zone 5)
  • 30 seconds recovery (RPE 4 / Heart Rate Zone 2)
  • 30 seconds sprint (RPE 10 / Heart Rate Zone 5)
  • 3 minutes recovery (RPE 4 / Heart Rate Zone 2)
  • Repeat three times.
  • Give yourself a big pat on the back for being such a badass.

  

2.  The Countdown

  • 30 minutes RPE 7 / Heart Rate Zone 3
  • Within your 30 minutes, include 5 full-gas sprints of descending duration:
  • 50sec
  • 40sec
  • 30sec
  • 20sec
  • 10sec

 

3.  The Cleopatra:

  • 12 min very hard effort (RPE 8 / Heart Rate Zone 4)
  • 2 min recovery (RPE 3 / Heart Rate Zone 2)
  • 10 min very hard effort (RPE 8 / Heart Rate Zone 4)
  • 1min 45sec recovery (RPE 3 / Heart Rate Zone 2)
  • 8 min very hard effort (RPE 8 / Heart Rate Zone 4)
  • 1 min 30sec recovery (RPE 3 / Heart Rate Zone 2)
  • 6 min very hard effort (RPE 8 / Heart Rate Zone 4)
  • 1 min 30sec recovery (RPE 3 / Heart Rate Zone 2)
  • 3 min very hard effort (RPE 8 / Heart Rate Zone 4)
  • 1 min recovery
  • Fall on floor and groan.

 

4.  The Vomit Inducer:

  • 4 min sprint (RPE 8 / Heart Rate Zone 4)
  • 2 minute recovery (RPE 3 / Heart Rate Zone 2)
  • 3 min sprint (RPE 8 / Heart Rate Zone 4)
  • 1min 30 sec recovery (RPE 3 / Heart Rate Zone 2)
  • 2min 30 sec sprint (RPE 8 / Heart Rate Zone 4)
  • 75 sec recovery (RPE 3 / Heart Rate Zone 2)
  • 2min sprint (RPE 8 / Heart Rate Zone 4)
  • 75 sec recovery (RPE 3 / Heart Rate Zone 2)
  • 1 min sprint (RPE 8 / Heart Rate Zone 4)
  • 30 sec recovery (RPE 3 / Heart Rate Zone 2)
  • Try not to puke.

 

5.  The Bodybuilder:

Avoid this session if you have bad knees, as it involves pushing a heavy gear.

For this workout you have to crank up the resistance or put your bike in a heavy gear. Aim to pedal at 60RPM – that’s one full pedal stroke per second. It should feel hard.

  • 3 mins seated pedaling at 60 RPM (RPE 8 / Heart Rate Zone 4)
  • 3 mins recovery
  • 3 standing at 60 RPM (RPE 8 / Heart Rate Zone 4)
  • 3 mins recovery
  • 1.5 mins seated pedaling at 60 RPM (RPE 8 / Heart Rate Zone 4)
  • 1.5 mins recovery
  • 1.5 standing at 60 RPM (RPE 8 / Heart Rate Zone 4)
  • min recovery
  • 1 min seated pedaling at 60 RPM (RPE 8 / Heart Rate Zone 4)
  • 1 min recovery
  • 1 standing at 60 RPM (RPE 10)
  • Squeal with joy because it’s over!
  • Run yourself a bubble bath.

 

These workouts are tough, so don’t be put off if you can’t sprint for 30 seconds to begin with – just try as hard as you can, for as long as you can. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you’re the only one that finds them hard either – they’re hard for everyone!

Just looking at what I’ve written, I understand that some of this could be a little overwhelming, but just focus on breaking each workout down into it’s component parts and do them one at a time.

And remember, you’ll feel amazing once you’ve completed them, or at least you will once you’ve stopped sweating!

With thanks to Dave Noakes for all photos

Ideal Kit for Hard Indoor Turbo Sessions