How to Improve Your Turbo Trainer Workout: Endurance, Speed, and Performance Testing

Photo credit: Bigstockphoto
Photo credit: Bigstockphoto

Turbo training is an indoor cycling training that helps you stay fit no matter how bad the weather is. Turbo training is common among riders who want to keep themselves in shape during the winter months. Turbo training can help enhance endurance, increase heart rate and resistance, and keep your legs toned. Because turbo training is done in a controlled environment, riders have more time to target and focus on specific areas of cycling fitness and technique they want to improve on.

In turbo training, there are three main parts of the training to consider: endurance, speed, and performance testing.

Using Turbo Trainer for Endurance

Endurance is the ability to go on despite tiredness setting in. To use turbo training to enhance endurance, start with road racing, time trial, and Cyclo cross races.

Tip 1: If you’re training in the winter, you should do longer turbo training — around 90 minutes or more per session. You can mix up the resistance between each session to simulate hills or steep climbs. The benefits of working out for endurance include keeping the legs stronger so it can endure longer road sessions.

Tip 2: Another way to use your turbo trainer to enhance endurance is to do warm ups and even do hard training to hasten recovery of the legs. Hard training through a turbo trainer helps remove waste products from the muscles.

Using Turbo Training for Speed

Don’t confuse speed with speed endurance; these are two very different things. Speed is the ability to work the pedals at high cadence efficiently and smoothly.

Tip 1: To enhance speed using a turbo trainer, get a set of indoor training rollers. Indoor training rollers are the most effective tool to develop leg speed.

Tip 2: Using your cycling rollers, start training with low-resistance weights, gradually speeding up your pedal cadence to maximum without bounding. You can use a cadence function on your cycle computer to track your progress.

Tip 2: Do single leg efforts by focusing on turning the pedals with one leg while the other leg is clipped onto your pedals.

Using Turbo Training for Performance Testing

You can use turbo training to determine your progress. We recommend using a rear-wheel mounting cycle computer to monitor the kilometers of every training session as well as track your progress each time.

Tip 1: Do time trials to determine if your leg muscles are in their peak. You could also conduct tests through different race bikes. For instance, you could use tri-bars during training to track your performance if you’re a triathlete. For road racers, use your race bike with training wheels. This helps the body adapt to the same position you take when you are bike racing.

Tip 2: Do an 8-kilometer (or 5-mile) aerobic warm up with your heart rate at 80%. Track the time it took you to achieve the 8-kilometer race and log the results. Recording your results helps determine your own performance and progress during training.

Tip 3: After warming up, try to speed up to an 8-kilometer race as quickly as you can. Record your time. Check your speed performance and find out what training you need to do in order to improve your record time.


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