The three key sessions you need to become a better biker
For interval, strength and test sessions, no traffic, no ice, no junctions and no distractions make the turbo ideal. Two to three turbo sessions a week throughout the winter – one strength/hill based; one interval set; and one technique/recovery – in conjunction with a long weekend ride will seriously improve your bike fitness by spring. Here are three sample sessions.
Stairway to Heaven Description This is great for building hill strength, as well as mental toughness. Duration 42mins
10mins easy spinning, including some 10-20sec seated sprints in the second 5mins.
3 x 6mins of ascending difficulty with 2min recoveries. Select the big ring but with a moderate sprocket, e.g. 22t. Resistance should be at about a third of your turbo’s maximum. Ride moderately hard. After 3mins, shift up two gears and try to maintain the same cadence for a further 2mins. Finally, shift up another two gears and ride hard for 1min out of the saddle. Drop to the small chainring, drop the resistance and recover with easy spinning for 2mins. Shift back to the big ring but this time perform the ‘3mins, 2mins, 1min’ sequence with two more clicks of resistance. Recover for 2mins and then, once more, work through the ‘3,2,1’ pattern, again cranking it up by two clicks.
10mins easy spin.
2 x 20 Description Develops ability to hold near-threshold efforts and an excellent test session. Duration 42mins
10mins progressive. Start easy and build so that, by the end, you’re sweating and just a couple of clicks below your effort level.
2 x 20mins with 5mins recovery. In race position, ride at your maximum sustainable pace/power for 20mins. Spin easy for 5mins and then try to replicate. Note down distances and average power and heart rate for comparisons to later sessions.
5mins easy spin.
Single Leg Pedalling Drills Description Technique session to develop a smooth pedal stroke. Can also be used as an extended warm-up or as a recovery workout. Duration 26mins
5mins easy spin.
1min Clip out your weaker leg and rest it on a stool. Pedal one-legged @80-100rpm. Focus on the dead spot at the bottom of the pedal stroke – imagine scraping muck off your shoe. 1min Spin with both legs. 1min Repeat the ‘muck drill’ with the other leg. 1min Spin with both legs. 1min Return to original leg and focus on the top of the pedal stroke by aiming the knee toward the handlebars and by pushing the toes forward in the shoes. 1min Spin with both legs. 1min Repeat ‘knee over handlebars’ with other leg. 1min Spin with both legs.
8mins Repeat main set.
5mins easy spinning
“Two to three turbo sessions a week throughout the winter will seriously improve your fitness”