Indoor training: The Perfect Match
Holly Seear, Casquette training editor and Level 3 British Cycling Coach, shows us how to make the most of every minute with awesome indoor training guides to match how much time you have…
When it comes to cycling, Casquette is very much about getting outside and enjoying life on the road. But when reality bites – the weather is colder, daylight is limited and time is short – an indoor training session is a great solution because you can tailor the intensity and duration to suit how much time you have. Whether you have 30 or 90 minutes to spare or a turbo trainer or roller, here are some awesome session guides to help you get the most out of every second.
What would you recommend if you have a spare 30 mins?
This is a good session if you have rollers, but is also suitable for the turbo. For this session you should use a moderate gear as we are focusing on technique, not power.
What’s good about this session is that it forces you to concentrate on applying uniform pressure to your pedals all the way round the pedal stroke and trains you to pedal smoothly across a range of leg speeds. Being able to change leg speed rapidly will pay dividends in a race situation or when you need to respond to a change of pace quickly. A good pedalling technique will ultimately save you energy as you will be more efficient.
- Complete 10 minutes of gradual warm up.
- Accelerate your legs from your normal cadence all the way to your maximum cadence/leg speed. The maximum is the point at which you start ‘bouncing’ in the saddle. At this point you should really focus on smooth, fluid pedal strokes to reduce the bounce.
- See if you can do 15 -30 seconds. Ride easy for 2 minutes between intervals and repeat 5-10 times.
- Complete a 5 minute gentle cool down in an easy gear.
This is a short but intense session that’s best performed on the turbo. Tabata workouts traditionally consist of 20 seconds of maximum effort with only 10 seconds recovery (named after the Japanese doctor who pioneered this high intensity interval training - HIIT).
- Ensure you complete a really good warm up of at least 10 minutes, gradually increasing cadence and effort.
- Then do a 20 second maximum sprint effort followed by 10 seconds of rest where you keep the pedals spinning super easy.
- Repeat 8 times.
- Cool down for 10 minutes reducing to an easy gear.
- You can stand up to build speed initially and should feel that you are 'exploding' away for each effort. After 8 efforts you should feel sick! This session targets your anaerobic system and will improve your speed and your ability to suffer! As you become stronger you could add a second set.
What would you recommend if you have a spare 60 mins?
Mixed Short Intervals
This is a good session to work on maintaining top speed for a variety of durations and also keeps it more interesting than a traditional interval session. Complete on turbo or rollers.
Each effort should be the maximal sustainable effort for the time period. If you are using British Cycling power zones this will be zone 5+. If not, just focus on sprinting hard for the time period. Ideal cadences 110rpm+ for effort, 90rpm for recoveries.
- Do a really good warm up of at least 12 minutes, gradually increasing cadence and effort.
- Then complete 10 minutes, alternating 15 seconds maximum effort with 15 seconds of easy spinning
- Recover with 3 minutes easy riding
- Then do 8 minutes, alternating 30 seconds of maximum effort with 30 seconds easy spinning
- Recover with 3 minutes easy riding
- Then do 8 minutes again, alternating 1 minute of maximum effort with 30 seconds easy spinning
- Cool down for 10 minutes, reducing to an easy gear.
What would you recommend if you have a spare 90 mins?
How about joining a group ride or race on Zwift to relieve the boredom of indoor training or take on a Sufferfest ride.
Zwift is a turbo trainer game which has taken the global cycling community by storm, allowing users to hook their indoor trainer up to the internet and ride one of many routes with anyone else connected at the time. This could be your next door neighbour, your friend in the next town, or any number of professional cyclists looking to elevate the value of training indoors.
It does require a subscription fee, although you can trial it for free for the first week, and you will need a decent turbo trainer which can provide you with – at the very least – variable resistance for the simulation of gradients. You’ll also need a computer, iPad or mobile phone and a reliable internet connection.
Zwift is about as immersive as training can get without riding outside. It has all the benefits of group riding, terrain variation and the motivation to unlock achievements, without the faff of multiple layers, bad weather and having to clean your bike after every ride.
Alternatively, the Sufferfest provides workout videos with official race footage, structured training sessions with on-screen instructions designed by world-class coaches. The Sufferfest doesn't promise to make your training fun (hence the name!) but it will make it more interesting.
Contact Holly Seear at springcyclecoaching.co.uk