As the nights start to draw in and the weather gets that bit more miserable, it can be tempting to slack off your training and swap the saddle for the sofa. But whether you love or loath them, turbo trainers mean that wintry weather is no excuse for not riding and they can be invaluable for fitting in the extra hours you might otherwise miss. Earlier this year we chatted to world track champion and Olympic medalist, Elinor Barker of Matrix Pro Cycling, for her advice on how to get the most out of your turbo sessions.
1. Plan ahead
Always have a good turbo session ready. It’ll be much easier to get through an hour’s turbo session if it’s split up into chunks of work rather than just trying to get on and ride for an hour. As the old saying goes, “fail to prepare, prepare to fail.”
2. Good music
Have a really good playlist ready! It’s so much easier to get through a horrible turbo session if you’ve got some good music playing in your ears and you’re not trying to skip through every other song. Research has shown music to have a profound effect on our physical capabilities, so choose your tunes wisely and feel the benefit.
3. Have a backup session planned.
If you’re going on the turbo to avoid bad weather, make sure you’ve got a really good backup session so that you’re not tempted to just leave halfway through and go out in the rain. If you’re more haphazard in your organisation and don’t really know where to start, websites such as turbotraining.co.uk offer guided sessions to keep you on track.
4. Start in a cold room
Try to start off in a cooled or cold room, because you’re going to heat up really quickly! Protect the floor with a sweat mat, and make sure you’ve got a towel and plenty water to hand so you won’t need to hop off mid-session.
5. Split your session up
Make sure that your sessions are nicely split up so that when you want to quit you’ve just got to get to the end of that interval session and then you’ve got a break… and then you’ve just to get to the end of the NEXT interval session! As well as making it easier to break down mentally, interval sessions are also a fantastic way of boosting your fitness.
Now, you have no excuses! What are your favourite ways of making turbo sessions more enjoyable?
Elinor’s goals changed this year to focus on the World TT Championships in Bergan in September. The long list for the team was announced this week so we keep our fingers crossed for selection and look forward to watching her race in a few weeks time.
Yellow Jersey are sponsors of Elinor’s team Matrix Pro Cycling and provide the team with the insurance they require to keep their riders protected while they are out racing and training around the world.