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Turbo Time

That time of year is here again where the weather is a bit hit and miss, in this part of the world anyway.
It's now when the turbo trainer gets dusted off to escape the gale force winds and driving rain. Not that those are the only times you should use the turbo, for specific workouts it can quite often be a very good choice even in mid summer.

For me I've spent many hours using the most of my time to get in quality sessions inside, but one of the biggest issues was trying to keep some variety involved to kill the boredom.
I've tried many methods including videos, music, movies, and of course specific intervals to stick to. Movies I always found difficult because I was usually going too hard to follow the plot, so that was quickly put aside.
Music is still there, I find it difficult to do a turbo session without it, get some good tunes going and it really drives you on.

The thing that really did it for me though is using Trainerroad. It works by connecting to Bluetooth Smart or ANT+ devices to give you real time data on your computer or iOS device.
You can use this with smart trainers like the Wahoo Kickr which then controls the resistance on the trainer or use it with a traditional trainer and use virtual power. Now I have used trainers in the past with built in power and have to say most have been so far off the mark that using the power feature was just too unreliable. So how good would virtual power be? I didn't have high hopes, but this was spot on!
I have used this alongside my actual power meter and the results are very impressive. In fact the numbers are pretty much bang on.

Garmin Stick
You will need an ANT+ stick such as this Garmin one to link everything together.

To use virtual power you need a speed sensor and in the menu you choose your trainer model which then uses a calculation to give power output. A perfect solution for those without a power meter. I do have to say though, once you use this inside you will soon be looking to purchase a power meter for riding outside or else you'll feel like a kid who just had their favourite toy taken off them.

Live Trainerroad Screen
Live screen showing actual power, target power, heart rate, and cadence.

I mentioned movies before, well if you like watching movies, or streaming the likes of Netflix you can do this and have Trainerroad showing at the bottom of your screen. I really like this when using a Sufferfest video, in fact Sufferfest have their own workouts in the Trainerroad library which you can choose so as well as watching the video you will also get the graph at the bottom which replicates the given video.

Video view with Sufferfest video.

If like me you like specific ergo type workouts, you will find hundreds of different sessions to choose from. So if you want to target threshold workouts for example, you can choose threshold from the menu under zones and you will be shown a huge selection to choose from.

Threshold Selection
Threshold selection from workout filter menu

There is a subscription for Trainerroad, but you can also suspend it for times you know you won't be using it. This is really useful if you know there is no way you'll be riding inside during the hottest month of the year for example.

Completed Workout
Completed Workout showing each interval.

Device Menu with plenty of options

There's now so many options out there to keep indoor training interesting there really is no need to lose too much bike fitness over the winter months. Try to get 3 or more rides of 40 to 60 minutes targeting some threshold work and you will be surprised how much fitness you will maintain ready for when the warmth and sunshine comes our way again.
If you live local to the Isle of Man check out my turbo sessions starting on the 11th of November.

My weapon of choice.



Youth Bike Fitting Program

This program is aimed at the youth rider to ensure correct bike fitting as the rider grows.
Getting the rider/bike relationship right is very important for young riders so that muscle development is not compromised.

Benefits of this program include injury prevention with growth, added comfort, and the ability to perform at their best on a well fitted bike.

Don’t guess with your child’s set up, come see me and get it done right.
A correct bike fit is worth a lot more than a new set of carbon wheels, and your child will thank you later in life.

All fittings use the latest Retül 3D motion capture for real time measurements. This is the same system most of the top pro teams are currently using.

Please note 3 fittings are spread over 1 year in order to adjust as the cyclist grows.

The ideal fitting schedule would be to have the initial fitting before winter, another pre race season, and the third one towards the end of the race season.

You can book directly online or contact me for more information.

Ages upto and including 17 years old. £150 for all 3 fittings


How To Ride The Perfect TT

This is one of those questions I get asked quite a lot, and really when you think about it its one of the cycling disciplines which has the least amount of tactics involved.

A lot of riders especially in the UK compete in a weekly time trail of some sort and like to use them as a gauge of improvement or even as a competiton against their cycling companions.
Certainly here in the Isle of Man we have a 10 mile TT league which gets numbers towards 100 each week which always amazes me. Its such a painful discipline that I figure most cyclists must really have a screw loose to want to do these week in week out. Read More…

Keep using that turbo

Even though the sun has come out and the days and nights are warmer the turbo trainer still has a role to play in your training routine.
For sure get out in the sunshine and enjoy riding outside whenever you can, but you can still add the turbo into that mix.

So lets say you're like most bike riders out there and you have limited time to get out. This is where the turbo can really be your friend. If you're time crunched you can do so much in the way of training in a short period of time.

I often talk to clients who have some days where they can do no more than 40 minutes training. Well if those 40 minutes are made up of a tough interval session you'll certainly know you've had a quality workout.
You may even find you are able to structure your workouts much better knowing you have the turbo set up and ready to go straight after work.
For example you might have 2 mid week days you can get outside for a ride, and 3 days where getting 40 minutes to an hour on the turbo is better for time management.

The other advantage is being able to do quality interval sessions without interruption of traffic lights or stop signs, particularly for those who live in built up areas.
It can be frustrating getting into a session and having to stop at junctions all the time when you're trying to stay on target with your planned session. With the turbo you can get stuck in using visual aids such as Sufferfest videos or software like trainer road which really help pass the time and let you get stuck in with no distractions.
I'll be doing an article on both of those items in the future.

If you're lucky enough to have an abundance of time available then why not add some turbo sessions to your training plan on double days. So for example you might do an endurance ride in the morning and stick in an interval session on the turbo in the evening.

I've also found it useful to try some warm up sessions which can be used on race days, this way you can tweak them to suit what will work for you and know that on race day you have a perfect warm up session to use with no guessing.

So don't put that turbo away for the summer, keep it dusted off and ready to go.

Try the following 40 minute high intensity workout as an example.

• 5 Minutes Warm up 60-70% FTP
• 90 seconds 110% FTP high cadence
• 1 Minute easy < 50% FTP
• 3 Minutes 105% FTP high cadence
• 1 Minute easy < 50% FTP
• 5 Minutes 95-100% FTP
• 3 Minutes easy
• 90 seconds 110% FTP high cadence
• 1 Minute easy
• 3 Minutes 105% FTP high cadence
• 1 minute easy
• 5 minutes 95-100% FTP high cadence
• Recover 8 minutes nice and easy

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