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Using Turbo Trainers

Richie GRichie G Posts: 283
edited November 2007 in Training, fitness and health
I know there have been lots of Turbo related threads lately, but bear with me! I'm considering getting one of these instruments of torture, as i'm trying to devise a winter training schedule to help me do my first season of TT's. Wondering if a turbo would be the best way for me to help build my speed and compliment longer, steadier outdoor efforts. Do people have specific workouts when on the turbo? I currently have little structure to my riding beyond trying to do 100 miles a week, generally at the same pace. Now i'm doing more miles, i find the excercise bikes at my local gym unridable- last time i used one my knee wasn't right for fortnight! If a turbo in going to help me improve, i'm tempted to cancel the gym membership and get one. Just want to know whether this is the right thing to do and how to get the best out of using one. Sorry to ramble on, i like to check things out before reaching for my wallet! :D

Rich

Posts

  • nmcgannnmcgann Posts: 1,780
    Richie G wrote:
    I know there have been lots of Turbo related threads lately, but bear with me! I'm considering getting one of these instruments of torture, as i'm trying to devise a winter training schedule to help me do my first season of TT's. Wondering if a turbo would be the best way for me to help build my speed and compliment longer, steadier outdoor efforts. Do people have specific workouts when on the turbo? I currently have little structure to my riding beyond trying to do 100 miles a week, generally at the same pace. Now i'm doing more miles, i find the excercise bikes at my local gym unridable- last time i used one my knee wasn't right for fortnight! If a turbo in going to help me improve, i'm tempted to cancel the gym membership and get one. Just want to know whether this is the right thing to do and how to get the best out of using one. Sorry to ramble on, i like to check things out before reaching for my wallet! :D

    Rich

    A turbo is a great way of doing very time-efficient sessions. I did my first season of TTs this year and a lot of the hardest work was done on the turbo.

    This time of year I'm doing 1h Tempo sessions and muscular strength sessions on the turbo during the week and 2h Tempo and longer endurance road rides at the weekend. This will expand into 2x20min threshold sessions in the new year and then 5min Vo2max and 2min strength intervals building into the race season - these are all done on the turbo. I can just about do 2x20 on the road (although it is very hard to keep the intensity constant), but the vo2max and 2min intervals are too intense to do safely on the road, i'd be in the ditch for sure.

    As for getting the right number and mix of sessions - that's why I have a coach :wink:

    Neil
    --
    "Because the cycling is pain. The cycling is soul crushing pain."
  • I just tried a Tacx Sirius tonight and am impressed how hard you can go on it. The one I currently have is too easy, think rollers with a bit of resistance. The wiggle spec on the Tacx says "600watts at 40kph suitable for endurance and light intervals" FFS what are heavy ones???
  • Richie GRichie G Posts: 283
    Funnily enough, i was looking at the Tacx on Wiggle tonight and wondering if i might need something with more resistance - maybe not, eh!
    A turbo is a great way of doing very time-efficient sessions. I did my first season of TTs this year and a lot of the hardest work was done on the turbo.
    I was hoping this would allow me to make the most of my training time. I often run for the same reason, wanted a way of fitting in more intense cycling too. Basically, i'm trying to work out how much extra time a week i can give to training. With the darker evenings, my long rides home aren't as practical- some of the roads i use will be pitch black soon. I think Mrs G likes the idea of me being at home instead of out on the bike in the dark!
  • nmcgannnmcgann Posts: 1,780
    Richie G wrote:
    Funnily enough, i was looking at the Tacx on Wiggle tonight and wondering if i might need something with more resistance - maybe not, eh!
    A turbo is a great way of doing very time-efficient sessions. I did my first season of TTs this year and a lot of the hardest work was done on the turbo.
    I was hoping this would allow me to make the most of my training time. I often run for the same reason, wanted a way of fitting in more intense cycling too. Basically, i'm trying to work out how much extra time a week i can give to training. With the darker evenings, my long rides home aren't as practical- some of the roads i use will be pitch black soon. I think Mrs G likes the idea of me being at home instead of out on the bike in the dark!

    I think any of the adjustable braking turbos could provide waaaay more resistance than a non-pro cyclist could use (when combined with the use of gears). I only ever use a fraction of the braking my Tacx Flow (upgraded to iMagic) can produce - I've heard the same thing from much stronger cyclists than me too.

    Neil
    --
    "Because the cycling is pain. The cycling is soul crushing pain."
  • I got a turbo at the start of this year in an effort to get more scientific on my training. Did the full Joe Friel thing - training plan based around target races, involving mixture of endurance miles, sprints etc done on the road, threshold and lactate tolerance intervals done on the turbo. As a previous poster noted, doing really eyeballs-out intervals on the road can be hair-raising, plus you just can't get the replicability that you can on a turbo. Friel's book sets out a variety of interval sessions for each of the build-up phases, so you can do a number in any one week, with very specific targets, without dying of boredom.

    I've got a Cycleops Magneto turbo, which has progressive resistance. It's non-adjustable, but you simply use gearing to give the resistance and cadence you want. There was stacks of resistance to spare in the higher gears which I never got near to! I've got a Garmin Edge computer which works fine on the turbo (yes okay I know GPS is a bit OTT in this situation...) and allows recording of all HR/cadence/"speed" data so you can analyse and compare later - which I found a good motivator. I set the whole shebang up in front of the computer and watched Cycling.TV while hammering it...

    Money well spent. Get a great big fan too, and as much plastic matting as you need to cover everything within sweating distance (believe me, that's a long way!)

    Phil B
    Clifton CC York
  • Phil, what gearing have you got your bike using the magneto? I am thinking of getting one but I want one that I can really struggle with in terms of effort. I use a 50 front ring and a 12-27 rear, the tacx siriius I am using this week (borrowed) is fine for this range - I have plenty of "spare" resistance.
  • Hi Steve

    53/39 on the front and 13-23 on the cassette which I use on the trainer. I find I just use the little ring; tempo riding happens on the 17 cog, harder intervals go up to the 14/15, which has me doing 95-105rpm at about 5bpm or so above threshold. So there's a whole big ring of further pain if needed. I don't use the turbo for flat-out sprints as you can't move the bike around and it feels completely different - I've got a very quiet loop of local road for that. I've no idea how my power output compares with yours, but I'm a reasonably competitive veteran racer in me 40's.

    Phil B
    Clifton CC York
  • Thanks Phil, sounds perfect for me. I have no idea of my power output at specific efforts other than a guestimate of circa 280W for a 10TT which I can *only* do in about 24-30. This year was my first full year of riding the bike in over 15 years.
    Based upon previous experience I am targetting be sub 23 minutes in 2009 season, and around 57" for a 25, so will need it to be able to cope with increased strength and power.
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