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Getting the most out of my turbo trainer

ThisGirlCantThisGirlCant Posts: 48
edited December 2017 in Road beginners
Have been using my turbo trainer for about 2 months now. I go on for about 30 minutes once or twice a week.
The problem is, i dont really know what im doing, or how to make the most of my time on it.

I've looked online for some workout plans, but they all rely on knowing what power or cadence or speed you are doing. I don't have a computer so I'm a bit in the dark.

My question is, do I just need to get a computer? If so, could anyone recommend an easy to use one?

If I can manage without one, could anyone talk me through what I should be doing on the turbo? I probably could commit up to an hour maybe 3 times a week, and ma aim is to get fitter so I'm not left behind so much when out on the roads.

Thanks.

Posts

  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 8,643
    Have been using my turbo trainer for about 2 months now. I go on for about 30 minutes once or twice a week.
    The problem is, i dont really know what im doing, or how to make the most of my time on it.

    I've looked online for some workout plans, but they all rely on knowing what power or cadence or speed you are doing. I don't have a computer so I'm a bit in the dark.

    My question is, do I just need to get a computer? If so, could anyone recommend an easy to use one?

    If I can manage without one, could anyone talk me through what I should be doing on the turbo? I probably could commit up to an hour maybe 3 times a week, and ma aim is to get fitter so I'm not left behind so much when out on the roads.

    Thanks.

    IMHO, a better investment for what you are looking for, would be to source an Ant+ cadence and speed sensor, and perhaps a HR monitor too. If using standalone, you would still need a bike computer of some sort, to receive the data though.
    What turbo do you have?

    With regards to training sessions, I statred by using this book which is available dirt cheap second hand:
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Time-Crunched-Cyclist-Powerful-Carmichael-Paperback/dp/B00OL3QQ8C/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1511184818&sr=8-2&keywords=time+crunched+cyclist&dpID=51yeSXlIWDL&preST=_SY291_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch

    Although even that is expecting you to be able to devote 6 hours a week.

    However, IF you own a suitable laptop or tablet (?) I would HIGHLY recommend trainerroad - which costs circa £8 per month, and in the low volume plans, requires about 3hrs of riding per week.

    I'm sure there are far cleverer people out there than I, but personally I would struggle to progress without any method of measuring my output.

    Power is optimum, then HR comes second.
    Cadence is also a very useful measurement I find personally.
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • Thanks.

    The ant+ thing looks a bit complicated. I'm not very savvy with electronics.

    I do wear a fitbit that measures my hr. Could I do a workout based on this?
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    Go and browse the Indoor Training Section - lots of advice on there.

    And sure - you can train to HR - we all used to do that in the days before power meters.
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 8,643
    Thanks.

    The ant+ thing looks a bit complicated. I'm not very savvy with electronics.

    I do wear a fitbit that measures my hr. Could I do a workout based on this?

    Yeh you definitely could do - I used to just use HR, as did most people I guess :-)

    What model and brand of turbo do you have?

    As Fenix mentioned, might be more fruitful to browse the indoor trainig forum, and or pop a post in there asking the same question - they will be after knowing what your trainer is, what kit you have to use (ie just the fitbit by the sound of it?) and what your aims and or targets are. So are you training for an event, do you want to start time trialling, do you want to race, or are you just looking for general fitness improvements etc etc

    Just occurred to me, assuming you have a smartphone of some kind?
    Is the fitbit bluetooth.........?
    You might be able to find an app to read the data from your fitbit (Is that a wrist watch that measures your hr using the strap?) and translate it onto an app\screen of your phone for you.

    Again, you might get some more detailed suggestions on the indoor training forum.
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • Easiest and cheapest way is to watch/download videos from GCN/CTX/Turbo Tripping etc and cycle along to them. Can do it "blind" but much better if you have a speed/cadence sensor as they give cadence/effort levels to ride to. I don't have a smart trainer but use these videos and as long as you put effort in can have a great workout and crucially it's not boring(well to me anyway). I use my Wahoo Elemnt Bolt computer plus HR monitor and find it works great.
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 8,643
    Easiest and cheapest way is to watch/download videos from GCN/CTX/Turbo Tripping etc and cycle along to them. Can do it "blind" but much better if you have a speed/cadence sensor as they give cadence/effort levels to ride to. I don't have a smart trainer but use these videos and as long as you put effort in can have a great workout and crucially it's not boring(well to me anyway). I use my Wahoo Elemnt Bolt computer plus HR monitor and find it works great.

    I used some GCN vids prior to TR, some of them are very good.

    Just found this with a quick google search, depending on what kind of phone you have could be useful, and appears at least, to be free in a basic version - no idea what functionality you lose though:
    https://bikecomputer.co/

    One called Cyclemeter also seems to exist, says that is free too.
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    Sufferfest videos are good for intense work - but please dont do every ride to them. You'd rip your own legs off. #hard
  • OK, will post in the other forum and see if they can help.

    It's a tacx satori pro, and yes my fit bit measures HR from the wrist.

    Thanks.
  • TashmanTashman Posts: 2,744
    As an extension to this thread I'm looking at getting speed/cadence sensors. Are they generally compatible or should you use specific models with specific brands? I have a Wahoo Rflkt I'd like to connect them to via Bluetooth.
  • It would be my guess that you aren't taking this all too seriously so just using the turbo for a bit of exercise. If that is the case then I wouldn't worry too much and over complicate things. Assuming you do not want to buy any kit:

    If you have 1 hour 3 times a week then just base everything on perceived effort. So 10 being full on sprint, 1 being "I could sit here all day". Spend 10 minutes warming up, then try doing 20 minutes at 5-7 (you may need to try 10 minutes first), then go back down to level 2-3 for 10 minutes then back up to 5-7 for another 20 minutes, then cool down.

    Then maybe do 1 hour at level 4-5 with a burst of 9-10 every 5 or 10 minutes, include warm up and cool down.

    For a 3rd session, Warm up, then do over / unders. So 2 minutes at about level 6, then 1 minute level 7. Alternate this for about 5-6 times, recover, go again, cool down.

    Those 3 sessions should work most of your systems and keep you ticking over.
  • TashmanTashman Posts: 2,744
    Whilst I appreciate your answer I was hoping to log some more data from the training rides to keep a personal record
  • I would get a speed cadence sensor or computer.
    The GCN videos are very good, but ideally you need to have your cadence and HR monitored.

    They generally use HR, Cadence and Effort level for their workouts. Before I got Zwift i used to follow the GCN workouts. I don't know if they improved my fitness etc but I certainly knew the next morning that I had been doing something.
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