Turbo Training | Advice from professional cyclists | Total Women's Cycling

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Training & Nutrition

Turbo training like a professional

How to plan the perfect turbo training session with tips from professional female cyclists


Train with an event in mind

As Julia explained: “The best thing is, to have a target, and plan to work towards it – from those two, motivation comes much more easily.”

Maryka rides time trials, road races and takes part in end of season hill climbs, where she got her National Hill Climb Champion title.

Maryka Sennema, trains hard on the turbo to reap the rewards in her events. Image by patronchoufflard via Flickr.

She spends much of her turbo time on her Time Trial bike, and said this was because it’s a safe way to adapt to changes in position when riding in an aggressive aero position, and because she often uses the turbo for sustained efforts which are hard to achieve on the road and harder to monitor.

For hill climbs, Maryka trains very specifically when preparing for an important event:

I study the climb for my upcoming race [and I would] then try to re-create that on the turbo if I had no way of re-creating it outside.

Hannah typically spends 40-45 minutes on the turbo and tends to use the turbo trainer for her longer 3-5 minute intervals as opposed to sprint efforts, saying: “It’s easier to get really short sprints done outdoors because if you’re going for an all out 20 second sprint you can usually find somewhere to do it.

Longer intervals are hard to do outside – there will always be a junction or a roundabout in the way so your effort isn’t consistent.

She added: “I think as a road racer it’s important to do longer efforts on the turbo because if you have to bridge a gap [in the peloton], you need to be able to get away and then keep working hard. You find some people will go all out and then not be able to get to the bunch because they haven’t trained those longer efforts and they run out of steam.”

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