Fancy staying out of the windy British winter weather? Turbo training is a cycling session that you can do from the comfort of your own home. Position your bike onto your turbo trainer and you are good to go!
Turbo trainers are a great way to improve cycling fitness, they can also offer a more efficient and safer way to get your miles in when faced with harsh winter conditions outdoors. Plus, life is especially chaotic in the run up to Christmas, so a turbo trainer can make a real difference when you're short on time and trying to squeeze in a quick sweat. One hour workouts, a few times a week can make a real difference to your overall fitness level.
What is a turbo trainer?
Turbo trainers are static devices that provide a form of resistance that replicates the feeling of the road. You hook your bike up to the turbo either by resting the rear wheel on a platform or connecting the chain to a drive unit.
How's it different to training outdoors?
Firstly, riding conditions are probably very different to what you are used to training outdoors. You are most likely in your own home so the air will be warmer plus there is no wind rushing to cool you down – meaning you will sweat more (hydration is key!).
Secondly, more often than not, you will be participating in more intensive, shorter ride sessions then you are used to, this can take some getting use to!
Finally, taking the same old routes can be boring week after week, with a turbo trainer you can train whilst travelling the world...well, virtually!
There are multiple training apps that offer hundreds of virtual places to ride now-a-days, some of our favourites:
Turns a tedious turbo session into a fun, sociable experience.
Find out more: Zwift.com
A huge variety of content and very good value for money.
Find out more: bkool.com
Extensive data, training sessions and plans. Perfect for a serious indoor training session.
Find out more: Trainerroad.com
So, how should I fuel my ride?
Now this will depend on the type of session you are tackling but there is some basic nutrition that will apply to all:
Hydration is key due to high sweat rates: Try our ZEROs, we also offer a ZERO Caffeine Hit! You get all the key electrolytes to replace the minerals lost through sweat. It's also zero calories and sugar free so it's a great option if you are watching your calories!
Caffeine is a great aid to keep you focused on high-intensity sessions: Try our Energy Drink Caffeine Hit or our Energy Gel Aqua Caffeine Hit to take your workout to the next level. For best effect, we recommend you take the gels 30 minutes before your session.
Shorter sessions often require less fuel during rides but topping up beforehand is important: Try our Slow Release Bar 60-90 minutes prior, it gives you sustained energy to keep you fuelled throughout the session.
Don't forget to look after yourself post-ride: Try our Recovery Drink, it has the right mix of carbs and protein to support muscle recovery. Drink within 30 mins after your session and fill up on a balanced meal around 2 hours after training.
1. 60min interval session
Post Ride: Recovery Drink within 30 mins of finishing and a balanced meal around two hours afterwards
2. Endurance ride
Before: Slow Release Bar (60-90 mins before)
During: Slow Release Drink for hydration and sustained energy – little but often. 500ml/1L per hour. Supplement with bars and gels if needed, particularly on longer sessions
Post Ride: Recovery Drink within 30mins, balanced meal around 2hrs afterwards
3. Recovery ride
Before: Slow Release Bar 60-90 mins before if not eaten for a while
Post Ride: Recovery Drink within 30 mins of finishing
The bottom line?
A turbo trainer is a great way to follow a structured workout on your bike, come rain or shine! Plus the correct nutrition can make a real difference to your performance, do your research and find what works best for you.