Sometimes is just not possible to get out on a long bike ride. Turbo training is a great option, especially if you have childcare responsibilities, are short of time or need to train at night. A turbo trainer is a relatively inexpensive and compact piece of kit which effectively turns your road bike into an exercise bike – perfect for improving leg strength and endurance.

  • You will get very warm on the turbo, so wear lightweight kit. Pop a full water bottle onto your bike, have a towel handy and open a window to let to cool air in.
  • Set up a cooling fan directed at your legs. Tie back long hair and prepare to sweat (protect your bike frame from sweat with aforementioned towel).
  • Switch off your phone, go to the loo first, and put yourself into ‘Do not Disturb’ mode. Once you start, you’ll not want to stop!
  • Entertainment is good: I’m quite happy watching an hour of Netflix, then the second hour listening to favourite tunes (music and remote controls set up on a table next to the bike). ‘Road to Nowhere’ by Talking Heads is appropriate.
  • You can also use turbo specific apps to race others from your living room. Zwift is a popular racing app for staying motivated.
  • You can do interval training on the ride, switching up and down gears. Cycling World magazine online has a plethora of turbo workouts to choose from to keep you engaged.
  • Use a heart rate monitor / cadence monitor to ensure you’re at the correct exertion level.
  • Have an exercise book nearby to write down post-ride notes. What would you do differently next time?
  • Schedule your training rides in your diary to make sure they happen.
  • If you’d like a comprehensive guide to turbo training, I recommend ‘The Obree Way’ by maverick cycling champion Graeme Obree.