60 minute turbo training sessions

Three workouts to boost your power on the bike in an hour

If time is tight, these 60-minute turbo training workouts will help up your power and aid recovery.

Heart Rate Training Zones

First, work out your training zones:

  • Zone 1: Establish base fitness > 60–65% maximum heart rate
  • Zone 2: To improve efficiency > 65–75% maximum heart rate
  • Zone 3: To improve sustainable power > 75–82% maximum heart rate
  • Zone 4: To push up threshold power > 82–89% maximum heart rate
  • Zone 5: To sustain a high percentage of maximal aerobic power > 89–94% maximum heart rate
  • Zone 6: To increase maximum power output > above 94% maximum heart rate

1. Boost your pace

A benefit of dialling in your race pace intensity is that you’ll know exactly what it feels like, even if you have to put in some higher-end efforts come race day.

Mentally, if you can hold the pace with sprints, you know that it will be comparatively easy to hold that pace consistently through the event. Plus, you’ll have the confidence to attack lumps and bumps and sprint out of bends.

This is a great workout for raising your Functional Threshold Power (FTP, which is the highest average power or pace you can maintain for one hour), and by including the sprints, you’ll develop your ability to recover from hard efforts while still maintaining a relatively high overall pace.

The workout

Warm up

  • 10 minutes building progressively through heart rate zones 1 and 2

Main session

  • 40 minutes holding 25-mile TT pace in your race position. This will translate to 85–95 percent of FTP for power or mid-high zone 4 for heart rate
  • Every five minutes perform a maximal 30-second sprint. Don’t let your effort drop after the sprints; get straight back onto race pace and don’t sneak in any sly recoveries

Cool down

  • 10 minutes easy spinning

2. Into the red — become a stronger cyclist

This tough workout aims to make you a stronger all-round cyclist. The classic threshold workout is 2 x 20 minutes, but you can only do so many before you get bored or lose motivation, so this is all about variety.

Time flies on varied sessions like this too, maybe a bit too fast on those 10-second recoveries! You’ll be hitting a full range of energy systems, working on your strength and power, and going deep into the red with the final intervals. This session is a great functional threshold boost.

The workout

Warm up

  • 10 minutes building progressively through heart rate zones 1 and 2

Main session

  • Five minutes at zone 3
  • Three minutes at zone 4
  • Two minutes at zone 5, two minutes rest
  • Eight minutes swap between low zone 4 and one minute at mid zone 5
  • Two minutes rest
  • Eight minutes climbing, swap between
  • One minute standing and one minute seated at zone 4
  • Two minutes rest
  • Four minutes big gear/low cadence riding at 60rpm building through zone 5, sprint for the last minute
  • Two minutes rest
  • Eight x 20-second max efforts with 10 seconds rest

Cool down

  • Five minutes easy spinning

3. Pyramid scheme — increase workout intensity

If you’ve established a decent endurance base, it’s time to increase the intensity of your workouts, put in some sustained race-pace efforts and start getting your body used to holding your race position.

A solid two x 20 minutes threshold workout can be hard to get your head around. A pyramid-style workout, which still logs a similar amount of time at threshold intensity breaks it up into more manageable chunks.

Your upper body should stay still and relaxed, as any swaying or excessive head movement will increase drag. Also aim to keep your pedalling action smooth — don’t stomp just because you’re on a turbo.

The workout

Warm up (10 minutes)

  •  0–3 minutes easy spinning in zone 1 (90rpm)
  • 3–4 minutes zone 2, 95rpm
  •  4–5 minutes zone 1, 90rpm
  • 5–6 minutes zone 3, 100rpm
  •  6–7 minutes zone 1, 90rpm
  • 7–9 minutes as five seconds maximal sprints/55 seconds zone 1, 90rpm
  •  9–10 minutes zone 1, 90rpm

Main session

  • One minute high zone 4 (as close to FTP/Functional Threshold Heart Rate (FTHR) as possible, race cadence)
  • One minute easy spin recovery
  • Three minutes high zone 4 (as close to FTP/FTHR as possible, race cadence)
  • One minute easy spin recovery
  • Five minutes high zone 4 (as close to FTP/FTHR as possible, race cadence)
  • One minute easy spin recovery
  •  Three minutes high zone 4 (as close to FTP/FTHR as possible, race cadence)
  • One minute easy spin recovery
  • One minute high zone 4 (as close to FTP/FHTR as possible, race cadence)
  • One minute easy spin recovery

Repeat three times in total

Cool down

  •  Nine minutes easy spinning

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