British Cycling coach Holly Seear from springcyclecoaching.co.ukreveals four drills that can really boost your sessions on the turbo trainer and help you to improve.
1. Do single-leg drills
Do a five-minute warm-up in an easy gear, then unclip one foot and hold it backwards, clear of the pedals. Pedal smoothly with the other leg for 20-30 seconds before changing legs.
Repeat 10-15 times on each leg with a cadence around 85rpm+. Clip both feet in and pedal smoothly for five minutes before cooling down. This will make you aware of any inconsistencies in your pedal stroke and encourage you to think about a fluid circular stroke.
2. Sample spin accelerations
This drill can magnify unevenness in pedal stroke, work the core and provide resistance. Do a 10-minute warm-up then accelerate your legs from normal cadence to max cadence/leg speed. (Use a moderate gear focusing on technique, not power.) When you start ‘bouncing’ in the saddle focus on smooth pedal strokes to reduce the bounce.
Aim for 15-30 seconds then ride easy for two minutes. Repeat 10 times. Finish with a 10-minute cool down.
3. Mix short intervals
Do a 10-minute warm up gradually increasing cadence and effort. Follow with 10 minutes alternating 15 seconds max effort with 15 seconds of easy spinning. Recover with three minutes easy riding, then eight minutes of alternating 30 seconds at max effort with 30 secs easy spinning. Cool down for 10 mins, reducing to an easy gear.
This is a good session to work on maintaining top speed for a variety of durations.
4. Switch to Tabata
Tabata workouts usually consist of 20 seconds of max effort with 10 seconds recovery. Warm up for 10 minutes, increasing cadence and effort. Do a 20-second maximum sprint effort followed by 10 seconds of rest, keeping the pedals spinning easily. Repeat eight times then cool down for 10 mins in an easy gear.
Stand to build speed and you should feel you’re ‘exploding’ away for each effort. This will improve your speed and ability to suffer!