The website TurboTraining recently launched 'Tour de Turbo', a free, six-stage virtual riding experience that shows off the site's new GPS-based map workouts. Anyone with a bike, a trainer and a USB dongle plugged into a PC can test ride these 40-55-minute stages, with real-time metrics of power (or calculated power) and speed creating an interactive training experience.
Similar to TrainerRoad, TurboTraining's main offering is straightforward, power-based workouts with 'target power' and 'actual power' being monitored by ANT+ and tailored to your functional threshold power (FTP). With the new 'map workouts', TurboTraining has taken a few GPS courses, broken them into segments and specified target power for each.
As you ride along the course in map view, TurboTraining provides the same 'target' and 'actual' power data points. If you have a power meter, TurboTraining pulls data straight from there. If you just have a speed/cadence sensor, TurboTraining will calculate what it calls proxy power based on the type of trainer you're on.
The core of TurboTraining's online offering consists of prescribed power-based workouts, with your real-time power, heart rate and cadence being tracked. Map workouts adds a GPS component to this
Unlike some web trainer workouts, and somewhat similar to the real world, if you ride harder on a map workout course, you'll finish faster. If you match the specified power on screen, you'll finish in the allotted time.
"We feel this has brought a different dynamic to indoor training," TurboTraining's Aaron Bird told BikeRadar. "You can ride a familiar course and have it broken down into segments for an optimal pacing strategy."
TurboTraining also has a virtual racing option, where at scheduled times you can race others and view their speed and power in real time. "There are two racing options: one with a handicapped speed scaled to FTP, and another that is not handicapped."
Find out more at TurboTraining.co.uk.