Turbo trainer or get out and get wet

by Daza   September 6, 2011  

Hi, 1st post and very green to cycling but what winter training would stand by you better, spinning on a turbo trainer or hard graft out in the wind and rain?

currently doing 100 miles per week and pushing as hard as i can "well i think i am" . 16 weeks so far and have lost 2st 6lb with another 1 stone to go which will leave me at a lean 12 1/2 stone, well that`s the plan!(5ft 10")

do i need to get more miles under my belt with the intention of doing some 10mile TT`s and a few road races next year.

big thanks to any-1 for there advice.

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Hard graft all the time, i have a trainer, but only because the snow around here gets really heavy and roads dont get cleared or gritted properly

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posted by Gkam84 [8685 posts]
6th September 2011 - 23:29

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Depends on how much time you have, especially when the clocks change.

A hard 1hr turbo session can equate to a 2hr road ride, depending on how hard you push that. A turbo can give you quality training if you do it right. Just don't sit on it for 3hrs spinning. Instead do reps for an hour to build power, strength etc. Try sufferfest videos to give you something to watch and training instructions.

Even 1 turbo a week with the rest on the road can benefit.

posted by othello [279 posts]
6th September 2011 - 23:44

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You'll get better quality out if a turbo in really bad weather like today was. Thing is, you need structure and a plan or as mentioned, sufferfest training videos.

They are a fun way to do reps which is to say, short periods of intense efforts separated by rest and flanked either side with warm up/down sessions.

Otherwise known as suicides or just plain suffering.

Nothing replaces mileage but not at the cost of quality. I can't wait for full on winter, love my weekend 2 hours in the rain and mid week sufferfest sessions.

Cycling Weekly had a short article featuring various riders recommendations on rep plans and what they each give you, power, climbing, aerobic etc.

posted by Farky [177 posts]
7th September 2011 - 0:26

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I agree with the previous comments. You need both. To duck out of lousy conditions means you'll find it harder to get out when it matters. So you need the mental training as much as anything. I like the Carmichael routines for Realaxiom. They can be transcribed in terms of intervals, heart rates and cadence from the DVDs so you don't have to listen to the excruciating American exhortations of 'Good job!' and 'Way to train!' but put your bike up on a slope and give it some gradient resistance on the programme.

Chiswick

posted by Chiswick [45 posts]
7th September 2011 - 12:36

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yep, as above. turbo and get out in the wind/rain etc, and if it snows get out on the MTB if you have one.

most of all enjoy it, dont just force yourself outside into bad weather/conditions if you really dont want to.

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posted by Fringe [1081 posts]
7th September 2011 - 14:20

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Big thankyou for the responses, so the turbo trainer is a no brainer and needs purchased, but which 1 as there seems to be lots out there??
i have a budget of £300 so what make should i go for?
going by the responses it needs to measure power, cadence,heart rate, any thing else required?

sorry for all the questions but if you dont ask Confused

no mtb for the winter or even a spare bike unfortunately.

Head down, arse up

posted by Daza [16 posts]
7th September 2011 - 20:56

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Well with you having no other bike, you'd be better picking up a 2nd hand rear wheel to put a trainer tyre on, just make sure its got the same gearing you normally use, else your going to be switching your tyres everytime you want to go back outside or tearing them to sherds on the turbo Nerd

So with you having that budget, get a rear wheel (doesn't need to be anything fancy, just a straight and true one) and cassette from ebay and then spend the rest on a trainer and tyre Wink

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posted by Gkam84 [8685 posts]
7th September 2011 - 21:02

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And there was me thinking i just needed the turbo trainer, well i did say i was new to the sport.

ok so a few bits to gather up then which shouldnt cost that much.
with my budget whats a good T.Trainer??

Head down, arse up

posted by Daza [16 posts]
7th September 2011 - 21:18

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don't need £300

Something like this £139.99

http://www.evanscycles.com/products/tacx/sirius-soft-gel-t1435-turbo-tra...

Then something like this for the front wheel

http://www.evanscycles.com/products/elite/travel-block-ec007764

Then depending on your floor a training mat and a sweat thong Big Grin

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posted by Gkam84 [8685 posts]
7th September 2011 - 21:29

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Daza wrote:
with my budget whats a good T.Trainer??

We ran a story on here a few weeks ago about Minoura doing a promo on its Magteq and V-Series trainers where you get a free £12 Sufferfest download: http://road.cc/content/news/40172-tech-roundup-new-ride-clothing-sram-el... Those should just about be going into the shops now.

Oh, and apart from from that, can I put in a vote for joining a local club of some kind. Those well-advised weekend rides will be a lot more enjoyable and you'll get a lot more out of them both work-out wise and from an advise standpoint if you're doing 'em with others. Plus, the old hands will know all the best routes.

posted by nick_rearden [859 posts]
7th September 2011 - 21:39

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thanks for the quick response GKam84, so is the power,cadence and other features on the higher cost items more of a gimmick than really required?

Head down, arse up

posted by Daza [16 posts]
7th September 2011 - 21:45

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Its not a gimmick, but in my view, unless your a pro or very very serious then why do you need to know your power wattage? so you know how many light bulbs you could be powering? Devil

Cadence you can get from a cycle computer and the same with heart rate, which in the long run is a lot better way to have it, because you can use those out on the road aswell

The other thing IF i had that kind of money lying about, would be to get the full Tacx set up

http://www.evanscycles.com/products/tacx/fortius-multiplayer-ec008680

That you can ride against people on the internet Big Grin

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posted by Gkam84 [8685 posts]
7th September 2011 - 22:17

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Hi, I will be joining a club in the next few weeks hopefully. only went out on 1 run with 8 other guys on a 38mile very hilly route and did ok, well i wasnt dropped like a few other guys were Big Grin But yes riding in a group was great.
will be going again this week with the same guys after not being with them for the last month so interesting to see have i improved any.

Head down, arse up

posted by Daza [16 posts]
7th September 2011 - 23:08

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Have a computer on the bike that measures cadence etc which is great and takes the boring factor out of a 50mile cycle and is a great training aid. no heart monitor though so another investment needed.
Wont ever be a pro but i will give it 100% and see how good or bad i am with whatever training aids work.

thanks for all the great advice

Head down, arse up

posted by Daza [16 posts]
7th September 2011 - 23:16

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I picked up a HRM for 20 quid at Tesco. I tend to use mine more for running, but have occasionally used it on the bike and it does the job admirably.

"I can't believe I ate the whole thing..."

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posted by Cooks [478 posts]
8th September 2011 - 9:30

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I'd get one with a readout, really helps if you get bored - which you will. I'd plonk the turbo in front of the TV and put some decent music on.

Night mountain biking with your mates though is hard to beat!

posted by davethomas [4 posts]
8th September 2011 - 17:01

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NO, dont just plonk it in front of the TV, unless your watching cycling or some of the turbo training dvd's you can get online (free) Wink

If you end up in front of Corrie or something else you like watching, you'll lose your focus and might as well not be on the trainer

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posted by Gkam84 [8685 posts]
8th September 2011 - 17:04

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Both, anything, everything.
Turbos aren't just for winter, they're great for specific training where quality counts anytime of the year.

Typically over winter it's early starts and big miles, the sun ain't gonna shine so you might as well drag yourself out.
Twice weekly interval sessions on the turbos.
Once a week for a night ride with the local MTB club.
Interspersed with CX races and reliability trials.

posted by oldgit [27 posts]
8th September 2011 - 19:40

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TBH I've never used a special tyre or a turbo with a cadence meter. My HRM has a stopwatch and it's easy to calculate your cadence just by looking and counting.

I'd save your money and have a go on a Watt bike, there's not much point of spending all that money just to sit on a turbo only to find your not even pedaling properly.

Something simple like the 'time crunched' is ideal. However you have to be honest with yourself and work very hard to improve. Think of it this way, if you haven't the will power to suffer for an hour on the turbos how will you ever find it to race?

Okay I am a bit old fashioned, but just get a jacket on and get out and ride.

All the best with it.

posted by oldgit [27 posts]
8th September 2011 - 19:50

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Anyone got any opinions on the benefits of rollers over turbos?

"I can't believe I ate the whole thing..."

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posted by Cooks [478 posts]
9th September 2011 - 9:27

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Everyone is different so you may like the turbo or you may hate it. Without specific goals for workouts (hard interval sessions etc.) its hard to keep motivated though.

Personally I would say that considering you are a novice and the time of year its best to just get on the bike. Training as such does not need to start for a while and certainly not the high intensity stuff that most people use a turbo for. I would get a 2nd hand CX bike a 1000 lumen (cheap)light and ride around bridleways and woods for a few months.

However if you dont like the rain/dont have the time then get a turbo.

I feel the turbo is almost the polar opposite of the outdoor riding experience. I rarely regret an outdoor ride even in the rain and wind. I almost always feel a sorrow when getting on the turbo. It is a hatefull time that I try to pretend is not really happening. ( I will be using a turbo in 5-6months but only because I have tt goals that must be reached)

posted by ilovemytinbred [164 posts]
9th September 2011 - 10:50

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I have to say that I hate turbo training. For me the way to get through the winter other than joining a club (club runs) and doing some cyclocross (as already mentioned) is to do some all round fitness training. Cycling is very intense on certain muscle groups; I believe that working on your all round fitness is important. I recomend you add weight/circuit training, swimming to your training when the weather is poor. Possibly some short running sessions for variety. Join a club is the best idea though!

posted by SideBurn [764 posts]
9th September 2011 - 12:02

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I've been using my Turbos for over a month now to bring me into the cross season.

If you had a crosser (might get one for the price you were going to pay for turbos) you could go for it the hard but fun way i.e
Get riding now. Then start racing cross. It's highly inclusive no mater how good you are. Race that between late September and Christmas and I'll guarantee you'll be fitter.
Have a break. Then start the winter build up. Winter training with club mates is something I actually relish. Anyway train so you arrive fit at the time you need to be. Don't go mad with nothing to enter for months ahead or you'll do yourself a mischeif.
Getting fit should be done steadilly, you wont get injured and you'll devolop a nice base on which to work on.

posted by oldgit [27 posts]
9th September 2011 - 12:50

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ok went out on friday with who i considered the best of the last bunch of guys and fought a head wind for 34 mile over quite a few climbs and averaged 17.8mph which i was happy with. he added that he had trouble keeping up with me on the hills for 3/4 of the ride but i did start hurting 3 hills from home but still managed the last 6 mile at 25mph again into a headwind. my hill training has been paying off but endurance is still rather lacking. will be out in the morning again with up to 50 riders so will be interesting. legs are still very sore unfortunatly so hope they start off slow lol

big thanks for all the input gentlemen

Head down, arse up

posted by Daza [16 posts]
10th September 2011 - 22:48

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Cooks wrote:
Anyone got any opinions on the benefits of rollers over turbos?

Yup I do!

Rollers rule! You can wreck yourself just as effectively on rollers as with a turbo but will improve your pedalling and balance at the same time.

You can also make great fun out of recovery sessions by challenging yourself to ride for longer periods no handed in smaller and smaller gears.

If it's freezing sky-piss outside then I'd have much more motivation to get on the rollers than get on a turbo.

Sq

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posted by Squiggle [414 posts]
16th September 2011 - 18:56

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Having tried both I'd go for rollers every time. It just feels more like riding a bike. You have to concentrate and focus and therefore it seems more rewarding. The turbo just feels like going to work.

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posted by _SiD_ [179 posts]
17th September 2011 - 1:05

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Turbo is good for winter weekday evenings or really bad weather, but when time and weather allow, during the winter I just fit heavier wheels, use cheaper hard wearing heavy wire bead tyres and ride laps of a 10km circuit rather than go on 60km runs.

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posted by the_mikey [146 posts]
23rd September 2011 - 7:53

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