Turbo Bike Training Tips for Ironman and Triathlon Athletes


Finding it hard to be consistent with your bike training? The hassle to getting dressed takes a lot longer than putting on running kit and may put you off. Have your bike set up on the turbo.


You will overheat much quicker training indoors without the wind chill cooling effect. Wear lose lightweight clothing & use a fan or even train outdoors!!

Many athletes on call out (Work shift) who need to in one place and available can get in all important sessions without actually going anywhere.

A fireman once got very fit by indoor training and he was always ready for action.

Hydration is therefore very important. Use a 6% percent carbohydrate solution and have more drink than you would normally drink for an outside ride. This type of training is very good for preparing for a competition in hot temperatures.

A piece of carpet or rubber matt makes you far more stable and can reduce noise and vibrations.

Raise your front wheel slightly either with one of the many raisers available from good bike shops.

Use music to keep you motivated or video/DVD of your favourite triathlon running or cycle competition.

Imagine you are in their mixing it up with the best in your chosen video/DVD.

Remember that your back tyre will wear out quickly and soon lose its tread. If you have an old spare back wheel use this for all turbo work, you can happily wear down any worn out tyres in the process.

Clock watching can be tedious but if it has a second hand this can be good for interval.

Sweat is very salty and corrosive so protect your bike. Use a flannel, small towel or old t-shirt covering the headset and handlebars.

Beware that even an easy session at 60% maximum heart rate can be tiring as there are no traffic lights roundabouts or downhill to free wheel.

With no distractions applicable to the road like hazards holes in the road slippery surfaces other road users you can work in a controlled time specific manner only.

Watching your heart rate and the time taken.

A good drill is to try and drink when working hard as you would in a race.

Turbo training is a good hard substitute but will not improve your bike handling skills.

Training indoors will make you fit when cycling outside is not an option. A short sharp ride after a good warm up indoors on your turbo is no substitute for training outside but is a good time efficient way to train.

Ironmate recommends that Turbo training can be time efficient training.

A benefit of the Turbo is you can experiment with certain gears hard gears for strength or easy gears for high spinning quick cadence. Also one-legged riding to improve total smooth revolutions can be done safely indoors on a turbo before trying this drill on a quite road.

Tools of the trade include 2 cycle bottles with carbohydrate.A Towel to wipe away sweat, a cloth to protect your bike. Computer and/or heart rate monitor to allow you to maintain certain efforts or continuous pace.

Specific training for a course can also be achieved. Without all the fancy top of the range turbo trainers connected up to a pc/TV with visual screen.

Find out the terrain of the cycle section. Note where are the hills. Write them down on a posit note. Simulate this in training. If the course is 2 laps and you know where the climbs are and roughly how long they will take work out a plan of what to do on the turbo. If each climb is going to take 2-6 minutes and there are 5 of them in an hours ride try this when you think you might climb these during a one-hour session.