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Trainer High Rewards

By Tim Cusick - Peaks Coaching Group Coach

Ok, first off I am not a trainer guy! Part of what I love about cycling is getting outside and knocking out the miles! That being said, for most of us, the trainer is a real reality in the winter. This year has been no exception as we have already had over 5 major storms and a pretty cold December and January.

For me getting on the trainer needs to have “high reward”.

Trainer Tip 1 – Use the trainer to build your FTP! Trainer are a great way to induce an even power load and work on that threshold. I cannot tell you that number of times I have talked to people who are doing 5-6 hours of “base” miles a week on their trainer…this just isn’t going to bring about much improvement. A moderately fit cyclist should be able to complete at least two, one hour threshold building workouts a week on the trainer. Start in Dec /Jan with 2 x 15 minutes at 90% of your threshold (five minutes rest in-between) and build that to you can do 2 x 20 minutes with little to no drop off in power from interval one to interval two. Once you can do that, move to 3 x 15, then to 3 x 20 or even 2 x 30 all at that 90% of FTP range.

Trainer Tip 2 – Better your spin! Trainers offer such a controlled environment, using them to work on your “spin” is an excellent use of time. I think a lot of cyclists underestimate the economy of becoming a good spinner. I am not talking about a “fast spinner” I am talking about an “economical spinner”.  Learning to smooth out your stroke and find a slightly higher natural cadence will pay benefits. On the trainer this can be done in a variety of ways but two that I like?  First, one-legged drills; great way to balance strength between legs while “rounding” out your pedal stroke. Second, fast pedaling drills; add 2 x 5 sets of 1 minute fast pedal drills in your level 2 power zone to warm-up (or try warm down). Target 130 rpm and above and focus on being smooth, no bouncing!

The good news is spring is just around the corner!