As much fun as muddy winter trails can be you’ll never be able to spend as much time riding them as in the summer. The consequence: your fitness melts over the winter like ice in the sun. If you’ve always thought turbo trainers too tedious but want to hold on to your hard earned summer fitness it’s time to rethink your opinion. And for anyone thinking about pushing their limits don’t forget: “champions are made in the winter”.

Turbo trainer doesn’t automatically mean meticulously noting every pedal revolution per minute and following a strict training plan. What counts is how often you actually do it – just like in the summer just inside instead. Even two short sessions every week will work miracles; the trick is just to get started! You’re still struggling to get motivated for turbo training sessions? We’ve gathered a few tips together so that even non-pros will look forward to their home pedalling.

Eine Rolle lohnt sich: Nicht nur für eine gezielte Saisonvorbereitung sondern auch um über den Winter einfach fit zu bleiben. Das Indoor-Training ist nicht so langweilig, wie viele glauben...
A turbo trainer is a worthwhile investment: even if you don’t have a specific season target but just want to stay fit over the winter. Indoor training isn’t quite as boring as many of you imagine…..

#1 Preparation is key:

Make a place which get’s you excited: no-one wants to climb aboard a hurriedly set-up turbo trainer bike worrying about deafening the neighbours with the annoying hum and then accidentally ruin your best Persian carpet with gallons of your own sweat. What you need is a turbo trainer bike, which becomes your oasis of fitness, where you can switch off – one, which is constantly calling “Come and train on me now!”

You can use special tyres with a lower profile to help limit the noise to an acceptable level, which makes training better for you as well. A special noise-damping mat from the local DIY store can also help to protect your neighbours. Garages, basements or attics are ideal as a longer-term space for your turbo trainer. But even if you don’t have much space you can still get set up so that you’ll want to get moving on a static bike.

Garage, Hobbykeller oder Dachboden sind ideal um sich einen dauerhaften Platz für die Rolle. Aber auch bei weniger Platz lässt sich ein Trainings-Ort einrichten, der Bock macht.
Garages, basements or attics are ideal as a longer-term space for your turbo trainer.

A fan will help to reduce the sweat that is otherwise much higher than on normal rides, or you can just use a hand towel. If you’re using your beloved, high-end bike on the trainer you can even get special top-tube protectors to ensure the finish isn’t damaged.

Make sure your riding position is perfectly adjusted – if you are comfortable aboard the bike and the training room is nicely set-up then the first hurdles have already been vanquished.

Eine professionelle Einstellung der Sitzposition bietet zum Beispiel das Specialized FIT System
A professional adjustment of your riding position is offered for example with the Body Geometry FIT Technology

#2 Organise some entertainment:

Music, films or TV series – everything helps to blank out the humming of the roller and at the same time dampen the monotony. For longer sessions with lower intensity films are a good choice or if you just want a few hard intervals a suitable soundtrack is better. If you’re following a story or listening to electro beats or heavy metal the pain will be less. If you’re already fed up with your own music collection try a streaming service like Spotify who offer pre-finished workout-playlists, you can also find suitable tracks on YouTube.

For those who want it more specific you can find a range of exciting training videos at Edits from famous road races or just beautiful landscapes for more relaxed sessions – there’s something for everyone. The videos have motivating soundtracks and instructions embedded and even titles like “the long scream” and “violator” should get you excited – just watching the trailer makes you want more! You can download the films directly to your tablet or notebook for an average of € 10.

The Sufferfest. Die Videos geben entweder Anleitung für eine bewusste Bewegungsausführung...
The Sufferfest. The videos either give you instructions for specific training types….
Die härtesten Etappen berühmter Straßenrennen mit fahren. Leiden inklusive
…or throw you straight into the hardest stages of famous road races. It’s going to hurt!

Turbo trainer group sessions are also popular. Some local bike shops offer sociable training sessions for example. If there isn’t a group near you why not initiate one and invite your friends round for an evening session.

#3 Pedal for victory – against yourself!

Step 1: get yourself a heart rate monitor. Even if your aim is just more trail fun the turbo trainer is a great place to get to know your heart rate better. The advantage: if you’ve been observing your pulse on the turbo trainer you’ll get a better feeling for your own limits and will be better able to manage your power on the bike without looking at heart rate monitor. Using a heart rate monitor you’ll get to know your body better and have a better feeling for your power levels.

Mit der Pulsuhr lernt man seinen Körper besser kennen und bekommt ein gutes Gefühl für seine Kraftreserven
Using a heart rate monitor you’ll get to know your body better and have a better feeling for your power levels.

Step 2: train using a trainings-app, for example You can get free training plans here for a few weeks each with several different workouts. If you start a session instructions for heart rate and pedalling frequency are displayed allowing a varied means of measuring your workout. The sessions are in different lengths. The app counts and manages your kilometres. This way you won’t lose sight of your aims and motivio will quickly become a personal bootcamp trainer in a pocket-sized format., der personla Trainer im Taschenformat. Trainingskilometer auf seinem Konto wachsen zu sehen ist einfach motivierend, die verschiedenen Workouts garantieren Abwechslung., a personal trainer in pocket sized format. Training kilometres building up on your account motivating you and the different workouts ensure variety.

#4 For STRAVA-fans: ride virtual segments

STRAVA has developed a new “toy” for all KOM and QOM hunters out there. The Wahoo KICKRPower Trainer device is a turbo trainer, which has a built-in drivetrain and replaces the rear wheel of your bike. Together with an app it allows you to collect Strava kilometres and simulate over 2 million segments in original. If you’ve always wanted to grind up the Col du Tourmalet now you can try it out. The only disadvantage is the price: at US $1099 it isn’t a bargain.

Mit dem Wahoo Kickt lassen sich in Verbindung mit einer App sämtliche STRAVA-Segmente simulieren
With the Wahoo KICKRPower and the right app you can simulate STRAVA-segments. Picture:

#5 Feel the difference: our top favourite – free and more motivating than everything else!

You’ve already completed your first sessions? Built in a few intervals, completed long endurance fitness sessions or brought your pulse up-to 180 BPM? Excellent! No go back onto the trails and get your well-earned payback. If you see-through regular sessions on the turbo trainer you’ll quickly feel the benefit, the climbs will feel less tough, you won’t get out of breath so quickly and there’s just more power available on the climbs. This noticeable difference is more motivating than anything else and will make you really look forward to the next indoor training session. As an average biker you don’t need a complex training plan, fixed recovery times and strict pulse rate zones. These details are essential for competitive athletes but if you just want to stay fit over the winter you can happily do without them. Doing is more important than planning! So get on the trainer and get fit!

Finally leave your girlfriend standing on the hated steepest climbs – turbo training makes it possible

Text: Hannah Röther Photos: Christoph Bayer, Patrick Sauter

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