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Stationary Bike Trainer Workouts For Endurance

Updated on December 28, 2014
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Liam Hallam is a sports science graduate. A keen cyclist, runner, and obstacle racer, he ran his first ultra-marathon in 2016.

Endurance is a key cycling ability

Endurance is a key ability in cycling
Endurance is a key ability in cycling | Source

Turbo Trainer Stationary Cycling Workouts To Develop Your Endurance

Winter cycling can be tough on both rider and bike. Cold and wet conditions force a cyclists immune system to work overtime while the salt from wet roads or snow wants to eat away at your drivetrain.

When the weather and conditions drive your indoors you need to pay attention to your stationary bike trainer workouts to develop your endurance.

Why Are Turbo Trainer Workouts For Endurance Important?

Endurance is our ability to keep functioning over the course of a time trial, ironman triathlon. Road or cyclocross race. However endurance in cycling is quite specific to the task at hand. The endurance required during an hour long cyclocross race is completely different to what is required to survive a gruelling 5 hour training ride in the mountains.

In cyclists endurance is what gets us to the end of a tough race. It’s the ability to continue working hard despite experiencing heavy levels of fatigue. While your endurance and fitness will be relative to your cycling event endurance training over the dark winter months can take a more generalised tone (unless you're concentrating on fall/ winter cyclocross racing)

Do You Spend Enough Time Training Endurance?

Do you feel you devote enough bike trainer workouts to endurance training?

See results

Endurance Training For Cycling Performance

For road cycling endurance training starts during the winter months where a rider will need to develop an aerobic endurance base to use as a platform before moving on to much more physically and mentally challenging race- specific training.

General endurance training progresses into more event specific endurance aspects. General training can take the form of any aerobic cross training activity which helps challenge the heart to work. Examples include running, skiing or rowing workouts which can all benefit cardiovascular fitness levels.

Road Racing Challenges Your Endurance

Road Racing is primarily an endurance sport
Road Racing is primarily an endurance sport | Source

Developing Endurance For Road racing Events

Racing on the roads is primarily am endurance sport whether it's a criterium or 150 km bunch race. In these events the ability to resist fatigue is what marks out the stronger riders from those that lose contact with the peloton. Road cyclists work on their endurance regularly during their training as it never stands still in one place throughout a training year. Therefore this article concentrates below on some of the turbo trainer workouts for endurance to consider integrating into your training regimen.

Endurance Workout 1- Aerobic Energy 90 minutes

During your endurance workouts you should be mainly working in your aerobic energy zones and look at heart rate pushing up to and around you lactate threshold heart rate. As a general rule over the course of the winter you should be working at around 60-80% of your maximum heart rate. (220 minus age if you don't already have an idea)

90 minute Aerobic Workout With Climbs On a Stationary Trainer

It's easy to get into an awful habit of maxing out your indoor bike trainer workouts at around 50 minutes to one hour so you really need to look at increasing that, particularly if your races are run over longer distances.

Warm Up for 10-15 minutes taking your heart rate steadily up to around 80% of maximum

Main Workout for 60-70 minutes stay mainly at a heart rate of 70-80% of maximum heart rate. Every 3-5 minutes integrate a climb into the workout while staying sat at the saddle increase your gear every 30 seconds as shown below. These aerobic hill repetitions increase in difficulty while aiming to keep your heart rate at an aerobic level. As a result you will find your cadence drops off. When you can no longer achieve 70+ rpm start the tail-off section of the graph.

Cool Down for 10-15 minutes taking your heart rate from around 80% of max down to resting.

Typical Endurance Hill Repetitions

A sample hill repetition on a stationary bicycle trainer infographic
A sample hill repetition on a stationary bicycle trainer infographic | Source

Workout 2- Technique Development Forms Part Of Cycling Endurance

Cycling is all about your pedalling technique and therefore to optimize your endurance you need to take steps to address your leg muscle action.

To further develop your cycling technique: Single leg pedalling efforts can help you to oncentrate on turning the pedals with one leg while the other leg remains 'along for the ride'. These are single leg efforts and it's best to break down your pedal stroke based on four phases based on a traditional clockface.

11-2 Pushing over your weak spot right at the top of your pedal stroke

2-5 Pushing downwards through the pedal axle.

5-8 The base of your pedal stroke and reminiscent of scraping mud from the soles of your shoes.

8-11 The pull-back phase to finish the pedal stroke.

Pedal Technique Development For Cycling Endurance

Time
Description
Leg
Cadence
Example Gear
10 minutes
Warm up- raise HR to 75-80% max
Both
around 100 rpm
Small ring work through block
20 seconds
1.Pushing over weak spot 11-2
Left
around 90-100
39x17
20 seconds
1..Pushing over weak spot- 11-2
Right
around 90-100
39x17
20 seconds
Both legs pedalling together
Both
100 rpm
39x17
20 seconds
2. Pushing downwards through the pedal axle from 2-5
Left
around 90-100
39x17
20 seconds
2. Pushing downwards through the pedal axle from 2-5
Right
around 90-100
39x17
20 seconds
Both legs pedalling together
Both
100 rpm
39x17
20 seconds
3. Scraping mud from the soles of your shoes 5-8
Left
around 90-100
39x17
20 seconds
3. Scraping mud from the soles of your shoes 5-8
Right
around 90-100
39x17
20 seconds
Both legs pedalling together
Both
100 rpm
39x17
20 seconds
4. 8-11 The pull-back phase
Left
around 90-100
39x17
20 seconds
4. 8-11 The pull-back phase
Right
around 90-100
39x17
20 seconds
Both legs pedalling together
Both
100 rpm
39x17
2 mins easy
Both legs together
Both
100 rpm
39x17
Repeat above 4 more times
4 more single legged sets
As advised
As advised
39x17
10 mins
Coll down to rest heart rate
Both
100 rpm
Small ring work up block
 
 
 
 
 
A typical format for a single leg stationary trainer workout- 50 minutes in duration

Workout 3- Endurance Training For Leg Speed

Leg speed and maintaining a high cadence is a vital yet often overlooked ability in bike racing. When pedalling with a high cadence it's actually your cardiovascular system that's doing a higher percentage of the work than your leg muscles- however to achieve this effect you have to train your body to adjust to the physical demands of high speed spinning.

Workout 3- Spin Ups To Challenge Speed

Warm Up- 10 mins building heart rate from rest to 80% max HR with cadence 100-110 rpm

Main session- Aim for an aerobic workout of 30 minutes at low-moderate level aerobic zone (60-75% Max HR)

Integrate into the workout 5x 1 minute 'Spin-Ups' with at least 3 minutes recovery between.

Bike Trainer Workout 4- Cycling Training Videos

An option that is increasing in popularity is virtual reality training in the form of cycling training videos. These offer a great deal of variety to add to your training arsenal although you will find that with most products you are only purchasing a single workout which can make them a pricey option if you're expanding your DVD selection.

Spinervals DVD's have been around for many years and are a great purchase to help alleviate the boredom of winter workouts.

However a more economical option are Sufferfest Cycling Training Videos which more closely resemble race and group riding scenarios to place you riding against Pro racers. They're sold as downloads and there's an example below of one of their hard effort videos featuring Fabian Cancellara at Paris-Roubaix.

We Hope You Enjoyed These Endurance Cycling Workouts

We're always looking for feedback so please let us know anything you wish in the comments below

Thanks for reading and good look improving your stationary bike trainer endurance

Liam Hallam (CyclingFitness on Hubpages)

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