Top 11 Indoor Cycling Tips
There are many ways to improve your turbo training setup. Read our top recommendations.
Indoor cycling or turbo training is one of the most efficient ways of training on your bike. Once you’re set up with your indoor trainer and training app (Zwift, TrainerRoad, Wahoo to name a few), the fun can begin.
Before you do your first turbo session, it’s worth double checking to see if your
Once you’ve done a couple of workouts to iron out any teething problems, try a couple of these handy tips and tricks to bring your turbo training game up a level.
1. Find the best place to turbo
A turbo setup goes beyond just the bike and it’s important you create a space in which you can perform. This doesn’t just mean physical space but also mental headspace.
Not everyone has the luxury of what some call a “pain cave” but a corner of the room you can claim for an hour will suffice. Remember to check the Wi-Fi connection for your potential turbo spot!
Check the floor surface before you set up: do you need a mat to protect the floor and absorb the sweat? If you live with other people, a noisy turbo trainer can disrupt their routines.
2. Invest in good headphones
On the subject of noise, a good set of earphones or headphones will improve your sessions dramatically. You’ll be able to play your favourite music (yes, even those guilty pleasure songs!) without the whirring of your turbo trainer in the background. Some earphones even have noise cancelling technology to block out almost all external noises.
3. Create a playlist
There’s nothing worse than hearing the sound of your heart pumping while you’re trying to concentrate on finishing an interval. One solution is to play some good music to drown out the sound and also motivate you to get the job done.
Spotify has a number of turbo training playlists from other users but you can of course create your own. Bonus points if you make a list that’s exactly the length of your session!
This playlist from Canyon E-Sports rider Lionel Vujasin is a great starting point to get your pulse racing.
4. Watch a film while you ride
If your preferred training app isn’t as interactive as the likes of Zwift and Wahoo, try putting a film or YouTube video (the Canyon YouTube channel would be a great place to start!) on a TV or laptop nearby. Your smart trainer will alter the resistance for you leaving you free to focus on something to detract from the imminent suffering.
5. Share the pain
A problem shared is a problem halved, or so the saying goes. Sometimes it’s nice to do things with other people, particularly if you’re struggling for motivation or want moral support.
Some apps let you dial in or chat with friends who can then do a group turbo session or virtual course. You can egg each other on during the threshold efforts and chat during the rest periods. It’s a great way to catch up with distant friends and keep motivation on a high.
6. Wear the right kit
Just because you’re riding indoors, doesn’t mean you can get away without wearing technical clothing. You’ll still spend a lot of time in the saddle therefore bib shorts are an absolute must. As you don’t have the outdoor elements at play, some riders choose to ride only wearing a base layer to keep themselves cool.
As the boom of indoor cycling has continued, so too have developments in cycling kit dedicated to working out indoors. The Canyon Headband will keep the sweat away from your eyes, so that you can concentrate on your workout.
7. Don’t forget your towel
The number one rule of turbo club is to bring a towel to every session you do. As your session progresses, so does the amount of sweat dripping down from your head and upper body on to the bike. Sweat corrodes metal due to the salt content and the last thing you want is a rusty headset.
The simplest solution is to hang a hand towel over your bars while you ride and make sure you remove it and wash it afterwards ready for the next session.
The Canyon Home Towel has loops that attach to the handlebars to keep it in place and also includes a pocket to stash your phone, food and other useful bits and bobs.
8. Get a fan
You may have already worked this out but turbo training without a fan ends in a sweaty mess. A good fan can make all the difference to your performance and enjoyment. The fan will help cool down your body temperature when the going gets tough. A standard household fan will suffice if you’re on a budget, but a premium fan like the Wahoo Kickr Headwind works with your data to increase its airflow when your heart rate increases.
9. Stay hydrated during your workout
There’s nothing worse than finishing an interval and reaching for your water bottle only to find you’ve forgotten it. Not only is it annoying but you’ll become dehydrated if you’re not careful.
The same applies to nutrition: if you think you might need a boost of energy midway through your workout, take a couple of sports bars with you to nibble on throughout your ride.
10. Create a goal
Turbo training is perfect for working towards your cycling goals. Training with power on an indoor trainer is one of the most efficient ways of improving your fitness, climbing faster or simply enjoying riding more. A lot of training software companies offer training plans depending on what you want to achieve.
11. Don’t die of boredom!
Turbo training isn’t for everyone. If you find it’s not working for you, try something else like strength and conditioning sessions and using a power meter on your bike while you ride outside. Not everybody is wired the same way and what works for some, won’t work for others. You do you!
Ready to train?
Whether you’re new to training or you’re a veteran, there’s always ways to make indoor cycling more enjoyable. Share your bike and turbo setup with us on social media!