Top tips for Indoor Training


Indoor training – usually this one is for when winter hits us, though with the recent COVID19 lockdown, indoor training as become increasingly popular for obvious reasons. Well look at the positives – it’s finite in time, you’re not going to fall off (hopefully) and you’re never far from the kitchen or bathroom. 

There’s been a huge boost over the last few years with pieces of software like Zwift. Below I’ve listed a few top tips to keep you motivated through your indoor turbo sessions. Often if you’re riding for 2,3,4 hours or more it can get incredibly dull. There are a few things you can do to help the time tick by. Even though we’re currently still allowed out on the roads, indoor training can help reduce the risk and keep things social through the social distancing.


Use Zwift

Zwift is a great piece of technology that allows you to ride with other people from all around the world. You can join training rides, races, chat & so much more. There’s a whole variety of routes for you to choose from. You can earn achievements and badges, and ride in a variety of settings.

Though it comes at a subscription cost of £13 a month, it’s worth every penny. You should check it out if you haven’t already. There’s something for people of all levels and you never have to leave the house. It’s like a healthy version of computer gaming, sign up and enjoy the scenery and new riding partners.


Include intervals

Including intervals will not only give you a big physiological benefit, it can keep things entertaining when you’re getting basic endurance rides in. After the 30-60 minutes you can keep yourself entertained by throwing in some intervals. You might do a hard 20-30 seconds every 10 minutes. This will help to break the ride down. 6×10 is a lot easier to digest than a straight 60. Plus, it’ll make sure you’re still working hard through the effort.

Watch Netflix/films/tv

If you’re not having to follow set intervals, or if you can get them onto your watch/garmin, watching something can be a fantastic way to keep you distracted as your legs turn over. As long as you make sure you’re working as hard as you should, the miles can tick by in no time. 

I love Netflix for this as you can get stuck into a series and it’ll switch straight onto the next episode. The new Disney+ seems to be the weapon of choice with it’s almost instant uptake. I’ve been through a lot of series on the turbo, it really helps to distract from what you’re actually meant to be doing. You can also have Zwift on your Phone or iPad, or in the background, so you don’t have to miss out on the fun.


Listen to a podcast or Audiobook

Podcasts and music can also help you forget that you’re training. Growing in popularity over the last few years, podcasts are a great way to keep in tune with a whole host of different things. And audiobook will offer the same, although make sure you concentrate enough to know what’s going on! 

You can pick one you’re interested in or makes you laugh, and off you go. You’ll be amazed how easy training it is when you’re laughing and not thinking about how much your legs are hurting. It’s easy enough to download or stream them from your phone or tablet. You can even listen to audio books through different subscription services. Anything to take your mind off the time and keep you occupied.


FaceTime a friend

This one is slightly more difficult, but if you have a recovery session or an easy ride you can FaceTime or Skype friends. I’ve done this a couple of times to catch up and pass the time away. You just have to make your excuses for being out of breath and the turbo whirring away in the background. 

You could even use the FaceTime call to make them feel guilty that they’re not coming to ride with you. I know Ruth Purbrook (ironman pro) has set up her turbo with a couple of friends before so they can ride together in person as well as in Zwift.

If you’re training indoors on a watt bike, turbo trainer or otherwise, keeping it exciting is one of the most challenging things. But if you can find a way to keep it fun and keep your mind entertained then it becomes a fantastic training tool.