ON YER BIKE: Heading for cover in the cold, dark winter

Turbo time

Turbo time

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It is getting cold out there and with another arctic blast forecast you might be tempted to ditch your lycra for your onesie.

But you needn’t sacrifice your training altogether. When the temperatures dip below zero, there is no shame in hitting the turbo trainer or indoor exercise bike to keep your training ticking over.

It can be extremely boring, especially if your bike is hidden in a grotty shed like mine, but pick the right session and it can be a really effective way of training without having to worry about traffic or the cold weather outside.

With no freewheeling and constant pressure on the pedals, a focused turbo session can bring about big improvements in your form.

To stave off the boredom of staring at the same four walls, I tend to keep the sessions hard and short. One of my favourites is this quick ‘Russian steps’ session with all-out 100 per cent efforts followed by short, steady recoveries.

After a 10 minute warm up, it goes like this. 15 seconds as hard and fast as you can, followed by 45 seconds easy pedaling. 30 seconds hard, 30 seconds easy. 45 seconds fast, 15 seconds recovery. 60 seconds on, 60 seconds off. 45 seconds hard, 15 seconds easy. 30 seconds fast, 30 seconds easy. 15 seconds hard, 45 seconds recovery.

Simple! But despite being short - just eight minutes - it will hurt and isn’t for the faint-hearted. Give yourself at least five minutes recovery between sets if you want to do more than one.