Can anyone suggest good turbo trainer workouts (or tell me what features are necessary) for training for a long distance cycling event (Vätternrundan ~300 km)?

I need to be fit enough to cycle that distance but also need to get my raw pace up because of a tough target time (8 hours requiring about 40 km/h [in a group of 28 riders]) - what sort of drills should I be doing (or what should I avoid) to increase stamina and power efficiently?

  • 2
    have you seen sufferfest.com
    – robthewolf
    Commented Nov 6, 2013 at 15:20
  • 1
    What do you mean by turbo? Do you mean workouts to get you in shape for such a ride quickly when you're far from it now? Or do you mean something else? Commented Nov 7, 2013 at 4:21
  • @CareyGregory I suspect he means a stationary roller device that makes a helluva noise and uses air resistance to provide the training effect. He will need head phones turned up loud and something like an action movie or heavy metal playing!
    – andy256
    Commented Nov 7, 2013 at 6:54
  • Apart from pro level strength and endurance, you will also need to train on the road with the team (if I understand your mention of a group correctly). There are many skills needed for success in this kind of riding.
    – andy256
    Commented Nov 7, 2013 at 6:58
  • I do mean a turbo trainer (elite qubo power fluid) which is apparently one of the quietest on the market so hopefully I won't deafen myself :). In terms of riding skill I'm sure I'm ok there, plenty of road experience in all weathers and quite a lot of group riding this year, and the team is 28 riders most of whom are very experienced riders so I think the group will wok well. I think my fitness is my major weakness threatening the attempt to go under 8 hours. @andy256
    – rg255
    Commented Nov 7, 2013 at 7:14

2 Answers 2


Turbos are great for short interval work, brutal power workouts (cf. the comment above citing sufferfest.com) where you can monitor your output and heart rate more accurately. But they are dull, mind (and body) sappingly dull.

I'd save the long workouts for the road, it's more interesting and you've got mates to chat to and spend time with.

Use the turbo for working on the raw pace, short (60-90 minute) pieces with shorter, harder threshold pace intervals.

  • Unless there's something you can usefully do on the turbo - listening to language CDs as a simple example (noise-cancelling headphones may be needed)
    – Chris H
    Commented Nov 7, 2013 at 15:35
  • @ChrisH - I tend to use technical podcasts, or just the Breaking Bad box set, but yes - double timing is useful. Still not as much fun as being out on the road, though.
    – Unsliced
    Commented Nov 8, 2013 at 11:53

The next Vätternrundan is in approx eight months. My suggestion is - get mileage in. 300km isn't so hard to ride if you're okay with say 150km, i.e. can ride that two days in a row without excruciating pain or soreness.

The speed you mention is a whole different matter. If you haven't ridden these kinds of speed on shorter distances yet, it will get tough to get up to par. My suggestion would be to not go for the Sub9 group on your first Vätternrundan. It's simple as that. Nothing is more frustrating than falling out of the time frame 25km from the finish line. The Vätternrundan for "normal people" has far, far bigger timeframes; I believe the slowest group needn't ride faster than 25km/h on average, which is no problem for most amateur riders, especially in a group.

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    Thanks, I should mention it's not my first, I did it this year in 10 hours of riding (stopped for a while to help someone in need of an ambulance so total time was around 11) and rode the vast majority (roughly 220-240) on my own, first 85km in to the headwind towards jönkoping I rode without anyone overtaking me :) that was tough!!
    – rg255
    Commented Nov 7, 2013 at 7:22
  • Okay, that wasn't obvious from your question. I'm more the randonneur type, so I can't really give you advice on how to become fast...
    – arne
    Commented Nov 7, 2013 at 7:25

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