Hours long turbo sessions, do you watch tv or music?

All you hardcore turbo users, if your sessions last hours how do you cope? Do you do it in front of the TV with music channel on or have your favourite ipod music blasting?

Just curious.



  • Cant have music too loud as I do it at night and would wake kids.


    Tend to either have Ipod or try to time it with football on the tv.



  • bit of everything depending on needs

    for short sessions I use music, for hard sessions I use Sufferfest turbo training videos, for long sessions a mix of viewing - at the weekend I watched The Sweeny on Lovefilm on Saturday and live rugby yesterday, both streamed through to my laptop in the garage.

  • What are you doing on the turbo though ? If you're working to heartrate then you should be focussing on that.

    It's easy to sit on a turbo and turn the pedals over - if you're doing that you'd be better off not bothering. The longest session I've done is about an hour but at a toughish intensity.
  • How long have some of you guys longest turbo sessions bean in terms of time and miles?

  • When it was snowy and icy outside last winter I did some longer Sufferfest videos - no more than 90mins or 2 hours.

    Otherwise they are short and sharp sessions - 45-60 minutes. I find distance on the turbo is largely irrelevant as the turbo session is more 'quality' than an outside ride of the same duration.

  • i am vaguely considering attempting the iron distance upon the turbo.


  • I think that four hours is my longest turbo session to date - I work to HR and couldn't watch or read anything, as Cougie says I need to focus to keep the effort up - I do have music on though.

    Miles on the turbo bear no resemblance to miles outside in my experience, it's x amount of time in x HR zone.

    If you think you can or you think you can't you're probably right.
  • I listen to music watching triathlons on tv, but having done the Iron distance on my Watt bike wouldn't recommend it, there is no way my turbo time would equate to the Ironman time, and as others have said, nothing compares to miles outside.


  • I've started using rollers and if i try to concentrate on anything other than staying on the thing i come off the side! Almost all turbo sessions I do, I do with a small group. Makes it more bearable. I know some people like to do intervals while watching films and switch between hard and easy efforts whenever the scene changes.

  • Budjude - why would you bother even ? It's not the same. It would just be a waste of hours.
  • dont know how you assume its a waste of hours when the aternative is sitting on the sofa.


  • I did four hours once, during the slow last year...never, ever, ever again. Nearly gave up cycling after that.

    Another vote for Sufferfest though

  • Get out on the bike and do it for real ? You wont be keeping up the intensity on the turbo or clocking real miles. Its a pretend distance on the turbo. Does nothing for your bike handling either. If you have time on your hands - do a decent harder session on the turbo and go for a run after.

    Its not even a confidence booster "well i could do the distance inside"....
  • Budjude wrote (see)

    dont know how you assume its a waste of hours when the aternative is sitting on the sofa.


    Why is sitting on the sofa the only possible alternative?


  • Stop being Pedantic Wilkie as usual.

  • for the challenge of doing it??

    I know its not 'real' miles but its surely better than doing no biking at all in the winter? (i only get time to go on it very early or late on so long outside rides are not feasible at the moment)

    Good to have something to work towards


  • "I know its not 'real' miles but its surely better than doing no biking at all in the winter? "

    get a mountain bike (or cross bike) - no excuse not to go out then and do something off road.  in the last 2 winters we've ridden in snow and ice - great fun for an hour or 2 in snow and good for handling skills.   cycling in snow is bloody hard work so you also get a good workout.  and with some decent lights off-road riding can be fun and there's no traffic to worry about.

    I'm doing longish turbo sessions at the mo as I'm taking part in the #turbovember challenge which is basically a minimum of 30mins every day for a month (plus a few longer sessions - max 2hrs - and some brick sessions thrown in) but the thought of doing a 180k turbo session just leaves me cold

  • How early is early ? How late is late ? You'll struggle to do an IM if you can't get out and do long rides. I'll not ride on the roads if there's snow or ice, but other than that - you need to get out there.
  • need to be done by 7 in the morning and cant start till 7 at night at the moment, plus lets be honest in the wind and the rain and crap at the moment i wouldnt want to be outthere.

    come better weather i will be back outside pre dawn, but for now, for me, there is no advantage to be gained from doing a short, cold, wet ride outside.

    i dont have the funds to have two bikes, i sold my mountain bike to buy the road bike

  • I agree with Cougie - my cycling outdoors due to work are only over the weekends during the winter, but this past weekend the weather has been great for getting out and did 2 decent sessions.

    Nothing beats going out but I do enjoy a high intensity workout on the Watt bike for an hour or so.

  • Blimey that is pretty restrictive. I couldn't contemplate an IM with those hours.

    You don't live that far from me and the last two Sundays have been lovely for cycling. I'm sure it will get much worse !
  • I think you can get away with doing almost all your training on a turbo and keep improving. Ideally get out on the roads once every week or 2 even for a short spin. My issue with the plan is a 180 mile steady ride on a turbo.. i don't see much benefit in building up to a session like that. Not only would it be head melting, i don't think you'd gain much physically compared to shorter more intense sessions. Something like 4 x 15 minutes at threshold pace with 5 minutes recovery would be more beneficial. Or 30 seconds on 30 seconds off for an hour. Work towards doing it at a certain speed and cadence. Some pro ironman athletes only bike outdoors once every week or two so it can definitely be done..

  • That takes a lot of the fun out of the training. I love my outdoor rides.

    I agree that the shorter sessions would make much more sense than the full distance on the turbo.
  • I'm happy / ok to go up to 5 hours on the turbo and I'm able to drape an iPad over the tri bars to stay vaguely sane.

    Here's an example session from last winter - 5 hours which included 3 x 20 mins at FTP : 5 hour turbo fun

    I tend to do 90% of my work over the winter on the turbo simply because I can nail the wattage to my targets and therefore ensure I'm getting as much benefit as possible.

  • Most I've ever done is 2 hours but almost always I do about an hour.   Usually do the ubiquitous 2*20s, but sometimes minute on minute off, sets of 20-30 second sprints or one called Bill Black's Hour of Power (only I do 45 minutes of power) which are maybe more for road racing.

    Always do mine in a freezing garage with a big fan and an MP 3 player - could't watch a video and concentrate on the effort.   I prefer to do long rides on the road even in freezing weather but I live next to the A6 which is well gritted and I can ride up past Bakewell andback on that pretty much whatever the weather.

  • I use Spinervals training sessions on the turbo when the weather's not good, most of them are an hour or less but very intense and lots of interval training. Snow is predicted for the next few days so I will not be going out on my road bike.

  • I'm another fan of Sufferfest and have a 220 Triathlon short session plans - the pyramid is a particular favourite; 30 secs high intensity 30 secs rest upto 3 minutes and back down. You should not be able to concentrate on anything else accept for what your doing so would suggest motivational songs with a beat. I have done the occasional long turbo before and put on sports related movies - have watched Kona and marathons across the Sahara.

    Also I work 12 hour shifts - working 9-9 and 7-7 alternate and I get 2 hour bike/run in before leaving for work, 1 hour of core and weights done at lunch and then a swim after dinner. On my days off I do long run or bike one each once a week and make sure I have one full day of rest. If I physically cannot get out of the door due to snow and ice before work I go to the gym and do a block session. Tough wattbike im immediately followed by the treadmill. It is possible and has to be made possible to become an ironman. Sacrifices have to be made to deserve that medal
  • I'm currently going through the six dvd Olympic box set.

    Box sets of Mad Dogs is lined up next, each episode 45 minute session. Ideal for short 45 or longer 90 mins but that's my limit.

    Turbo set up in lounge with telly turned up. Try to do before hubby gets in from work, luckily I work from home 2-3 days a week. 

  • I've been know to do up to 5hrs+ on a turbo (or spin bike) 

    I usually do a mix of steady and training vids such as sufferfest, spinervals and RPM.

    In the winter I don't get much chance to get out on my bike as due to personal circumstances my training needs to be done on an evening after work (hardly ever get a chance to train at a weekend) 

  • 5 Hours gods teeth i once did 4 think i watched Apocalypse nowimage And that was cause it was blowing a gale and trees were coming down 

    i sm fortunste in having a cross and MTB my road bike dont get a look in during winterimage

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